Experts assessed the impact of coronavirus on international logistics

The coronavirus pandemic will not have a long-term global impact on international logistics, and according to the optimistic scenario, freight traffic can return to the pre-crisis level in six months, experts said during an online discussion of the Valdai Club.

“I do not expect any drastic changes in connection with the pandemic, because modern production cannot be organized within the framework of one economy,” said Farid Shafiyev, chairman of the Azerbaijan Center for Analysis and International Relations.

According to him, the flow of goods between Asia and Western Europe and vice versa will continue. “Commodity circulation, production capacities, the principle of outsourcing will continue. And despite the threat of trade wars, I believe that China and the Asian region as a whole will be an industrial hub. Even taking into account the fact that Japan, for example, wants to withdraw production capacities from China, it’s more likely in total, they will be withdrawn to the nearest countries – India, Indonesia, Vietnam, “he explained.

According to him, in a pandemic, they may prefer land routes rather than sea routes, in which there are risks due to crowded people on board. In this regard, the route between Europe and China through Russia is of great importance, the expert noted. “One more

A promising project is the North-South transport corridor. Considering that outsourcing to India may increase even from China, they say that many industries will be transferred to India, the Indian Ocean-Iran-Azerbaijan-Russia-Europe route will acquire a certain significance, ”the expert added.

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Shafiev believes that freight traffic will reach the pre-crisis level. “These are some temporary difficulties, maybe for half a year, if there are no cataclysms,” he said.

“We cannot say that this situation will have long-term consequences,” agreed the director of the Hapag-Lloyd Center for Transportation and Global Logistics, associate professor of the Department of Maritime Logistics at the Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg, Michele Accharo.

Sea shipping between Asia and Europe is ongoing, he said. “There are certain delays, but the ships are fully loaded. I believe that there will be no major interruptions in transportation,” the expert noted. At the same time, he pointed out a high level of uncertainty in consumption by customers, as well as a decrease in purchasing power due to rising unemployment.

However, according to Achcharo, the industry is able to withstand the crisis. “I believe that there are opportunities for the sector to withstand. The uncertainty factor, of course, will affect our development in the coming months. Of course, there will be a slowdown – in particular, in investment projects. But the situation may turn into an advantage: maybe we will move from traditional supply methods to alternative ones. We also need to adjust the regulatory standards in order to adapt to this situation, “he said.

“The decline is temporary. After six months, it seems to me that volumes will return to their previous norm,” the expert concluded.

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