COVID-19: FAQ

By World Courier |

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Have you witnessed an impact on transport lanes?

Globally, restrictions on using certain lanes has led to extra freight costs and increased lead times. Meanwhile, certain lanes have been restricted in different municipalities in Italy. Although not every country with cases of COVID-19 will experience a substantial impact on transport lanes, we expect that there will continue to be disturbances as the situation progresses. Our operational updates on this page will continue to bring you the latest news.

2. What is your risk management and business continuity plan in relation to COVID-19?

In these exceptional circumstances, World Courier understands the importance of safeguarding the supply chain and ensuring business continuity. Using our risk-based contingency planning system, which anticipates any potential adverse events, will allow us to:

  • Identify risks and key business activities related to storage of products
  • Set preventative actions to mitigate the aforementioned risks
  • Evaluate impact of loss of key activities and assign priorities
  • Outline actions to be taken in response to an incident to minimize disruption of service
  • Outline actions to recover from incidents as soon as possible

The above approach has been incorporated to the contingency planning process SOP and applies to all our decision making in relation to COVID-19.

3. Have you noticed any customs clearance delays – and if so, have you taken any measures to mitigate the issue?

Some disruption should be expected as customs authorities and consignees brokers are impacted by the situation. However, World Courier has always tailored the route and transport for each individual consignment. Consignment planning, particularly during an outbreak of a virus, takes into consideration all available information concerning risks related to the shipment, including potential service-critical disruptions and government decisions - to ensure the safe arrival in the optimum condition and within the shortest possible transit time.

4. What actions have you taken to protect your associates? 

Our commitment to associates’ health has also led us to take extra precautions throughout the supply chain including:

  • If an associate develops a cold or any flu like symptoms, they are advised to stay at home and if an immediate family member or anyone living with an associate of World Courier has been asked to self-isolate, we ask them to take the same precaution – and to notify their manager immediately.
  • Our associates are encouraged to work from home where possible, while maintaining our service capabilities. We have also implemented rotating shifts where an office presence is required.
  • Between March 9, 2020 and May 31, 2020, all our associates are obliged not to conduct any business travel that requires flight or rail, domestically or internationally. All training, workshops, and meetings are now exclusively conducted using teleconferencing technology.
  • All attendance at internal and external trade shows has been cancelled. We have also paused visits to our facilities by third parties.
  • Full support, inclusive of protective equipment, is supplied to front line associates (e.g. drivers).
  • From March 24, 2020 we implemented contact-free pick-up and delivery process.
5. Should a large number of the World Courier staff fall ill, what options do you have to maintain capacity?

We have the capacity to shift resources from one region to another, providing there are no restrictions on such travel. Additionally, in most of our departments, we are expanding our capacity to allow employees to work from home.

6. Do you expect any capacity issues/volume spikes, and would healthcare loads such as ours be prioritized in any way?

We are closely monitoring the situation globally with input from our local offices. Capacity constraints may arise from a widening of the outbreak. We continue to work closely with our airline partners to ascertain if foreseeable reductions in freight capacities are imminent. Notwithstanding this, our global logistics network can shift transportation from air transport to ground, in particular throughout Europe. 

7. What actions are you taking to recover from incidents while minimizing disruption of service?

Our ongoing assessment of the epidemic helps us to determine immediate and foreseeable actions to maintain on-time delivery for all our clients. By consistently aiming to optimize supply chains, we can minimize failures, through alternative routing and contingency measures, when required. Our increased risk evaluation of critical shipments from pick up to delivery also helps to minimize disruption of service.

8. How can World Courier support with reaching patients who are impacted by restrictions related to the outbreak?

Direct-to-Patient (DtP) services are a means to extend clinical trials and specialty medicine delivery programs to patients at home. Due to the dynamic nature of the outbreak, local situations are evolving rapidly. Operationally, feasibility for DtP services is assessed and managed case-by-case. We are committed to ensuring that we do everything possible to assist patients – while complying with local limitations and considering the health and safety of our associates.

9. How is World Courier dealing with the impact of the travel restrictions?

Since the global outbreak of COVID-19, many airlines have suspended their operations leading to widespread restrictions on passenger flights. Several countries have also temporarily banned imports and exports. We want to reassure you of our commitment to service provision. We are continually evaluating the situation and our response to it, including the use of alternative carriers, advanced booking with cargo providers, different routes and entry points. 

10. Should I do anything different when it comes to shipment planning?

Please liaise with your World Courier Customer Representative as usual, but be aware that dynamic changes in pick-up and delivery destinations require additional planning time. Please contact us as far in advance as possible so that we can develop optimal solutions together.

11. How have you implemented a contact-free pickup and delivery Process?

Contact-free pick-up and delivery of all shipments are part of our approach during the COVID-19 pandemic. These process modifications are temporary and in line with World Health Organization guidance on social distancing, use of personal protective equipment and infection control. In all cases, more stringent local guidance will take precedence. These changes will be implemented where possible from March 24, 2020 and will be in place until further notice. 

12. Have you noticed any customs clearance delays – and if so, have you taken any measures to mitigate the issue?

Some disruption should be expected as customs authorities and consignees brokers are impacted by the situation. However, World Courier has always tailored the route and transport for each individual consignment. Consignment planning, particularly during an outbreak of a virus, takes into consideration all available information concerning risks related to the shipment, including potential service-critical disruptions and government decisions - to ensure the safe arrival in the optimum condition and within the shortest possible transit time.

Our Commitment

We aim to maintain a transparent line of communication regarding issues that may affect shipments. World Courier endeavors to minimize the impact of the outbreak on services through close collaboration and open communication with all partners. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely, proactively taking steps to help reduce the impact on services and on-time delivery.

For more information on using our services to or from a particular lane or country, please contact your local office. And for further guidance on the impact to your supply chain, please access AmerisourceBergen's latest COVID-19 updates.