Coronavirus and the construction industry
By Andy Brown10 February 2020
With global cases of coronavirus increasing and many Chinese citizens staying at home, it is likely that a strain will be placed on global supply chains, but the organisers of the Conexpo construction show have reported that the show will proceed as normal.
Conexpo is the largest construction show to be held in 2020 – it is expected to attract a global audience of approximately 120,000 people. It will take place in Las Vegas, US, from 10-14 March.
Event organisers the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has issued the following statement regarding the coronavirus.
“Our foremost priority is focused on the health and safety of all participants at Conexpo-Con/Agg & IFPE 2020, including attendees, exhibitors, vendors, staff, and others involved in the show.
“We are closely monitoring the Novel Coronavirus and following guidelines that are provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We are in communication with international organizations that have been impacted by the travel restrictions. Our plans to hold a successful CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE have not changed.”
In response to the outbreak China is building new hospitals and has asked the majority of its citizens to work from home where possible. With many workers therefore not at factories there are fears that the global supply chain could be squeezed and lead to delays for the construction industry.
Alejandro Alvarez from Ayming, a consultancy that specialises in supply chain and operations performance, commented, “When it comes to supply chains, the ripples of the coronavirus are only just emerging. Companies are working on their risk assessment plans, but, in reality, how many businesses can trace all their supplies to source? It’s very difficult to get a full grasp on the matter and many companies could be underestimating their exposure.
“Global supply chains have become incredibly complex and the Chinese economy plays an extremely important role in the global economy so there may be some unpleasant surprises in store should import restrictions and containment efforts escalate.”
A spokesperson at Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) added, “The Coronavirus is being monitored by the Volvo Group Security Team and furthermore a cross functional working group has been established to coordinate mitigating actions when it comes to first tier suppliers and logistics.
“Even if our contractual partner is not directly impacted by the outbreak, they might have Tier-n suppliers in the concerned region that needs to be identified. All our suppliers have been contacted to evaluate and share their situation with us. We will, where possible, map and take actions for second tier suppliers.”