The Covid-19 pandemic and what is being touted as The Great Lockdown has had significant and lingering effects on everyone across the globe. From individual impacts on job loss, work locations, work flows and task-sets / job functions, to organisational impacts on finances, structure and staffing, and business strategy, to market impacts on customer behaviour and consumption trends.

These effects have undoubtedly created challenges for many – especially for private-sector businesses that were operating successful business models linked into the global supply chain. Many had to deal in real-time with the sudden lockdowns, the evolving regulations and the ambiguity that surrounded health restrictions on commerce and travel. To keep this going with severe revenue curtailments and various work-processes and orders in train – for many – demanded every ounce of management innovation and creativity just to ensure we survive.

For other players, the impacts amplified demand  – for such sectors as Healthcare and ICT – that strained existing policies, procedures, personnel and infrastructure. The sudden need to scale up, even as others had ground to a halt and personnel movement was restricted in many instances, placed intense demands on operational coordination and synergy – demanding levels of performance that were previously relegated to case-studies on isolated instances.

But every night ends with daylight, and the darkest cloud has a silver lining. We have been forced to revisit our workplace models, re-connect with our families and neighbors, re-evaluate work-life balances and its configurations, and embrace a new level of technology tools and techniques that hold the promise of a new era in global trade. Demand for international fulfillment is increasing, orders are up, and the technology-shift that we are undergoing has created new opportunities for all stakeholders – to businesses in gaining access to international clientele, and to customers discovering products best-suited to their needs and preferences.

We are witnessing the transition into the new (4th) industrial revolution – with an information-driven, increasingly globalized operating marketplace that bears transition challenges and opportunities throughout the world. This demands meticulous attention to details, increased accuracy in projections and estimates, within simplified structures that offer business the flexibility to realize maximum value. We also need to recognize that the effective transition into this ‘new normal’ demands that business are not left alone to face the VUCA (volatile, uncertain, chaotic and ambiguous) environment. When effects emerge, a firm needs to know it can count on the support, understanding and flexibility of its partners and service providers to ensure it can continue to operate, and win, in its response to whatever the environment throws at it.

At GCM, we know all too well the challenges and demands that are placed on firms at this incredibly bizzare chapter in our collective human history. We too have faced our share – as we  have been from inception. From the tech bubble burst of 2000, the profound growth over nearly a decade to the global financial crisis of 2008/2009, the jobless growth rebound and now the Great Lockdown era… being involved in global supply chain and striving to serve our customers has meant we had to constantly adjust to ensure that customers were able to plug into the global supply chain, or adjust as prevailing times demanded. This meant being in constant communication as was needed. This meant going the extra mile. It meant being willing to revisit arrangements and lend advice where necessary… – all to ensure that customers were able to not only land or dispatch a critical shipment, but do so profitably.

This phase of our collective experience has brought challenges along with opportunities. We firmly believe that as conditions improve – and no doubt it will – firms will need to know they have partners who are with them for the long haul, and who they can rely on to ensure their needs are met.

This is why GCMAM has reconfigured its service portfolio and operations to ensure effective, flexible service delivery. This is why we have focused on developing Integrated Shipping Solutions that can meet your business and individual needs no matter the size, scale or scope. This is why GCM deserves to be Your Partner in Global Trade. We look forward to serving you now, and into the future. Contact us today and let us know how we can help you with your global shipping  needs.

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