The impact of COVID-19 on transport volume and freight capacity dynamics: An empirical analysis in German food retail logistics
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Governmental restrictions aspiring to slow down the spread of epidemic and pandemic outbreaks lead to impairments for economic operations, which impact transportation networks comprising the maritime, rail, air, and trucking industries. Witnessing a substantial increase in the number of infections in Germany, the authorities have imposed drastic restrictions on everyday life. Resulting panic buying and increasing home consumption had versatile impacts on transport volume and freight capacity dynamics in German food retail logistics. Due to the lack of prior research on the effects of COVID-19 on transport volume in retail logistics, as well as resulting implications, this article aspires to shed light on the phenomenon of changing volume and capacity dynamics in road haulage. After analyzing the transport volume of n = 15,715 routes in the timeframe of 23.03.2020 to 30.04.2020, a transport volume growth rate expressing the difference of real and expected transport volume was calculated. This ratio was then examined concerning the number of COVID-19 infections per day. The results of this study prove that the increasing freight volume for dry products in retail logistics does not depend on the duration of the COVID-19 epidemy but on the strength quantified through the total number of new infections per day. This causes a conflict of interest between transportation companies and food retail logistics for non-cooled transport capacity. The contributions of this paper are highly relevant to assess the impact of a possibly occurring second COVID-19 virus infection wave.
Link to resourcehttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.trip.2020.100165
- Año 2020 
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