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Focus turns to keeping drivers on the road, supply chains open

Transport Ministry officials said on Thursday that the government is making every effort to keep logistics providers and storage companies running and operating, along with their vehicles.The ministry has issued instructions to companies in the industry saying that "it is our patriotic duty to keep the supply chain open at all costs."

Greece is moving to keep supply chains moving in the country, in a bid to avoid any potential shortages at supermarkets and retail stores, brought about by the coronavirus. Sector officials are confident that they will be able to keep supermarket shelves well-stocked.

Transport Ministry officials said on Thursday that the government is making every effort to keep logistics providers and storage companies running and operating, along with their vehicles.

The ministry has issued instructions to companies in the industry saying that "it is our patriotic duty to keep the supply chain open at all costs." Concerns are rising that any disruption to supermarket supply chains may cause a shortage in some products, which may then trigger panic buying amongst anxious shoppers.

Logistics companies say that all their mechanisms have been mobilized, along with measures to ensure their smooth operation. Ministry officials are keeping an eye out as to whether the virus is stopping storage areas from operating, but the focus is on keeping truck drivers on the road.

“Drivers are the ones who keep the supply chain open, traveling in unsafe areas, many times at the risk of being infected themselves. We must help them stay healthy and out of the trenches in every way possible! Road transport groups OFAE and PSHCM have issued strict instructions to drivers, relating to both the duration of their journeys and their entry and stay at company facilities," reads the ministry's instructions.

The measures taken by the transport and development ministries recommend to drivers the following:

a. Take the necessary precautions (use of surgical mask, gloves, antiseptic, disposable shoe protector, etc.). If, however, the driver's supplies of the above materials are exhausted, security guards at the entrance must be available to supply them.

b. To adhere strictly to the rules laid down by the companies and the protective measures they may have been taken.

c. To stay in the cabin of the vehicle throughout the loading/unloading process or at an appropriate waiting area.

d. To complete the exchange of accompanying documents in a plastic envelope while wearing disposable gloves and a surgical mask. The plastic envelope must be disinfected after each use.

e. Maintain safe distances with whoever they come in contact with.

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Supply chain weakens; Road, air, sea transport problems grow

Sources warn that if the current economic conditions continue beyond April and governments do not quickly find solutions to restore trade flows, consequences will be widespread. Supermarkets are already seeing some shortages of imported goods, but they are limited. Industry officials say that supplies on basic goods are considered to be at satisfactory levels and that there is no reason for consumers to feel concerned about supply levels.