Interestingly, Iowa would be the focus of an article about the global supply chain, shipping, and trade. The article, which provided commentary by Victor Restis, a Greek shipping magnate and president of Enterprises Shipping & Trading S.A., raises some interesting points and provides a full view of an industry that many of us do not think about much.
Iowa, and states like it, are vital to the supply chain providing food from livestock including pork, chicken, beef, and agriculture like corn and soybeans. Each provides millions with the sustenance they need to survive as human beings. The COVID-19 outbreak tested our systems and have caused a litany of problems we are still trying to figure out.
First, containing the spread of the virus is proving difficult, especially here in America. Cases are surging, yet people still complain about wearing face masks and refuse to social distance. The virus reduced the number of workers at the plants in Iowa to the point where the industry had to euthanize thousands of pigs because the backlog became too high!? Think about that. What happens if the virus continues to infect people and entire supply chains shut down because there isn’t anyone available to operate the systems? There is no time to automate human resources, so the industry has to seriously think of ways to protect its employees because the employees preserve the supply chain.
In Iowa City, several families have already launched lawsuits against because their family members contracted the virus while at work and died. The company in question, Tyson Foods, allegedly knew the virus was spreading out of control through their plants but kept the information from employees and the general public. Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that the company failed to provide essential safety measures and allowed sick employees to remain on the production line.
Now, as this is just one example, I am sure there will be more. America is an extremely litigious country, and we sue for everything! With that said, I hope the c-suite leaders in shipping, like Mr. Restis, can sit down and come up with ideas and new processes to ensure that another pandemic does not affect the global supply chain. So far, they seem to be doing well as there weren’t significant breaks in the supply chain.
I hope we don’t have to do this again any time soon. But then again, we are still dealing with this pandemic, and it is showing no signs of letting up anytime soon.
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