With concerns about the Coronavirus growing, more and more events are being cancelled, to the disappointment of people who want to attend plays, concerts, or learn about trade show logistics in an expo. But as the old saying goes, “Every cloud has a silver lining”, something the freight and logistics sector has become very aware of recently.
FreightWaves’ SONAR platform, which is used to keep track of logistics and freight, saw an uptick in Canada’s Outbound Tender Volume Index, showing an increase in freight activity in spite of the coronavirus. There are other factors that are in play, but this increase in activity mirrors that of the United States.
One particular company, Titanium Transportation Group, reported a notable uptick in business. Company Chief Operating Officer Marlyn Daniel stated that the company isn’t rooting for the pandemic, but it reflects the truth that, even with a pandemic, freight and logistics are always in demand. Daniel noted that a few sectors, like paper, saw an increase in demand even with the fears and risks of the pandemic.
The panic-buying that popped up in Canada and the US has included face masks and toilet paper. The demand boom is good for the freight sector, at least in the short term, the long term effects are cause for concern as disruption of the global supply chain from China ripples out to other countries.
The Canadian government has been working to cut down the impact of COVID-19 to the country, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently announcing a CAD$1bn fund to help the economy. Meanwhile, in contrast to the US, front-line health workers are now getting regular tests for COVID-19.
Freight is getting hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, same as any other industry.
According to Canadian Trucking Alliance President Steve Laskowski, the industry will feel the impact as major events and conventions get cancelled, as they’re a chance to learn about tradeshow logistics, and a key attractor of people.
Event cancellations due to the COVID-19 are growing, with the Arctic Winter Games in the Yukon, which was set to happen at March 16, being one of the most notable cancellations.