24 April 2020 | Hong Kong

In reviewing the global situation from a professional viewpoint, it is easy to see that Asian economies in the main are further through the Covid-19 maturity profile. As professionals, we would be wise to look at how economies are now seeking to re-establish manufacturing and retail supply chains, and safely bring back movements of goods and people. Western economies should look to Asia with a mindset of seeking to learn rather than choosing to start from the beginning again, as health systems in the west are often guilty of doing.

Hong Kong began their lockdowns shortly after the Wuhan lockdown was announced on January 23rd. Their infection rate per head of population was much lower than European levels, and they have been in the post-lockdown phase for a number of weeks now.

In summary, by March manufacturing was back at 80% capacity, but the global supply chain difficulties meant a 70% reduction of air traffic, alongside disrupted and contracted sea freight. Blockages in ports and inbound containers built up and were not cleared, and 40% of road freight capacity stood idle.

Now the supply chain markets are reacting by creating multiple independent supply chains with frequent active and responsive changes to how goods are moved and delivered.

CILT Hong Kong predicts far more direct buying and selling, especially via e-business with the use of couriers or integrators and postal services. As a result the traditional business relations between buyers and sellers will be challenged.

Financially, liquidity is the most critical issue. Businesses need to have a critical focus on cash, whilst governments and administrations will need to inject liquidity on an unprecedented scale.

In the new supply chain that develops, we will see an acceleration of the adoption of block chain and similar technologies to overcome greater control at borders and between transport modes.

You can read the detail of the diary of events and the response of the industry in this full report from CILT Hong Kong

This is an example of a business response from Hong Kong which we are sharing as part of our global best practice resource to help you think about and determine appropriate responses locally.