Navigating the volatility of international trade during the COVID-19 crisis will require intentionally confronting the opportunities and carefully planning your recovery strategy. Advice from Jay Devers, an ITC Board Member, for SME’s in the Kansas City area on several key points were compiled from the Kansas Global Trade Services Roundup website.
- Expect severe and ongoing volatility. “Companies can expect massive volatility in global freight and logistics. The trade lanes are highly interdependent and respond differently to different types of disruptions. For example, the transpacific ocean freight trades lanes are starting to return to normal. But, just as quickly, air freight lanes to and from parts of Europe are completely haywire right now due to the travel bans changing the amount of capacity that is available. The nature and direction of your freight will influence the challenges you have ahead.”
- Stay current on global operations for various countries by monitoring Hellmann Worldwide’s “Corona Crisis – Global Operations” portal where updates are posted frequently on airfreight, seafreight, road & rail, and contract logistics.
- Embrace international opportunities instead of pulling away. “COVID-19 has exposed many organizations who had become complacent in the bustling international trade environment of the last 10 years. Compared to this global pandemic, the issues of late have been mostly trivial and relatively simple to mitigate. Take steps not to be in that category of exposed company.”
- Proactively communicate and build relationships with existing/new global partners. “Place extra emphasis on communicating with your customer. You are important to them and odds are that they are have similar thoughts, concerns, meetings, and emails.”
- Be intentional about improving your company and preparing now for future global opportunities. “Most agree there will be a bounce back, probably this year, as soon as next month in certain categories. Where do you stand compared to your competition when that happens? What has the volatility done to your competitors and your service providers? What have you learned to make yourself and your company more valuable through all these trials?”
By Jay Devers, ITC Board Member
Bestway International / Hellmann Worldwide Logistics