Tag: Transportation

Empty Store Shelves

The Coronavirus and Empty Shelves

Why a centralized freight network is needed now more than ever

Empty Store Shelves

In the midst of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, several fundamental but oft-forgotten truths have come roaring back into the spotlight:

 

·  Unexpected and widespread emergencies – like pandemics or natural disasters – will always send large numbers of people (including healthy survivors) into a panic.

·  Panic buying will always exist. Uncertainty, fear, and a perceived loss of control pushes many into “survival mode” – leading to overstocking and hoarding of supplies that may not be needed or warranted.

·  When you add panic buying to the inherent challenges specific to any particular crisis, you end up with supply chain disruptions – sometimes with life-and-death consequences.

 

While health experts scramble to contain the COVID-19 virus, supply chain experts are scrambling to keep products moving, and stores stocked. Apocalyptic images showing supermarket shelves stripped bare of essentials like toilet paper and canned food clearly illustrate the challenges they’re facing. Decades-old supply chain inefficiencies are once again being exposed.

 

Business and political leaders are reassuring citizens that there is no shortage of food or supplies. So why are so many shelves empty?

 

“The supplies are actually there, there’s just no visibility into the network,” says LaneAxis Founder and CEO Rick Burnett. “The truckers are out there, and the carriers are out there, and the products are there. It’s just, there’s no visibility to be able to move those products on a timely fashion to be replenished on a day-to-day basis, so that people now realize that there’s plenty of supply. They don’t have to go buy what they feel like is a 2 or 3 month supply.”

 

Burnett says the time is now to develop a centralized, data-backed, on-demand freight network – stressing that many people don’t realize 90% of trucking companies are small and independent, owning 10 trucks or less. Some trucking “companies” consist of exactly one truck, also known as owner-operators. A centralized, data-backed freight network would give these legitimate, hard-working small carriers the same equal access to freight as the big guys. 

 

Once the COVID-19 crisis abates and overseas import restrictions are lifted, a flood of goods will pour onto U.S. shores – especially from China. American ports will be overwhelmed, pallets will pile up, and trucking will again be put to the test. It will be a chaotic scene.

 

The LaneAxis platform is designed to handle and manage these capacity spikes – be it during the holidays or supply chain emergencies like COVID-19.

“Providing visibility into a network, and building a single network, is going to help with the flux of supply and demand caused by the Coronavirus [outbreak] today,” adds Burnett. “But in the future, when the next pandemic happens, or there’s a state-of-emergency within the United States, we can immediately dispatch and provide visibility into products that need to move into a particular area because we know where all the drivers are, we know where the drivers have been, and we also have visibility into their hours of service. What LaneAxis is focused on is building that globalized communication – that network perspective that could unify the entire freight transportation industry, particularly in times of crisis..”

 

Burnett stresses LaneAxis is not out to “exploit” a serious emergency – they want to fix the serious supply-chain problems the emergency has exposed. The present crisis is a real-time case study illustrating the importance of having a modern, streamlined, and data-backed transportation network – the kind of network that could drastically lessen the potential of future emergencies bringing the supply chain to its knees. The system we are building will do just that.

 

LaneAxis is currently holding an equity crowdfund on StartEngine to accelerate development and growth of this transportation network. We are offering the average citizen a chance to own a piece of transportation’s future. 

 

To learn more, visit startengine.com/laneaxis-inc.