As sure as an open space of a lovely park
in Turin beckons some old men to gather, albeit at the requisite distance
apart, signs of life in Northern Italy are continuing inspite of the not
quite reassuring headlines.
“Supplies are plentiful,” reports
Marco Sorgetti, our man on the ground in Turin, his home town.
Down On The Ground
“As seen today in most supermarkets
and chemists', few Italian residents (never too many) wait for their turn
to be served.
“The lines are not long, save at rush
hours, and the waiting time is a good opportunity to chat at a distance.
“Some people elsewhere in other countries
may have said:
“Italians would not abide by the rules.
“But the truth is that people here
have started to realize for the most part, we are all in this pandemic
together. This message is filtering from the first affected areas in the
north of the country to the south. The new measures just adopted by the
government will test both the ability of the virus to expand into the
country and hopefully impede it, and the resilience of the country’s
supply chains, which will be disrupted.
The Shut Down Is Working
“Generally speaking, good behavior
has been kicked up a notch and, with very few exceptions, Italians are
conducting themselves with a welcome amount of civility in most matters,
in a situation that appears both new and alarming to most.
“There is a quiet determination in
the vast number of Italian people, young and old these days.
“We have to see how the Italians will
take these new stringent measures that have been adopted by the government
under pressure from the northern regions’ governors, in particular
Lombardy with Milan.
Ships Moving Italian Ports Are
“On the shipping side Italian ports
and inland transportation are open with special government exemptions
from the lockdown that is impacting other areas of business in the country,
e.g. entertainment, restaurants and any other services that are not considered
vital or essential.
“Most major shipping companies allow
work from home as part of their regular plan and some warehouses will
be open to ensure vital supplies.
“Shippers obviously should expect
delays due to regional postal service and courier delivery restrictions
and air cargo capacity limitations.
Word Up FedEx & UPS
“The U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, and
UPS have all advised shippers that local operations in the Lombardy and
Veneto regions of Italy have either been severely restricted or are temporarily
suspended. However, “my ‘postino’ has come so far every
day to deliver my mail, and even a present from a friend in the UK, a
welcome arrival to be sure.
Service Cuts All Around
“Several carriers have suspended flights
to Milan, which further reduces air cargo capacity to and from the region.
“But the quarantine strategy first
used in Wuhan, China at the outbreak of COVID-19, has taken hold in a
similar fashion in Italy.
“So far, with prudence and care, we
hope we get out of these dire straits soon, but even when Italian authorities
allow the most affected areas and cargo deliveries to resume their normal
routines, clearing the slowdown of possibly stopped shipments may take
“Being wise and seriously forward-looking
is the best strategy in this period.”