How can US transportation and infrastructure players navigate in a world changed by coronavirus?

The novel coronavirus is presenting US transportation and infrastructure players with multiple new challenges. To continue serving people seeking to minimize in-store shopping, home-delivery-service providers must strike a difficult balance between meeting immediate priorities, managing supply imbalances in the near and medium term, and crafting longer-term plans for a future that may look very different from today.

Here's what home-delivery-service providers to consider:

  • Now and ongoing: safeguard the health and well-being of distribution and package-delivery personnel and customers. Clear, consistent communication and training on safety protocols, along with effective supervision, are vital.
  • For the near and medium term: confront supply imbalances on three fronts: (1) last-mile cold chain—boost capacity and optimize existing assets such as vehicles and distribution centers; (2) labor—streamline recruiting and onboarding while sharpening management capabilities, to bring in massive numbers of new warehouse and delivery personnel without sacrificing safety; and (3) operations management—scale operations and enhance capacity through tactics such as route optimization and load planning.
  • For the longer term: Grapple with questions about the more distant future—such as: How will we profitably drive growth again once life becomes more manageable? How will permanent changes inflicted by the pandemic affect the way shipping and delivery enterprises partner with retailers and direct-to-consumer companies?

We outline some advice from our experts on how to adapt in this ever-changing environment.