An Overnight Transition – How Logistics Adapted

An Overnight Transition – How Logistics Adapted

By Mike Klage, Solutions Director, TOC Logistics

Every industry has had to pivot, adapt, and learn to make sense of a new normal in 2020. Even though some pandemic restrictions have been lifted, we can only assume our world will never fully return to the way it was. Despite setbacks, logistics teams have pivoted and continued to move forward to keep the supply chain in motion both within Indiana and internationally.



Every day, we are learning more about what to expect when states reopen, and what the international scene looks like. With this influx of information comes a constant feeling that each day your inbox contains a new set of rules, regulations, and challenges. These adjust your current state and force you to rethink how it will affect you moving forward.

As an international company, our company dealing with news and information that comes from every part of the globe. The team has tried to limit the amount of irrelevant information they are sharing with customers, so as not to overwhelm them. The TOC team has found that sharing only relevant information with each specific customer has helped to streamline the process and get customers the timely news they need.

Since TOC Logistics is based in Indiana, their location has come with its own challenges and opportunities. TOC, like other companies, made the transition overnight to running an international supply chain from the comfort of their couches. In doing so, the digitized supply chain has never been so important. In utilizing it, the team has been able to access valuable data, such as trends and inefficiencies as a result of COVID-19.


Preparing Carriers

Throughout this process, TOC Logistics has tried to stay proactive with its customers. They’ve accomplished this by doing all they can to make sure customers are ready to return to “normal” as soon as they’re given the green light.

TOC has had to step in on the administrative side of things to prep for a post-COVID-19 world. They have ensured carriers have proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and legal direction needed to stay safe and in line with state regulations. While the goal of a business is to continue to function at an optimal level, keeping all workers safe continues to be TOC Logistics’ number one priority.

As a result of the pandemic, the team has also worked against a massive amount of backlogged freight caused by shipping difficulties, closed borders, and increased restrictions. They continue to work ahead by connecting with customers and helping them organize and sort the products they currently have. Once they’re organized, customers are able to better assess what steps they’ll need to take in order to move forward.



Aside from administrative work, TOC has been able to make additional arrangements for its customers to help limit supply chain interruptions. This practice has not come without its fair share of setbacks.

With fewer products able to ship, many producers and logistics businesses are experiencing blank sailing, which occurs when a shipping carrier is not at capacity. When this happens, the ships often won’t head to their final destination on schedule and won’t set out until the carrier meets its capacity. Though fiscally responsible for those operating carriers, it creates setbacks for those trying to move goods. TOC, who has experienced these setbacks, still continues to offer its clients minimal delays by leveraging other connections within the logistics industry and within the state of Indiana.

TOC has also pivoted and begun to utilize Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs) close to international borders. These allow customers to store and prep their products while borders are closed. By leveraging these facilities, customers who have a backlog of product have a place to store their goods and can ensure they are first to make their way over international borders once they open.


Business as Usual

In some ways, the logistics industry has stayed the same, regardless of the ever-adjusting environment. As TOC continues to make adjustments and maneuvers around state and federal restrictions, they continue to advocate for customers in every way they can.

Despite external setbacks, we have continued to find solutions, whether through utilizing FTZs, sharpening up the communications process, or stepping in on the administrative side. In addition to these efforts, TOC has worked to negotiate contracts on behalf of its customers. After all, the world will continue to turn, and the supply chain will continue to have needs that will be met by the logistics industry.

Category Features, Logistics