Connect with us


International Shipping In A Global Pandemic

International Shipping In A Global Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic completely turned the world on its head, in more ways than one. Beyond the devastating medical challenges, border closures, national shutdowns, and a declining economy (rivaling that of the 2009 global financial crisis) have placed unparalleled pressure on global supply chains, resulting in intense challenges for logistic companies. 

The mining industry has not been exempt from these challenges. Remote locations and multimodal transportation systems ensure that mining logistic companies have always faced the risk of delays, cancellations and resource shortages — mining is an industry that faces inherent highs and lows, with 2020 seeing these come into reality.

Whilst revealing just how complex these supply chains are, the pandemic has also highlighted the resilient and innovative nature of logistics companies. A variety of short-term plans mitigated immediate concerns whilst suppliers and international shipping companies worked hand-in-hand to implement permanent changes, working to prevent future contraction and ensure the long-term health of supply chains. 

A day in the life of an international shipping logistics company

International logistics companies are an integral member of the mining family, working cross-country, and continent to deliver resources, machinery, and assets. Mining equipment can be enormous in size, with each delivery presenting unique challenges in terms of weight, dimensions, permits, and regulations. 

Logistics companies are responsible for not only for the safe physical transport of machinery but are also required to have an in-depth knowledge of customs regulations, security laws, and international shipping guidelines. 

Maintaining good relationships with officials is therefore crucial to ensure supply chains remain intact. On a national level, logistic providers work hand-in-hand with authorities and government departments, to identify potential hazards and understand the local transport environment. 

Often an unsung hero, logistics teams work tirelessly to ensure the stability and smooth running of the industry and essential supply chains.

Covid-19 and global supply chains

The complexities of international shipping are something all too clear to International Global Logistics, part of the National Group. 

Due to the current situation, only essential services have been able to continue to operate as normal, with services deemed non-essential facing delays. A State of Play survey conducted in April 2020 found that 70% of Australian mining operators felt they were facing supply chain shortages due to the coronavirus crisis. 

The survey (which has been conducted since 2012, discussing industry innovation and performance) revealed that whilst some robust companies were not overly concerned about the ongoing effects of the pandemic, other smaller producers with more diverse portfolios were worried about commodity pricing and resource shipment. 

Mines themselves remained open in some countries but others, such as those in Peru, South Africa and Canada, were forced into closure due to government-mandated shutdowns. This placed greater pressure on suppliers in other locations (and thus, the logistics companies who service them). 

The Australian Government responded a little differently and in testament to the integral role the industry plays in the overall economic health of the country, FIFO (fly-in-fly-out) workers traveling to Western Australia were exempt from the 14-day quarantine made mandatory for every other traveler to the state.

With each country around the world implementing its own border closures and lockdown laws, the effect of the pandemic on global supply chains varied enormously and the repercussions may be felt for some time yet. 

Meeting the challenges

Innovative by nature, international shipping, and national haulage companies such as National Heavy Haulage, part of the National Group was quick to adapt to challenges faced by the spreading pandemic. 

Back in April, the ACCC granted authorization for members of the Mineral Council of Australia and other mining associations to work together, in order to manage critical supplies and services. Member companies were permitted to collaborate in sourcing, purchasing, and distributing vital supplies that ensured the safe and timely operation of mine sites. 

In fact, the Australian mining industry’s positive response to the crisis has led to experts predicting that the sector will emerge from the pandemic in better shape than both the 2008 financial crisis and 2015 commodity market downturn. Heavy haulage and transport logistics operators had a large role to play in this, navigating state border closures and government mandates to ensure that this vital industry remained steadfast and operational. 

Further afield, international companies looked to diversify and relocate their supply chains, based on location and safety. Sourcing resources and equipment locally often became the more feasible option, in order to maintain both productivity and profitability.

Lessons learned

Being an unprecedented event, the Covid-19 pandemic revealed valuable information about global supply chains and how to transport logistics companies can safeguard their clients and practices moving forward. Experts have commented that traditional global supply chains are structured to be lean, cost-efficient, and anchored around lynchpin geographical centers and operators, which does not lend itself to the challenges faced during a global pandemic. 

Recommendations moving forward having included developing crisis scenarios to identify gaps in global supply chains and international shipping. Authorities in the field have also suggested investing in more collaborative, agile fulfillment plans — such as the decision made by Australian mining companies to share resources and supplies. 

