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Satellites Are Helping to Track Food Supplies in Coronavirus Era

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Workers on a farm.

As the coronavirus pandemic leads to anxiety over the strength of the worlds food supply chains, everyone from governments to banks are turning to the skies for help.

Credit: Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg

Demand is on the rise for alternative data that show how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting industries and trade worldwide.

Of particular interest is the impact of government-imposed lockdowns on food supply chains and the spread of the virus among workers that move food from farms to store shelves.

California-based Orbital Insight, which uses satellites, drones, balloons, and cellphone geolocation data for tracking purposes, has seen inquiries about monitoring food supplies double in the last two months.

Orbital says customers want to know when cargo ships leave ports, when plants close, and the number of passengers traveling through airports, and recently began asking to track grocers, wholesalers, and distribution centers to monitor the movement of food supplies and the production of medical supplies.

Companies seeking to strike deals also are looking for alternative data when in-person meetings cannot be held to garner information.

From Bloomberg
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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