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It doesn’t take an expert in logistics to understand the effect the COVID-19 pandemic had on the supply chain.

From a shortage of available workers (and the restrictions on how many people can be in an area at one time), to issues acquiring the needed goods to continue producing items, the pandemic created a number of issues with supply chains big and small.

Many of these issues are still ongoing – such as with food. The food supply chain has perhaps been affected by COVID-19 more so than any other supply chain (other than the healthcare industry, naturally), and the effects are still being felt to this day.

Even now as there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel for the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact it’s had on food warehousing and food logistics has created issues that your warehouse may still be dealing with. But are you dealing with them the right way – and if not, do you know how you can adapt?

 

Post-Pandemic Food Supply Chain Issues

 

Rerouted demand

A big reason you’re having a hard time keeping goods in stock, or getting them to market, is due to the shifting demands in where the food is going.

Even while grocery stores were having a hard time keeping items in stock, a lot of food logistics was focused on retail and grocery, as restaurants were seeing a huge decrease in demand due to the take-out-only model much of the country was on. Now that most states have relaxed their in-person dining restrictions, however, restaurants are finding themselves competing with the existing pressure on grocery retail to get the food and supplies they need.

If you feel like you’ve been running out of inventory faster than normal, take a look at where it’s all going. Did you wind up gaining or losing clients during the pandemic? Do you have an easy way of routing these demands elsewhere? It might be time to start scaling back your operations until you get to the point where you can keep the most in-demand items on hand more frequently.

 

Transport and storage is more expensive

The cost of refrigerated transport and storage has never been ideal, but the rising energy costs of the past 12-18 months has done it no favors. Many logistics providers, retailers, and restaurants alike have been forced to factor in the cost of refrigerated storage, and it grows more scarce as more businesses need to rely on it.

This could create an ideal opportunity for your warehouse. If you have the food storage shelving and walk in freezer shelving to spare, you could potentially gain a lot of new clients who need the ability to store low-temperature goods that can’t rely on their usual providers anymore.

 

General increased demand

No matter where it’s going, or how it gets there, the food supply chain is in a state of chaos right now, and likely will be for some time. People are still buying in large quantities for home, restaurants are reopening, and businesses need new avenues of obtaining the products they need.

This likely goes double for your warehouse, too. If you haven’t yet, this may be the perfect opportunity to explore new avenues of obtaining products. Work with new distributors, get recommendations from your other clients, and expand your existing product base the best you can so you can keep offering goods to your end customers no matter what they need – or what you can get ahold of.

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