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UPS expects surge in delivery volume despite pandemic crisis

By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter

LOGISTICS firm United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) anticipates a spike in the delivery of goods in the Philippines in the first two weeks of December amid a pandemic crisis, a company official said.

“In the Philippines, it’s interesting that the holiday season here is kind of top and down. In the last two weeks of December, there are a lot of companies that shut down, so we do see a lot of volumes spike in the early part of the December period, especially that people are trying to get deals from their online marketplaces,” UPS Philippines Managing Director Chris Buono told BusinessWorld in a recent online interview.

He added, “I fully expect that the same is going to happen in the Philippines this year.”

As for the impact of the ongoing pandemic crisis on the logistics industry, Mr. Buono said: “This new normal means operating in a peak-like environment for almost the entire year.”

“We’ve gotten more than 600 flights in the second quarter of 2020 and more than 260 in the third quarter to cater the demand coming out of Asia,” he noted.

He also said the global health crisis has put the spotlight on the importance of logistics and ensuring business continuity.

UPS has noticed that companies have become “more mature,” as they try to continue to grow amid a public health crisis, according to Mr. Buono.

“They’ve learned a lot over the last eight months, and they’ve become much more mature,” he noted.

He also said digital tools being made available to businesses help them identify growth opportunities during the pandemic crisis “by allowing them to look at data, which tell them where the customers are and what sort of behaviors they may have online.”

To stay afloat during the pandemic, shippers should be “flexible” with options to keep the goods moving, “either through transportation modes and transit time, cost, or the size and quantity of shipments,” Mr. Buono explained.

Companies also need to look at solutions that provide cost-effective alternatives in order to maintain a sense of normalcy, he said.

Companies that face supply chain challenges “may also move available inventory away from affected areas, so that their products can be easily accessed for shipping.”

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