With the recent changes is the Dow Jones Industrial Index, it is apparent that there is a negative impact on the economy, and each of our businesses due to this serious health threat to the global population. Transportation in and out of multiple countries has ceased. Air travel, ship travel is being re-routed or stopped entirely.
Talking with one of my customers, I heard about how their business is not able to receive product from China, and they are concerned about how they are going to fill orders once the current supply is gone.
This is affecting many companies who rely on supplies and raw materials coming into their manufacturing plants, distribution centers and fulfillment centers both in China and elsewhere.
What is going to happen? None of us have that crystal ball to predict the future. But it would be wrong to think we are not going to be affected. True, we may not personally get the virus, but what if we can no longer go to the store to get necessary supplies, medicine and food.
Think about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
Air, food, water, shelter, sleep, clothing and reproduction are the physiological and most important needs.
Take a moment to consider how many of these are related to what we can do on our own, and how many we depend on getting from others.
That’s where business enters the picture. We rely on many different business entities to provide these physiological needs. Could you build a shelter without nails from a business who manufactures them, and the business that provides the raw material to turn metals into nails? Could you make your own clothing without fabric from those who provide the cotton, silk or other textiles? How much of your own food could you raise or grow? Yes, you might be able to do that, but think of how long it takes for an animal to grow or for the crops to be harvested. No matter where you live, you would not be able to do it quickly enough. Global commerce is responsible for so much of what we take for granted. Think about how much we depend on all these different companies to provide the bare essentials that we need to exist.
Let’s all have hope that there is an end to this sooner rather than later, and that the researchers find a vaccine to guard against this, and find something that will counteract this virus, and potentially cure it before it takes any more lives.
Noreen Ryan, EWLP
Executive Vice President and General Manager
First Logistics Management Services