Freight and Shipping companies are always in the front line, and from the very beginning of the outbreak of the Coronavirus in China in November 2019, which is a huge market for e-commerce industry and a large portion of the international shipments come from there, they realized that unprecedented measures need to be taken to cope with this unprecedented situation.
More than 200 freight and shipping companies in the UAE found themselves amongst unanticipated situations where they had at the same time not only to meet their customer’s needs but also to anticipate them. So how did they solve this dilemma? The answer falls under two magical words; flexibility and agility to change, to cope, to adopt new methods, and to anticipate and expect even amongst all this uncertainty that accompanied the global emergency.
Pplus is one of the pioneering regional shipping companies that was established in Kuwait in 2005 laying the foundation for a new stage for this industry through adopting from the very beginning the innovative approach that focuses on the future. The adoption of this approach helped the company, that operates in UAE through an equipped operation team and a state-of-the-art fleet of vehicles, handle the situation in a better way maximizing the pros and minimizing the cons.
Pplus team had to handle the crisis on two parallel levels; dealing with the current situation and while keeping an eye on the daily and even hourly updates planning for the near future. It is now easy to be narrated, but it was very challenging for the team who doubled and tripled its efforts and worked 24\7 to maintain the same level of service without affecting the interests of the customers. The office became a beehive where every single member of the team was assigned a specific task. The leadership of Pplus always believes that acting fast is the ideal approach and especially during times of crisis.
Quick yet vital steps were taken; a crisis committee was formed to take the critical decisions thorough out the crisis, the leaders were educated about the social and economic context of the situation for them to take well-studied decisions, responses and transparent communication with customers were developed taking into consideration the new procedures and policies set by the government and the airports, reorientation of the ecosystem was adopted, and most importantly the safety of the employees who were at the front line since then until now was considered as a high priority that won’t be gambled under any circumstance.
In record time, the capacity of Pplus was maximized and their safety was maintained, the Customer Support team was provided with the latest systems needed to communicate and interact with customers while working from home where they were fully operating as if they were working from the office thanks to the developing systems that all of them were equipped with and trained on by the beginning of the crisis. Our connections and communication with airports and airlines made it easier for our team to keep our customers informed with the updates.
Daily updates were being sent to the team informing them of the latest updates of the crisis and its effect on the industry and consequently the needed actions to be taken to cope with these updates. The Operations team was creating solutions on the spot to deal with the changes that take place due to the governmental procedures and policies.
Pplus enhanced its current resources and benefitted from all team’s potential converting this crisis into an opportunity to grow and thrive. Shipping was one of the most growing industries during the crisis and although studies are now taking place to understand customers’ behaviors companies should now focus on capturing this moment of success and build on it. It becomes obvious that the companies who had a well-planned strategy from the beginning and who were able to use the digital tools wisely are the ones who benefitted the most of the situation.
The extraordinary standards that the customers enjoyed during this crisis raised the bar and paved the way for a new era for shipping and logistics companies.