How the logistics sector can contribute to tackling COVID-19 third wave

From our ever-increasing diesel prices to toll prices, the government should take measures to control the diesel costs.

Updated: Jun 01, 2021 3:42 PM

The covid curve across the nation seems to be in a declining phase now, as the experts suggest by July, India would reach the same level of case counts in February. But on the other hand, there are warning bells of the third wave of covid hitting our country as it is “inevitable”. The scariest part is that the scientists believe the third wave is targeted at children and teenagers. The whole medical supply chain could collapse and also the spread will be 2x severe. As the children must be accompanied by at least one of their parents, the number of people that come into contact with the virus could be very high.

The Covid second wave hit us at a point when we are “not prepared” with both infrastructure and resources. Be it facilitating hospitals with ventilators or the doctors and medical staff deployment, we lacked the planning.

But not again, the logistics industry is preparing ahead.

The state governments are working on ramping up the oxygen production and mapping the demand and supply, authorities are encouraging technology-driven logistics which could enable the real-time tracking of oxygen container movements. Also, the state governments are allowed to buy and import medicine from pharmaceutical companies.

All the vehicles carrying medical supplies or oxygen cylinders are given “priority” at the port, toll, and at the border to reduce the time delays. Now that there is a clear understanding of our products and the cryogenic containers, the demand predictions are in place with a continuous Agile monitoring system.

As of now, we as a country have wasted 6.5% of our vaccines. To ensure proper demand-supply mapping of vaccines, the government is working with tech-driven supply solutions which also help with accurate demand predictions across the states. And also, To ensure seamless Vaccine Distribution across the states, the 3PL companies are working towards bringing the cold warehouses and the reefer vehicles together to a single platform, which eases the distribution process and reduces vaccine wastage.

The demand for groceries and essential items has reached the same growth rate as last May, expecting a growth rate of 8-10 percent in 2021-22. With many working in the last-mile delivery getting affected to COVID-19, there is an extreme shortage of delivery executives and delay in order deliveries, companies started incentivizing the delivery executive to cater to the demand. But now looking at the things falling in place, the last-mile delivery industry could be back to its original form by July leaving enough time to fight back the third wave.

Government support

From our ever-increasing diesel prices to toll prices, the government should take measures to control the diesel costs. As the diesel costs increase the logistics costs also rise up adding up a lot of burden to the service provider especially when they are already dealing with increased costs due to resource shortage.

Also, the government should make it a priority to drive the vaccination to the people working in the logistics sector. We could see it happening with the likes of Swiggy and Zomato, it would really make a difference if the same can be implemented across the 3PL Companies.

Author: Rakesh Munnanooru, Founder & CEO, WhistleDrive

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author. These views and opinions do not represent those of The Indian Express Group or its employees.

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