Warehousing during COVID-19 faces unforeseen pressure

Published: 03 April 2020

Warehousing during COVID-19 faces unforeseen pressure

Retail and production lines are trying to keep the standards expected during the intense supply and demand because of the coronavirus pandemic, this includes warehouse operations staying up to scratch and moving loads and backloads across the globe wherever they are required.

At the same time, many warehouses are under consideration for closure as health and safety regulations highlight the concerns that could be significant for the health and safety of their employees and workers during the pandemic. Due to this, many employees have their own concerns about whether their working facilities are following regulations properly.

Sharing very similar circumstances with hauliers under a firm and owner drivers completing work with a haulage contractor. Clothing store Next has reverted their decision to close all warehouses for the foreseeable, keeping some facilities open and instead offering staff bonuses for salary if they decide to continue working during the crisis period.

Reports say the British Retail Consortium is in touch with officials to ensure that social distancing rules are followed in all warehousing locations as part of retail agencies requirements if they wish to continue meeting health and safety standards.

Many facilities working in the retail sector have been told by the government to close any facilities that aren’t required, while many hope to maintain movement of goods with current owner driver contracts and storage spaces available. Relying more importantly on digital sales for revenue.

Despite recent changes, NEXT say they have “listened carefully” to team members, considering they “increasingly feel they should be at home in the current climate”. BRC is handling discussions with Alok Sharma, business secretary of Next, reminding them of the importance of matching standards set by the Government to combat the COVID-19 outbreak

Many trade unions have expressed their criticisms towards firms such as Asos and Amazon in regards to their working conditions and the effect it could have on their workers as well as others during the outbreak. The trade body has suggested many measures for firms, including staggering worker breaks - enabling each worker to tackle social distancing much easier.

Many retailers have signed a joint letter with retail chief executives, which aims to discuss many of the concerns that both parties share. However, while this has been discussed the issues have, as of yet, not been taken forward.

The BRC has not offered any comments to reporters. 

One thing that is for certain, as logistics becomes a much more complicated issue - many drivers and warehouse facilities are feeling an urgent need for storage space. Thankfully, services like the Warehouse Exchange are here to help! Warehouse Exchange Offers a completely FREE and easy to use service for warehouse providers and businesses looking for warehouse space to have a platform to advertise their availability and look for available warehouse space. Submit a free storage enquiry here today!

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