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5 Ways the Supply Chain Industry is Leading the COVID Response

It’s a tough time for everybody right now. Whether you’re working from home or on the front lines in an essential job, the stress is high and uncertainty is a common thread in everyone’s lives. But humans are nothing if not adaptable, and our supply chain industry leaders are stepping up, helping out, and meeting community needs. Here are five recent examples of our supply chain leaders helping the community with innovation and compassion.

#1 Kroger sets an example for safe supply chain operations

As the largest grocer in the country, Kroger represents a significant player in the supply chain industry. From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have committed themselves to keeping their workers and customers safe through and beyond stay-at-home directives. In an effort to help other businesses keep people safe through reopening, Kroger has published a 17-page guide of their lessons-learned and current protocols. Their guide includes safety tips and cleaning best-practices, recommendations for enforcing social distancing rules, and advice about communicating with employees. They also include printable signs that businesses can use to keep social distancing and safety top-of-mind for employees and customers.

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#2 Albertsons commits $50 million to fight food scarcity across the nation

As of April 23rd, 2020, there have been 26.5 million unemployment claims filed in the United States. As food banks struggle to meet rising demands, food scarcity and uncertainty grow across the community. Albertsons is rising to that challenge and urging other companies to follow their lead.

In their April 22nd press release, Albertsons President and CEO Vivek Sankaran said, “This time of extraordinary need demands an unprecedented response. The basic needs of many of our neighbors have been threatened like never before. With a strong presence in more than 2,200 communities, we are committing an additional $50 million to help ensure that people in our neighborhoods have access to the healthy food they need. We are hopeful that more companies will join us and use our broad hunger relief network to distribute help locally, where it is needed most.”

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#3 Estes Express Lines teams up with the State of Virginia to deliver meals

In the state of Virginia, the governor committed to delivering 56,000 MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) to food banks. That’s enough food to supply the community for six weeks! Estes Express Lines stepped up and offered shipping and logistics support to make sure those meals reached their intended destination.

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#4 Supply chain leaders volunteer time and data to overcome industry challenges

In many ways, the COVID-19 pandemic caught the supply chain industry off guard. The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) proposed an initiative to identify and combat supply chain obstacles created by the pandemic. The industry responded enthusiastically; over 50 stakeholders applied to join the FMC response team. Starting with fact-finding, the FMC and study participants will work toward a better understanding of the current supply chain challenges. They will then brainstorm and implement innovative solutions to improve operations for terminals, carriers, laborers, truckers, intermediaries, equipment suppliers, and more. This initiative has no specific deadline, so check it out, and pitch in where you can!

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#5 UPS takes the supply chain to the air with drone-based COVID-19 testing delivery systems

As a global community, we understand that social distancing helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, touchpoints and interactions are a necessary part of doing business, especially in the medical community. Home-based testing kits relieve some of the contact burdens, yet the delivery and collection of those tests pose a risk to supply chain workers.  In response, UPS has teamed up with the drone-maker DroneUp and the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology to test how unmanned aerial delivery can speed COVID-19 testing while maintaining or increasing social distancing.

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Our country runs on ingenuity and community spirit. These examples are just a few of the great works conducted by our supply chain industry in this time of need. If your company is pitching in, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us today, and we might just feature your story on the F|Staff blog.