Covid-19 and Unsung Heroes
It was March 26, 2020, Ash Wednesday or as we call it in Rio de Janeiro, the End of Carnaval 2020. The Brazilian Health Ministry and Sao Paulo Government officials announced on Breaking News Broadcast that the first Covid-19 case in Brazil and South America had finally been confirmed. The dreaded virus had finally arrived Brazil and will alter life as we knew it for a undetermined period of time. The Life, Mentality and Normalcy of Every Brazilian, Business, Manufacturer was altered for the time being.
Ironically, the Covid-19 infection was just confirmed exactly at the end of carnaval but we will not enter the politics of why the Brazilian Government permitted the Carnval Season to continue even with the increasing spread of the virus outside Brazil. 3 Weeks later, every business, industry and manufacturing facility in Brazil were closed due to lock-downs required to mitigate the spread of the virus.
I would never forget that day as it was utter chaos. Airports would be closed by the end of the day, Interstate Buses and Road Systems would be blocked to reduce the spread of the virus by travelers. Small Cities in Brazil decided to put up Road Blocks to dissuade Brazilians living in Big cities to run to smaller cities for refuge and space.
As an exporter of Brazilian Goods to Buyers and importers worldwide, the shutdown of the entire economical system was unheard off. We had clients calling from all over the world asking about their deliveries, production schedule, will the ports still function and etc. Our Leadership team knew we had to make a decision to maintain our operations no matter how this virus played out. The Mission of Shipfrombrazil.com is to provide our clients with their products produced in Brazil at the schedule agreed. We started calling all the manufacturers, producers and Sellers that we work with in Brazil to confirm who is closing, who is not coming back and what the status of products we ordered.
Most Importantly, we did not even know if the Airports or Ports will be operational as Airlines all over the world had ceased international operations due to border closures per direction of their respective governments. The Brazilian Government asked for Social Distancing. How can Malageuta Farmers harvest their peppers? Who will pick the coffee beans for the next coming harvest. How can Chicken and Meat plants function with workers standing close to each other. Most importantly, will Ground Transport and Truckers still be allowed to pickup and deliver cargo all around Brazil.
My Head was filled with questions, doubt and fear but its our responsibility to ensure our clients are taken care of and we informed all our Buyers that their products will be exported from Brazil one way or the other. We will find a way to Ship your product from Brazil
Brazil is the biggest economy in South America and also one of the most important suppliers of Agriculture and foods to the world supply chain system. Therefore the threat of an economic shutdown in Brazil will cause a rippling effect on the global supply of foods.
However, Thank God that Brazil did not completely shut down as many feared. EXPORTATION continued without a hitch.
By implementing safety measures at all major ports in Brazil, Brazilian Export industry continued working and in fact recorded increase in the exportation of many products
– Soybeans exports from Santos and Southern Ports increased in 2020
– Meat and Pork exports to Asian Markets increased
– Major Ports in Brazil did not shut down and implemented high safety measures to protect workers from the Virus.
– The Brazilian Reais weakened and allowed goods to be cheaper for international buyers.
The international media has focused solely on Brazil failures to respect the Covid-19 outbreak, President Bolsonaro perception that the virus was just a flu and the nearly 85,000 deaths since March 2020. However, there is little news or appreciation to the countless producers, Farms, Employees, Logistics Companies, Vessel Operators and Port authorities that did not cease working even with the threat of Covid19 infection and worked everyday to ensure Yellow Corn, Soybeans, Coffee, Peppers, Meat, Pork, Chicken and thousands of other goods produced in Brazil to be prepared for exportation to their Buyers in foreign Countries.
Even with the COVID-19 rampaging many economies, hospitals, governments and businesses were able to import very important materials and equipment to combat the spread of Covid19 and treat the unfortunate souls laying at hospitals on respiration machines. Without the Airports, Seaports, Logistics companies, Customs Brokers, Receita Federal functioning due to the dedicate employees that returned to work even with their fears, the Covid19 pandemic impact will be greater than it is today.
Shipfrombrazil.com extend our gratitude to all the, THE UNSUNG HEROES, that kept our global supply chain moving. We thank these men and women that reported to work everyday to receive trucks filled with cargo, load and unload Vessels and Airplanes, prepare vessels and airplanes to depart Brazil and ensured Port of Santos, Paranagua, GIG and GRU airports and Seaports in Brazil continue to Function.
WE EXPRESS OUR GRATITUDE TO ALL PROFESSIONALS IN THE BRAZILIAN EXPORTS AND IMPORTS INDUSTRY.