How Will COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Impact Transportation Capacity in Each Mode

Sourcing transportation capacity is vital to the supply chain. Finding available capacity within each mode, including parcel, remains elusive to companies during peak season. And for the 2020 peak season shipping season, the uncertainty surrounding a COVID-19 vaccine distribution will have a profound impact on the demand for advanced analytics.

The Seemingly Insurmountable Odds of COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

The public health crisis created by COVID-19 means that everyone will need a vaccine as soon as possible. As reported by Patrick Burnson via Supply Chain Management Review:

"Commenting on the news of a potential vaccine for COVID-19, Professor Richard Wilding OBE, Professor of Supply Chain Strategy at Cranfield University, notes that this is likely to be one of the biggest supply chain management challenges we have faced this century. A successful rapid deployment of any proven vaccine doesn't just rely on the amount of vaccine produced. It relies on multiple factors such as infrastructure, information systems, and having a workforce that can administer the vaccine." As a result, supply chain professionals will be scrambling to find available capacity as soon as initial vaccine distribution channels are set.

Shippers and the Need to Prepare

Preparation is essential to COVID-19 vaccine distribution. And while Pfizer is working on that with the major carriers, SMB shippers and enterprise companies, need to recognize its clear impact. When the vaccine is fully approved and shipped, parcel and LTL, and full truckload, capacity will inevitably contract. That amounts to higher costs for shippers and additional delays. Those are problems throughout any peak season. However, the COVID-19 vaccine distribution is likely to coincide with the height of Peak season.

Vaccine Distribution: The Impact on your Capacity During Peak Season€‹

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Tips to Mitigate COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Disruption

Shippers need to start thinking about how the impacts of a COVID-19 vaccine distribution disruption will translate into meaningful actions for the supply chain. Why? Well, improvements within the supply chain are not just ideal for shipping a frozen, if not super-chilled vaccine; they're essential to combatting the virus's resurgence until the vaccine is widely available. Fortunately, supply chain leaders can pre-empt the pressure by thinking about the top challenges as opportunities to improve, saysSupply & Demand Chain Executive. For example, here are several tips that can help companies prepare for the immediate ramp up, if not complete halt, of operations upon release of the vaccine:

  1. Expand the shipping network across lanes, carriers, and locations.
  2. Recognize that the vaccine will disrupt freight schedules.
  3. Start thinking about your cold chain assets.
  4. Increase real-time visibility and tracking of chilled freight.
  5. Consider applying for government resources, if available, to assist with the supply chain scale up for fasterCOVID-19 vaccine distribution.
  6. Leverage analytics to unlock added opportunities to conserve resources and manage existing and expected peak freight more efficiently.

Outsourcing Business Intelligence Is Key

Regardless of what steps a company takes, it all boils down to data. The data indicate that a shortage is inevitable. Companies that can source transportation capacity across all modes will need advanced intelligence solutions, including analytics, finding capacity, bringing on new carriers, and tech-driven management. Visit Intelligent Audit onlineto learn what else to do today.


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