The US supply chain continues to work well and ecommerce is up, according to an article in chainstorage.com. The article reveals that the coronavirus has rapidly driven up ecommerce sales, and it started early.
“According to data analysis from predictive retail analytics platform Quantum Metric, coronavirus is driving U.S. consumers online. E-commerce retailers based in the U.S. experienced a 52% growth rate in online spending during the fifth to eighth weeks of 2020 (the time period when the virus began rapidly spreading outside of Asia) compared to the same weeks of 2019. These weeks span Jan. 27 – Feb. 23, 2020.”
One of our major carrier partners, UPS, is closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 around the globe.They have developed and routinely practice contingency plans to maintain network operations, and they are working daily to ensure the health and wellbeing of their employees.
In China UPS is now at almost 100 percent of normal staffing, and demand is rapidly resuming as commercial activity picks up. Since January 24, UPS has supported the transportation and clearance of over 23,000 shipments and more than 230 tons of medical supplies to China. They will prioritize critical healthcare shipments in any affected market in order to assist healthcare professionals to contain the spread of virus and treat those affected.
In the event that COVID-19 becomes much more widespread in the U.S., or other countries, UPS will undertake measures similar to those utilized in previous large-scale epidemic events such as the Avian Flu (H5N1) and SARS in order to continue delivering to consumers.
In the affected areas, UPS and AMS will continue to support current demand from our clients and their consumers, even where this is limited, and we are prepared to resume normal operations as soon as government restrictions are lifted and the regular commercial demand increases.
Ecommerce will likely increase even more in the days that follow, with visits to retail stores thinning and stores closing or reducing hours with the recommendation that customers shop online. An article published by CNBC provides a fairly long list of stores that are closing. Apple is among those closing stores, and Walmart is among those reducing hours in order to clean and re-stock shelves.
AMS is prepared. Our workforce is healthy, strongly supported and well informed on how to respond to the virus. We are closely following the CDC recommendations for business.