Change in real life, mask supply chain solution



In 2020 and early 2021 the Covid-19 pandemic hit the entire globe like no other pandemic during the last decades. Besides everybody’s life also the logics sector is impacted due to changing demands, focus on other commodities and a logistics infrastructure which is impacted as well.


To protect the German citizens against COVID-19 the German government defined guidelines for the daily life which included social distance, hygiene and wearing masks. Based on these rules a strong demand for PPE (personal protective equipment) occurred. People in Germany had to get used to wear masks and learn about the different types and the protective capabilities. In many Asian countries wearing masks is already common practise, but for people in Germany this situation was challenging and scary.


Key requirements of a ‘mask supply chain’ concept:

The commercial impact on the German economy was massive. Especially masks from Asia arrived by all transport modes and from one day to the next new logistics concept had to be developed. The key challenge is to transfer the high volumes into a well-organized but flexible supply chain structure which allows a speedy distribution of the masks in Germany and Europe. Along this process a full transparency is required to fulfil the guidelines of the consumer and /or governmental organizations.


One of the long term import customers of Brelog started the production of all types of masks in self-owned production sites in China and started to import approx. 750 x 40’ containers by sea and train plus multiple airfreight part-charters. Due to one-stop-shop approach and high service level Brelog got the award to ramp up the logistics infrastructure in Germany.


The Brelog ‘mask supply chain’ solution:

To handle the volumes and complexity Brelog opened a private container depot in Hamburg and implemented warehouse capacities in Bremen for the storage and distribution of the masks. To support the customer’s cash flow Brelog set up a customs concept including warehouse capacities under customs bond. The container related status information, the inventory and the stock level information are shared with the customer and involved entities in China and Germany with a web-based file exchange logic which enabled the customer to have a proper planning. Master references like lot no. were considered during the entire handling and administration process.


Outlook on 2022:

One fact is obvious – Covid 19 changed our lifes. It will not be gone, vanish or disappear. The demand for PPE products will remain on a high level and new players might decide to enter this market. Brelog has the solution, know how and enthusiastic logistics experts.


Text source: Brelog


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