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How the logistics industry can thrive and provide during the COVID-19 pandemic

Among the main services that logistics companies provide are trucking, sea and air freighting, and warehousing—a clear manifestation that the logistics industry handles the movement of goods around the world.

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The global economy is currently headed to a steady decline due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), damaging industries such as tourism, retail, and particularly logistics—which includes the supply chains of almost all industries.

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the disruption in world trade could mean a $50-billion decline in overall global exports, which would also adversely affect the Philippine supply chains. Despite responding decisively to contain the pandemic and help marginalized sectors, supply chains in the country were still impacted.

An analysis from the Center for Economic Policy and Research based in Washington, D.C also said that COVID-19 hit the heart of “factory Asia,” which consists of not only China but also Japan, South Korea, and Singapore. It was described as “supply chain contagion,” which means that the world supply chain system is exposed consequently to a “disease outbreak” due to its over-concentration.

According to Jay Marzan, chairman of JP Marzan Project Ventures, Inc., the global economy has taken a huge blow because of the current pandemic but, this must not become a reason for us to be paralyzed with fear. “Now, more than ever, supply chain leaders must rise to the occasion, and help fight both the pandemic and the economic decline.” 

Strengthening the Frontlines

Among the main services that logistics companies provide are trucking, sea and air freighting, and warehousing—a clear manifestation that the logistics industry handles the movement of goods around the world.

The industry may be experiencing declines due to global responses to the pandemic, such as lockdowns and restrictions but the importance of logistics, specifically the supply chains, is still emphasized even in the crisis. 

For instance, the Philippines decided recently to import millions of PPE sets worth P1.8 billion from China. They plan to send Naval ships to hasten the importation of the sets, because currently only about 70,000 PPE sets have arrived in the country which is less than 10-percent of the total amount.

The products would then be transported to the warehouse managed by the Office of Civil Defense where it will be distributed to different hospitals, however, it would take a long time to finish the transport of the much-needed medical supplies.

“It is instances like this that logistics leaders can make a difference where they can help the country’s economy and the health and safety of the front-liners during this pandemic,” said Marzan. 

The Need to Adapt

According to a study by Avasant, the supply chains of multiple industries such as Energy & Resources. Healthcare & Life Sciences, High Tech & Telecomms, Travel & Transportations, Retail, and Manufacturing were hit the most in this pandemic. This is troubling since the manufacturing of the pharma sector, which has an important role now is negatively impacted.

Marzan said that communications and crisis management are incredibly important right now. Creating effective plans to enhance the supply chain and continuous dialogue between leaders is critical at this point to immediately identify any weak points that need to be assessed and addressed. 

“Leaders need to make rapid and immediate decisions to sustain operations so they can maintain the successful distribution of supplies and services quickly, safely, and securely to the front-liners and people at risk of infection. Supply chains must take a holistic approach and create a strong framework,” added Marzan. 

The impact of the pandemic will also have a long-term effect on not only the logistics industry but also the global economy. How the supply chains function and how people work moving forward would massively change. Long-term planning must become an important part of crisis response.

JP Marzan Project Ventures Inc. is one of the leading logistics providers dedicated to meet the challenges of the globalized market and serves as a reliable partner for the country’s economic growth.

The company started in 1972 as RV Marzan Brokerage and used to handle customs brokerage and deliveries around Luzon. Since then, it started the separate logistics company, we know today and has established itself as a reputable logistics company consistent with the best business practices. 

It has also expanded its services and catered to the needs of companies across the country. Among its services include heavy-lift support, trucking, forwarding, logistics, domestic distribution, warehousing, rigging works, plant transfer, factory machine installation, powerplant assembly, project consultation, equipment rental, civil engineering, and trading of industrial equipment and services.

To know more about JP Marzan Ventures, Inc., visit www.jpmarzan.com.

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UPS helps its Phl customers maintain critical infrastructure following typhoon

UPS’s recent expansion of its Worldwide Express Freight (WWEF) shipment service to more postal codes in the Philippines comes as welcome news to West Point Engineering, a long-time customer of UPS.

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Sitting in a tropical storm-prone belt of the Pacific Ocean known as ‘typhoon alley,’ the Philippines experiences an average of 20 tropical storms every year. 

Last year, on top of dealing with the pandemic, the Philippines was hit by Super Typhoon Goni, the most powerful tropical cyclone in the world in 2020. Goni, or Rolly as it’s locally known, ploughed through Luzon and affected 2.7 million people, displacing 31,000 and damaging or destroying 281,000 homes. Sanitation and hygiene become immediate concerns in the aftermath of a storm like this, with essential water infrastructure usually damaged.

West Point Engineering Supplies Incorporated provides specialized products and solutions to essential infrastructures in the Philippines, such as water, energy and meteorology. 

Among its list of projects is a 10-year program with the weather information services company, Earth Networks, and the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration. They’ll collaborate to use weather monitoring sensors that provide earlier warnings for tropical storms. 

For West Point Engineering, speed and efficiency is essential in installing and maintaining specialized equipment like weather radars, which can save lives and homes. 

That’s why UPS’s recent expansion of its Worldwide Express Freight (WWEF) shipment service to more postal codes in the Philippines comes as welcome news to West Point Engineering, a long-time customer of UPS.