Force majeure was a term frequently used in the early stages of the pandemic, referring to an unforeseeable circumstance that prevents a contracted party from fulfilling its obligations. It has been advised that suppliers, international shipping, transport logistics, and mining corporations themselves understand their rights and responsibilities to each other.

The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly been a catalyst for change in many industries, including international shipping and national heavy haulage. With the mining sector being an integral part of many national economies, it was incredibly important for logistics companies to find ways to overcome newly formed barriers. 

The result was a series of both short and long-term changes that will no doubt ensure the future stability of the resource industry for years to come.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

Business3 days ago

Can You Use Residential Property for Commercial Use

Having extra income, constantly flowing in can make all the difference in the current economy. Getting creative with how you...

What Do Business Consultants Do What Do Business Consultants Do
Business2 weeks ago

Running a Business? How to Minimize Supply Chain Issues

Supply chain issues have always been an issue for businesses but over the last few years, the effect and widespread...

Home Improvement3 weeks ago

How to Increase Your House Value Before Selling

Increasing home value is the first step to making your place more attractive for future buyers. Whether you are trying...

General3 weeks ago

Why Calorie Control Is Still The Best Way To Diet

There are a great deal of different options when it comes to dieting, every day there seems to be a...

The Benefits Of Trade Credit Insurance For Your Business The Benefits Of Trade Credit Insurance For Your Business
Business1 month ago

The Benefits Of Trade Credit Insurance For Your Business

Trade credit insurance provides cover for businesses who trade on a credit basis. If the people who owe money for...

5 Charming Restaurant Decor Ideas In 2022 5 Charming Restaurant Decor Ideas In 2022
Miscellaneous1 month ago

5 Charming Restaurant Decor Ideas In 2022

Making your restaurant memorable and stand out is a feat worthy of praise. The sheer pressure of wanting to succeed...

Bank Won't Fund Your Business? 4 Loan Alternatives To Get You Started Bank Won't Fund Your Business? 4 Loan Alternatives To Get You Started
Business2 months ago

Bank Won’t Fund Your Business? 4 Loan Alternatives To Get You Started

Businesses typically require some sort of collateral or proof of concept before funding their business venture. However, it is possible...

Planning A Stag Do Planning A Stag Do
Miscellaneous2 months ago

Planning A Stag Do

If you’re a Best Man then you’re in a unique position of responsibility, and before the day itself when you’ll...

Tips to Reduce Eczema Flare-Ups Tips to Reduce Eczema Flare-Ups
Health2 months ago

What Triggers Eczema | Tips to Reduce Eczema Flare-Ups

Eczema is a skin condition that can induce redness, itchiness, and skin inflammation. Its root cause is not fully understood,...

Women's Fashion Trends To Expect In 2022 Women's Fashion Trends To Expect In 2022
Lifestyle3 months ago

Women’s Fashion Trends To Expect In 2022

A new year means new fashion trends. We cannot wait for what is in store in 2022. It seems that...

Home Makeover Trends: Insights from The Pros Home Makeover Trends: Insights from The Pros
Home Improvement3 months ago

Home Makeover Trends: Insights from The Pros

Are you considering a home makeover but don’t know where to start? You’re in luck! In this article, we will...

Interior Design Trends 2022 Interior Design Trends 2022
Home Improvement3 months ago

Interior Design Trends 2022

We all spend time pining over other people’s interior’s on Pinterest or Instagram, but with these trends, it’s easy to...

Top Commonly Overlooked Car Maintenance and Repairs Top Commonly Overlooked Car Maintenance and Repairs
General3 months ago

Top Commonly Overlooked Car Maintenance and Repairs

Maintaining a car is a huge responsibility. There’s a lot that goes into that given how complicated a machine it...

What Is The Difference Between Strata and Property Manager What Is The Difference Between Strata and Property Manager
General4 months ago

What Is The Difference Between Strata and Property Manager

Real estate is a diverse market, and as such, it can be hard to determine the differences between various types...

Sleek Home Upgrades That Will Luxe Up Your Life Sleek Home Upgrades That Will Luxe Up Your Life
Home Improvement4 months ago

Sleek Home Upgrades That Will Luxe Up Your Life

Sometimes we need a vast endeavor to make our home look extravagant and cheek but very often you can implement...