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After several months, the coronavirus pandemic is still wreaking havoc on supply chains. Rosemarie P. Rafael, chair and president of express courier company Airspeed Philippines, tells reporter Arjay L. Balinbin what kind of commodities are moving, and what kind of technological innovations are changing the logistics industry.


On-demand delivery aggregators are doing well. Institutional mailers and traditional companies that depend on import/export are not.

The fate of a logistics company amid the pandemic depends on what kind of commodities they deliver. Those who deliver food and groceries have been in demand because of the lockdown while those in the traditional forwarding business have suffered due to the grounding of flights, which have limited their capacity.

The increasing number of players in the last-mile delivery space has sparked an unsustainable price war.

“It will not last,” said Ms. Rafael of the said price war among competitors. “Operational excellence has to be there. That cannot be supported if we do not price our service right.”

The logistics industry, like every other industry, is using technology to become as contactless as possible.

Ms. Rafael enumerated contactless payments, interbank transfers, and acronyms such as BOPIS (buy online, pick-up in store) and BOPUC (buy online, pick up curbside) as ways of reducing points of contact. “What we used to do is being transformed,” she said, adding that track-and-tracing of packages is intact without having to do manual work.

Online shopping is a bright spot for the logistics industry.
“One thing that I know: Online shopping will be there. And when there is online shopping, there is going to be delivery,” said Ms. Rafael.

Recorded remotely on August 13. Produced by Nina M. Diaz, Paolo L. Lopez, and Sam L. Marcelo.

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