With the disruptions in the global logistics industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic, operators in the industry have emphasised the need for improved digitalisation to remain relevant in meeting the needs of critical sectors.
One of such operators, DHL Global Forwarding Nigeria noted that while the lockdown affected operations in the global value chain, it was an opportunity to show resilience and deliver critical raw materials and equipment to industries.
Country Manager at DHL Global Forwarding Nigeria, Maureen Adibuah, in an e-mail response to The Guardian, noted that the company was at the forefront during the lockdown, ensuring clearance and transporting/delivering goods from state to state leveraging inter-state passes that allowed trucks and staff to move with essential goods from one state to the other.
Adibuah explained that though businesses and organizations in Nigeria struggled to adapt their operational response to manage through the Covid-19 period, the firm proactively activated work from home before the official lockdown by the country to continue to support customers remotely without much disruption.
“At the heat of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was restriction of movements and, subsequently, a total lockdown. DHL, being a second-level essential service in Nigeria, received the necessary authorizations that enabled our selected frontline staff to provide the much-needed essential services during this period.
“Also, our warehousing services were not left unattended. We strategized to ensure that customers’ production lines did not stop because of lack of raw materials or equipment from the airport in Lagos or the seaport in Port Harcourt.
“We kept all customers abreast of whatever changes and solutions we had to implement to ensure smooth process flow, ranging from customs clearance, deliveries, safety and security measures, and warehousing operations.
“Despite the challenges, we regard the ongoing pandemic as an opportunity to accelerate the digital transformation of the industry, and we will continue to advance towards digitalizing our businesses. This confirms that our decision to embark on our digitalization agenda years ago as a group was the absolute right decision. We do not have to “guess” what is right and what is not, as we could base all our critical decisions on facts and data”.
“The current pandemic has not impacted our vision for the future. We are keeping pace with our plans. Back in 2019, we set about the Group’s business strategy over the next five years – “Strategy 2025 – Delivering Excellence in the Digital World” – and highlighted four key trends that we believe will dominate the industry narrative and progress. These are globalization, digitalization, sustainability, and e-commerce”, Adibuah added.