Grocers are concerned over the state of shipping traceability, and those concerns are pronounced amid the COVID-19 pandemic. To stay informed, grocers need to understand a few things about the value of shipping traceability and how it can help with dock scheduling and overall management in keeping staff safe.
The Risks of Poor Shipping Traceability
Whenever poor shipping traceability is involved, there has always been a greater risk for foodborne illness. , Unfortunately, those risks only grew amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the question of whether workers are or are not considered essential. As reported by a recent New York Times article, grocer dock workers that may have been exposed to COVID-19 were advised to continue working as essential workers. Meanwhile, the issue of food traceability remains. According to James Curtis of Food Logistics:
Improved Traceability Improves Dock Staff Safety and Reduces Risk to Consumers
How to Increase Shipping Traceability
- Consider the use of blockchain to track foods from farm to table.
- Use technologies to digitize the paperwork and minimize interactions between drivers and dock staff.
- Leverage automation to reduce the time spent unloading and loading trucks.
- Centralize data storage within a cloud-based TMS.
- Use connected systems and real-time data to better manage the dock schedule.
- Reduce the risk of congestion with improved yard management to reduce contact between internal and external staff.
- Encourage social distancing by using the right equipment and the right number of laborers for each activity.
- Share all data regarding activity and scheduling with all supply chain partners to create a more cohesive “heat-map” of safety improvements within your supply chain.