Supply chain firm pivots in response to pandemic
Leeds-based supply chain specialist Ligentia is using its logistics expertise and technology to predict where, when and how to respond to global shortages of PPE in readiness for a second Covid-19 spike.
Founded in Leeds in 1996 by group CEO Nick Jones, Ligentia has global offices in the UK, Hong Kong, China, Australia and partnership offices across the globe.
It operates across air, rail, sea, warehousing and logistics and has worked with well-known fashion brands and retailers such as Boohoo.com and The White Stuff.
As the lockdown forced the high street to shut its doors Ligentia instead turned its skills and network towards essential areas of supply such as medical equipment and Personal Protective Equipment.
Chief customer officer, Dan Gill, said: “Due to our global network and in-territory local knowledge, we were able to swiftly change our focus and concentrate on providing support where there was greatest need.
“We were able to charter multiple flights from China into Australia, UK, mainland Europe and South America, working with large medical suppliers and government organisations to get vital, high-quality PPE to the frontline.”
Ligentia now operates a large proportion of its China to UK business through three super hubs in Xian, Shanghai and Guangzhou, to ensure a stable air service moving goods and pharma supplies landing at its Heathrow hub.
It has been organising multiple charters filled with PPE out of China during 2020, although consumer sales are climbing due to the lifting of some COVID-19 restrictions.
Lee Alderman-Davis, global product and development director, said: “Where possible we will be pushing bookings through the Super Hubs which will provide a high level of visibility coupled with an effective transfer through customs and onto the planes.
“Recent difficulties in meeting global surge in demand for PPE has shown organisations the importance of establishing a relationship with a supply chain provider that can offer a fast and reliable service.
“Air freight provision will always be part of supply chain operations, as consumers expect goods to be readily accessible and air offers the fastest response time to avoid lost sales.
“Operating through super hubs in China and the UK is just the start of Ligentia’s expansion plans as our air freight services go from strength to strength.”
The business is expanding its large-scale refrigerated logistics so it can bulk-handle vaccines and other medicines to areas of need in a fast, reliable and effective way.
Gill added: “We’ve been able to harness our knowledge, technology, and talent to deliver an important service in the fight against coronavirus.
“When retail took a hit, we moved from fast moving fashion to front line pharma.
“We’re proud to be able to continue to collaborate with new customers across the globe, providing essential equipment and potentially vaccines as we move into the winter months.”