As China loosens its strict measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and get the economy moving again, supply chains are backing up elsewhere in the world.
Challenges include finding enough truck drivers to deliver goods – an issue that has been heightened with panic buying and stockpiling by the public.
Supply chains disruption has shifted from east to west, making the distribution of key items such as medicines and perishable food much harder.
Items that would usually take two days to transport are taking double that. There is increased disruption and congestion at borders as driver health and cargo undergoes closer scrutiny.
Haulage companies are struggling to find truckers willing to drive into Italy and Spain – two countries currently with the highest coronavirus death tolls. And added cargo risk costs mean higher payments to truckers are needed to ensure sufficient trucking capacity.
Perhaps the most worrying problem is that there is not enough personal protective equipment for all drivers. Even when trucking companies have placed orders for masks and gloves, all production is now (understandably) going to hospitals.