[B-SIDE Podcast] Shipping news: Lessons from UPS

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The disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic to global supply chains were unexpected.

“This has really been one of the most challenging times … in all walks of life,” said Christopher Buono, managing director of UPS Philippines, who has been in the industry for 18 years.

UPS is one of several logistics groups tasked with delivering billions of coronavirus vaccine doses to the world. On top of that, it’s the holiday season and packages have to be delivered.

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For the logistics industry, the new normal means operating in a peak-like environment for the entire year.

In this episode of B-Side, Mr. Buono speaks with BusinessWorld senior reporter Arjay L. Balinbin, and takes stock of this year against the backdrop of the ongoing health crisis.

TAKEAWAYS

Businesses are now rethinking how their supply chains are set up, not just from a cost-efficiency standpoint but also from a resiliency perspective.

“We’ve even seen their maturity, just in the last eight to nine months, where companies got online, initially in March and April just to stay afloat, just to keep their heads above water… They’ve learned a lot over the last eight months, and they’ve become much more mature as they work to continue to grow,” Mr. Buono said.

To be resilient, he said, businesses should ensure business continuity, which can mean transforming their business model and utilizing digital channels.

Digital tools being made available to businesses help them identify growth opportunities amid the pandemic.

Mr. Buono said technology solutions allow businesses “to look at data, tell them where their customers are, and what sort of behaviors they may have online.”

For the logistics industry, the new normal means operating in a peak-like environment for the entire year.

UPS alone has gotten more than 600 flights in the second quarter of 2020 and more than 260 in the third quarter to cater to the demand coming out of Asia, Mr. Buono said.

This B-Side episode was recorded remotely on November 27. Produced by Nina M. Diaz, Paolo L. Lopez, and Sam L. Marcelo.

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