Several shifts have been triggered by Covid-19 in the transport industry. Transport organisations now need to change their attention to find ways to keep the core
transportation system going with a skeleton workforce to ensure that freight can continue to move to key critical staff can move. The second result of the change is a sudden shift in revenue sources for transport operators, with many of them witnessing an abrupt financial downturn. Organisations in this sector need adequate preparation to ensure that the transport network can return to normal operations once lockdown measures have been lifted.
Potential long-term impact on transport organisations
- Organisations would need to ensure that their networks may continue to function, finding a balance between decreased operations and having adequate capacity for key staff to be able to practice social distancing.
- In view of reduced revenue, longer-term investment projects would have to be re-planned and re-prioritized.
- Organisations will need to plan for the availability of key personnel to ensure that staff with critical skills and training are available.
- Commuting and travelling patterns may not recover to their pre-Covid-19 state once lockdowns are lifted.
Key questions executives and boards should be asking
- How do we work with government and other stakeholders to ensure the long term financial viability of the network?
- How do we ensure that key personnel are protected and available and that the network can continue to run during extended periods of lockdown?
- How is our supply chain exposed to COVID-19 risk and what impact might this have on operations?
- How should we reorganize capital investment plans considering unexpected shocks to revenue?
Practical next steps
Transport leaders will be defined by what they do along the three dimensions to managing a crisis: Respond, Recover, and Thrive. Key next steps include:
- Determine the cost and revenue implications of low ridership and protect core assets.
- Protect the availability of key personnel and use training to build up a larger pool of available workers for key roles.
- Engage with government and other stakeholders to determine the key requirements of the transport network.
- Create contingency plans for the resumption of service, considering a rapid surge in demand.