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Retail supply chains: Learning lessons from disruption

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic the images of empty supermarket shelves highlighted the limitations of just-in-time supply chains, but how did retailers really fare in the face of the crisis? Even before the arrival of the virus supply chains had been in transition, impacted by a range of factors such as changing consumer preferences, evolving trade conditions or increased pressure around sustainability ‒ requirements which have forced retailers to rethink their procurement strategy. However, general preparedness seems to be lacking. According to a global survey of supply chain executives conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit, retail sector respondents are less likely to agree that their organisation reacts well to disruptions in the supply chain than their counterparts in the lifestyle and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sectors.

Retail supply chains: Learning lessons from disruption

Adapting to a Changing Retail Supply Chain

The spread of COVID-19 and ensuing isolation measures has led to a drastic shift in consumer demand that is presenting huge challenges to retailers. For many retailers, forced shop closures and cautious consumer spending has led to a significant downturn in demand for non-essential items resulting in a massive surplus of inventory. Conversely, essential items such as food and medical supplies have seen unprecedented spikes in demand resulting in significant out-of-stock scenarios.

Keeping the Shelves Stocked

Trends and Challenges in Supermarket Supply Chains

Supermarket supply chains are complicated at the best of times. However, this complexity is only likely to grow amid rising geopolitical pressures and black swan events like COVID-19 which have exposed just how vulnerable global logistics is to disruption. As a result, businesses across the world are shifting focus towards improving the resilience and flexibility of their supply chains in order to better prepare for future disruptions. For supermarkets, however, this poses some unique challenges that are exacerbated by decreasing profit margins, waning customer loyalty, and the rise of omnichannel shopping.

In this report, we hear from Maersk’s Global Head of Retail, Johanna Hainz, Global Head of Cold Chain Logistics, Katharina Poehlmann, and European Head of Program Management, Jordi Avellaneda De La Calle, on the challenges supermarkets are facing today and what solutions are available to them.


The changing shape of E-commerce Logistics

With millions of consumers switching online amidst stay-at-home measures and the forced closure of non-essential stores, lifestyle companies have had to pivot their logistics to meet the extraordinary rise in e-commerce demand. However, the impact of COVID-19 has made e-commerce logistics more complex than ever before with even the most established online lifestyle companies being pushed to the limit.

In this report that you can get access to below, we examine COVID-19’s impact on e-commerce logistics and interview Martin Holme, Maersk Global Head of Supply Chain Management and E-commerce Logistics and Christoph Stork, Maersk Global Managing Director of E-commerce Logistics to explore what it means for supply chains now, and in the future.

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