Furthermore, it is reported that truck drivers coming from Italy are checked at Czech border crossings to make sure they are not suffering from fever. This would be a first warning sign for the authorities to question and examine the persons concerned more closely. It is also said that that more and more foreign truck drivers are refusing to drive tours to Italy, as they fear an infection with Covid-19, especially as some regions are closed off there and the customers cannot be reached then. Companies that source parts of their imports via the Mediterranean region have also expressed initial concerns that some goods could become scarce.
Further logistical challenges
Meanwhile, Polish traders report strong demand for products such as rice and bulgur, but at the same time face transport difficulties. The recent mass stockpiling of many private households means that supermarkets need to be supplied with replenishments more often, which may mean that transport options are scarce.
Hygiene is everything
German logistics companies are reporting lower turnover figures, and there are currently only a few shipments from China in particular. However, import figures in the first two months of 2020 have been good. Many warehouses should be filled. Disinfectants and corresponding hygiene instructions are being made available for all employees. Compliance is particularly important for drivers who travel across Europe on their tours. As the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) only confirmed today, infections caused by imported food are not to be assumed.
Alternative sources are needed
In order to maintain production as long as possible, food manufacturers are looking at alternative sources of supply for their most important products. Security stockpiling is also an issue and possible stock replenishment should be considered.