Makers of essential goods face logistics nightmare in getting raw material supplies

LN Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on March 27, 2020

Though connected, we seem to living in a disconnected world today, as district borders have been shut for public movement to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the Government, through its notification clearly brought out a comprehensive list of essential services that would remain operational (but not unhampered) during the 21-day lockdown.

“While such services are operational, the free movement of essential items is hampered at every check post resulting in a time lag/delay,” said an industry insider, adding, “because there is no clarity at the level of the personnel manning the check posts.”

Urging the district administration to intervene and resolve such issues, SK Sundararaman, Managing Director, Shiva Texyarn, pointed out that the challenge was in sourcing raw material.

“We are into the business of coveralls -- protective clothing worn by medical personnel when additional protection is needed. There is a huge demand-supply gap in the business we are in today. The issue is in sourcing the raw material to make the coverall. We are import-dependent. The viral barrier films used in the making of the product are imported from China, Taiwan and Europe. The trouble started brewing when China was impacted by the deadly virus. The Chinese pipeline has since restarted, but there is a major problem on the logistics front. There is no coordination,” Sundararaman said.

Stating that the logistics nightmare was looming large on this business, particularly as these films would have to be brought here from Delhi, crossing numerous check posts at various State borders, he said “there is absolutely no support at this juncture and the delay is causing more harm than good. What is the use of a facility if we are not able to cater on time,” he asked.

“The shortfall is as high as 90 per cent, and there is global shortage of this material,” he said, stressing on the need for support -- particularly for emergency capability services -- from the district administration and State Governments.

“If people in uniform/paramilitary personnel escort the vehicle, there should be some reprieve,” he added.

The company produces a diverse range of unique and specialised products, including membrane-laminated fabrics, chemical and biological protection suits etc.

Published on March 27, 2020

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