Micaela Sebastiani, Transadriatico: “Infrastructure and digitisation processes must be developed”

  NEWS & INTERVIEWS

In the wake of the acute phase of the health emergency, the logistics and transport sector now has to cope with higher safety costs and stricter operating procedures

 

Interview with MICAELA SEBASTIANI, Strategic & Marketing Controller at Transadriatico

 

Covid-19 and the restrictive measures consequently implemented to reduce infections had a major impact on logistics and transport operations, which still have to cope with higher costs for safety and the indirect costs involved in even stricter operating procedures. This is the outlook described by Micaela Sebastiani, Strategic & Marketing Controller at Transadriatico, a company specialising in ADR goods transport, in particular fuel for the network and industry. In an interview, Sebastiani outlined the difficulties encountered by the logistics and transport sector during the health emergency, the current situation and future prospects. The sector, she said “is obviously characterised by professional operators who carry and transfer goods, travel and often come into contact with other people at delivery points, be they factories, industrial plant, shops or homes to collect or deliver goods. Covid and the restrictive measures consequently implemented to reduce infections had a major impact on logistics activities, in terms of costs both and organisation, thereby significantly complicating the normal course of operations.”

Such measures included adaptation to new personal protective equipment, mandatory sanitation of truck cabs, wait times for loading in view of the various checks now involved and a review of procedures in order to avoid as far as possible any contact with staff in warehouses and final destinations, “generated direct and indirect additional costs, as well as causing stress for staff ‘forced’ to work with a far from negligible risk of exposure to the virus.” This was joined, said the Strategic & Marketing Controller at Transadriatico, by “a significant fall in demand, especially during the lockdown period, which in turn gave rise to a significant reduction in turnover and the loss of service optimisation, with a consequent decrease even in the contribution margin.”

As regards the current situation, Sebastiani also noted that the almost total restoration of mobility has helped the recovery, even though the current economic crisis still affects various entrepreneurial realities with a negative impact on consumption. “Fortunately, early in 2020, our company won several new orders which, albeit with a lower incidence than the budget, helped achieve a partial recovery of volumes carried in the pre-Covid period. However, we are all still impacted by higher costs for safety and the indirect costs arising from stricter operating procedures and delays in loading/unloading times,” said Sebastiani, who also mentioned that “the logistics and transport sector is very varied and unfortunately in many areas (such as air freight), probably linked with production output still significantly affected by the recession; the recovery still does not suffice to ensure economic and, above all, financial sustainability in the medium term.”

This experience, however, “taught us a great deal about the importance of prevention and respect for others and will probably change the organisation of work in the logistics sector on a permanent basis,” Sebastiani remarked, who also noted that “once the emergency is over, many best practices introduced in recent months to reduce contagion will become standard operating procedures. We hope that the good will and sacrifice exemplified by companies and workers in this sector to ensure continuity of service in extremely uncertain conditions on various levels have help improve awareness among all stakeholders: communities, clients, the state and motorway service station managers. We hope to see the creation and completion of necessary infrastructures, the streamlining of certain procedures relating to State aid and the implementation of digitisation processes, such as – in our case – the electronic DAS and integrated coding of vehicles and drivers at loading sites.” But above all, Sebastiani pointed out, “it is vitally important to coordinate all stakeholders in the effective application of the memorandum of understanding, in order to achieve the most essential goal of containing the spread of Covid-19 in the transport and logistics sector and throughout the community.”