COVID-19: In Search of Solutions for Maritime Supply Chains

Chin Yim Leng


The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a remarkable impact on maritime supply chains. Since its first case in the capital of China’s Hubei province, Wuhan, Chinese seaborne trading activities were greatly affected – reports of weakening manufacturing confidence, decreasing demand for non-essential goods worldwide, and reduced workforce has surfaced since the massive transmission of COVID-19 in January 2020. Many European and Asian countries, including the United States, have responded to the pandemic in March 2020 by imposing strict containment measures. The implementation of national lockdowns or movement restrictions in pandemic-affected countries has led to rapid contractions in maritime supply chains. The wide-ranging impacts of COVID-19 on manufacturing and trading demands have created the need for different importing speeds based on essentiality, thus deteriorating the maritime supply chains. Governments and relevant authorities, as well as private entities, should take initiatives to ensure that maritime supply chains remain fully functional for national and commercial interests as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses. It could be ideal to adopt digitalisation and blockchains as these digital processes are easy to access and control in optimising the efficiency of maritime supply chains amidst the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

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