Coronavirus and the future of dynamic global supply chains
At the time of going to press the coronavirus outbreak is fast becoming a human tragedy on an unprecedented scale.
As it’s declared a pandemic, there were nearly 148,000 cases globally and more than 81,000 cases in mainland China, with cases on every continent except Antarctica. It’s having a growing impact on the global economy and the financial markets have crashed. The first known case of coronavirus is thought to be back to November in China, by February 2020 the coronavirus epidemic severely manufacturing in China as whole provinces went on lock-down, and supply chains slowed or ceased.
Tex Plastics providing stop gap measures for UK manufacturers
The evolving situation and implications for UK manufacturers across virtually every sector is impacting production. As finished goods, raw material and plastic moulded components stop flowing from China, Tex Management teams have been working with our UK manufacturing customers. Since early January 2020, we have been putting in measures and processes to enable them to supplement their supply chains wherever possible. There is no doubt that the focus of everyone right now is containing and dealing with what we face on a humanitarian front, but the economic ramifications must be second in line to this; as we seek to protect UK manufacturing businesses from the impact wherever possible.
Will this change the face of global supply chains?
We have seen that robust public-health responses, like those in China outside Hubei and in Singapore, can help stem the epidemic. But it remains to be seen how these factors will play out and the direct impact they will have. The economic impact is uncertain and a global slowdown and a pandemic-driven recession looms. Tex Plastics had already seen the dramatic rise in the green movement creating pressure to reduce the carbon impact of goods manufactured. Our exit from the EU has created uncertainty with international trade routes. These factors had driven sales of UK manufacturers looking to repatriate their manufacturing before the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The speed and dramatic changes each of these factors now had on global supply chains has been without comparison. It may be the tipping point to ensure if companies who do continue with a global supply chain, at least have a robust plan B with local providers equipped to supplement production in times of uncertainty.