Source: Benzinga Feeds
After a week in which there were hopeful signs that the spread of the coronavirus in China had slowed, it’s safe to say this past week was not a good one for companies with an exposure to supply chains that might be impacted by COVID-19, the other name the virus has been given. Some companies, Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL ) most notably, reduced their forecast for revenues and earnings in 2020 and cited COVID-19. Repeated changes in how China is reporting the number of sick and deceased raised serious questions about what to believe and what to ignore. Yossi Sheffi is a professor of engineering at MIT and director of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics. He is concerned about all these developments, but he’s already looking ahead to the impact of COVID-19 in a few months. There are two possible developments, Sheffi said, either of which will have a significant impact on the transportation sector. What Sheffi said was the “best-case” scenario for the sector is that in two to three months, “we’ll start having a boom of stuff coming into the West Coast, and trucking rates and rail rates will spike.” Sheffi said many of his contacts in various supply chains are looking at that scenario now and trying to anticipate how they might react to it.