Businesses like West Point Engineering will benefit from time-guaranteed palletized shipments above 70 kilograms to more areas in Bulacan, Mabalacat, Angeles City, Laguna and Batangas, allowing businesses to more easily and quickly replenish bulk inventories. This helps customers meet urgent, sometimes life-saving, delivery requirements. 

“We have been a partner of UPS for over seven years,” said Dennis Ziganay, president and CEO of West Point Engineering. “Through this pandemic, we’ve been able to meet the demands of these challenging times … thanks to UPS.” 

With businesses needing a more agile and precise process in responding to the needs of the market and its customers, accessibility is key in responding to natural disasters around the globe.

“Exporters, SMEs and long-time partners like West Point Engineering are important contributors to the local economy. As they grow and expand, we listen to their changing supply chain requirements and cater to their needs,” said Chris Buono, managing director of UPS Philippines and Indonesia. 

 “Whether it’s one of the several natural calamities that occurred in the Philippines or an ongoing pandemic, UPS is committed to delivering what matters for our customers as they bounce back from a difficult year,” Buono ended. 

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Community banks a key resource for small businesses when crises arise

Community banks are an important source for small businesses when crises, like the COVID-19 pandemic, arise and business owners need to secure help quickly to continue paying their employees.

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Photo by lucas Favre from Unsplash.com

With billions on the table for struggling small businesses, new research from the University of Florida Warrington College of Business finds that community banks are a critical source for helping these businesses keep their workforce employed during the pandemic through loan access.

“Smaller community banks have traditionally been an important source of funding for small businesses,” said Christopher James, William H. Dial/SunTrust Eminent Scholar and research author. “Community banks tend to be relationship lend­ers, characterized by local ownership, local control and local decision making. Relationship lenders had strong incentives to make… loans in order to preserve small business relationships in the face of the massive economic downturn caused the pandemic.”

In their research, James, Warrington Ph.D. student Jing Lu and Georgetown University Ph.D. student Yangfan Sun, find that community banks were able to respond faster to loan requests from small businesses as compared to larger banks. They also find that community banks made more loans per dollar of deposits than larger banks, particularly during the early stages of the pandemic.

“Community banks tend to specialize in lending based on close personal ties between the loan officer and the small business customer,” James said. “This type of lending requires providing branch managers with greater decision rights in making lending decisions. As a result, lenders at community banks were able to respond faster when the PPP was introduced.”

Consistent with community bank focus on small business lending and their faster implementation of lending, the authors find significantly more loans per small business in counties where community banks had higher market shares. More important, the authors find that higher levels of lending are associated with significantly fewer small business bankruptcies.

Overall, James, Lu and Sun’s research finds that community banks are an important source for small businesses when crises, like the COVID-19 pandemic, arise and business owners need to secure help quickly to continue paying their employees.

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Shopee launches #TatakPinoy virtual trade fair to support Filipino businesses

Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, launches #TatakPinoy, a virtual trade fair geared towards supporting homegrown Filipino brands and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

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Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, launches #TatakPinoy, a virtual trade fair geared towards supporting homegrown Filipino brands and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). 

Shopee consistently advocates for the growth of local businesses. Amid the COVID-19 lockdown, which forced hundreds of Filipino businesses to close physical shops, Shopee supported over 1,000 sellers transitioning online through Shopee’s Seller Masterclasses and its partnerships with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and local government units. The initiatives helped Filipino entrepreneurs gain a basic understanding of e-commerce and digital marketing. Sellers were also able to master Shopee’s marketing tools, helping them achieve their maximum potential in e-commerce. 

To further strengthen support for local entrepreneurs, Shopee and DTI are set to launch the very first #TatakPinoy Virtual Trade Fair, a campaign that aims to promote products from Filipino brands and local MSMEs. From February 19 – 21, shoppers can discover local delicacies and pasalubong items, particularly those from Regions XII and IV-A, on Shopee. They can also buy products from Filipina-owned businesses, championed by Shopee and USAID’s partnership to empower local female entrepreneurs. 

In its statement, DTI’s Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion announced, “The Department of Trade and Industry – Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion is proud to be a partner for #TatakPinoy on Shopee. This initiative will connect thousands of consumers to more than a hundred MSMEs on one platform. We invite Filipinos from all over the country to patronize and take pride in products that are certified #TatakPinoy from the National Trade Fair Pop-up Store and Go Lokal! Shopee Mall.”

Martin Yu, Director at Shopee Philippines, said, “We strongly believe in the importance of uplifting homegrown entrepreneurs. From microbusinesses to SMEs, these local brands all contribute to the Philippine economy’s growth as a whole. Considering that most local businesses still can’t promote their products outside of online platforms due to the pandemic, Shopee also wants to create the opportunity to showcase the best Filipino brands. We will continue to spearhead campaigns that help reignite pride and demand for local products and drive the growth of the economy.”

Aside from discovering high-quality local craftsmanship and assisting local businesses in the process, shoppers can enjoy exclusive discounts up to 10% off on participating Filipino brands such as Colourette, Vice Cosmetics, and Human Nature. 

Shoppers can also enjoy more deals when they checkout using ShopeePay. For more information about the #TatakPinoy Virtual Trade Fair, visit https://shopee.ph/m/tatak-pinoy

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