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Are Logistics Companies Prepared for the "Grand Reopening?”

A total lockdown is unaffordable for the U.S. as most of the population depends on daily wages. The government-mandated lockdown risked the food supply chain, cost the livelihood of millions of citizens, and throttled several businesses.

Although the pandemic didn't disrupt the production of staples and other necessities, the lockdown and other safety issues affected the distribution chain. For the sake of the economy's stability, the government announced a "grand reopening" of society, but are logistics companies ready?

As everyone expects the US economy to rise back with the fading of the coronavirus, the issue of staffing haunts several companies. With an uninsured rapid return to normal, logistics companies' bigger problem is twofold: First, how can they gear up for the grand reopening and the unprecedented surge in staffing? And second, what staffing issues will logistics companies deal with ahead, and how can they prepare?

Gearing Up for the Grand Reopening

A lack of a hiring pool currently plagues several businesses, especially trucking companies and other supply chain businesses struggling to keep products moving to market. This fact was evident even before the pandemic struck as reports showed record low unemployment rates and a chronic fall in people willing to drive trucks.

Once the pandemic hit, it affected profitability for carriers and other logistics groups and complicated the hiring and retention process of talent.

Several factors are to blame for the current lack of workers. These include:

To better the situation, some states have opted to stop giving unemployment benefits and are instead offering back-to-work bonuses for those actively seeking employment. As President Biden and his administration canceled federal unemployment benefits earlier in the year and urged states all over to follow suit, there seems to be hope for a rise in employment records.

Also, many companies facing a shortage in staffing are offering higher pay and other benefits to prospective workers, which will likely attract many applications in the coming months.

Staffing Issues Ahead

The predicted surge in the workforce seems to be both a blessing and a challenge, as combing through loads of job applications to locate and recruit the most qualified candidates and rapidly bring them up to speed is no easy feat.

The lack of talent is particularly pressing in the supply chain sector as it couldn't slow down during the pandemic. Quarantined indoors and working from home, consumers demanded products at record levels. Logistics companies had to stay on top of demand, receive goods in warehouses, process shipments, and deliver products to consumers.

Experts believe that some logistics jobs in warehouses will be easier to fill than retail or restaurant positions as they don't demand direct contact with consumers.

Experts expect logistics companies to broaden their search for candidates beyond conventional sources, meaning a more diverse workplace. However, companies face the challenge of training and retaining talent, as turnover rates in the logistics industry are at an all-time high.

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