May 04, 2020
In the Media

Christopher Mejía Argueta and Alexis Bateman are quoted in Vice. “The empty shelves will continue for a while. said Christopher Mejía Argueta, a research scientist at the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics. But if I have someone in front of me who is going to start panicking about the empty shelves, what I would tell that person is, 'you don't need to worry. Food is still going to arrive.’  You might just have to settle for your second or third choice for a bit." It’s not that the just in time era is gonna come to an end—I don't think so. I think that what we will see now is a little bit more thinking about where to implement these types of strategies, and which type of [products] we should not. Therefore, if you want to see fuller shelves, Mejía Argueta told me, "go early in the morning, right after age-65-and-over time, when everything has just been stocked." Every expert I consulted said the same, by the way.

In terms of the calories you need to live through this crisis, there are no indications that stores will face anything even close to a shortage. "Transition will have to happen much faster than it ever has before," said Alexis H. Bateman, also a researcher at the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics. She’s optimistic that even the arch capitalists who design supply chains now have a goal beyond maximizing profit. "When every player in the supply chain is hurting [there’s] sort of a new responsibility—a new value base that's being generated,’ she told me.”