The world has been flipped upside down, with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting all parts of the world as well as each of us individually. There are many people suffering and unsure of their future. It is up to each of us to help each other through this crisis. The parcel industry has done well through the pandemic as people have ordered more items online in an effort to avoid in-store shopping. However, global trade has gone through a major disruption, and it could take up to 12 months to get re-aligned. In addition to the pandemic, there has been civil unrest and a major economic downturn. As I have reflected on these changes, there is one theme that keeps coming back to me. We are Americans and we (as one team) will get through this.

I had the pleasure of having my son return from a 13-month deployment in Afghanistan in June (Captain in the Marines). In a joking manner he said, “I have only been gone for one year and the US is different, but we are still the greatest country in the world.” As I have reflected on his return, I keep thinking of the song “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood. He talks about the “pride in every American heart.” Here is one of the main parts of the song:

“I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died and gave that right to me. I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today, ‘cause there is no doubt that I love this land…God Bless the USA!”

I have been in the supply chain business for over 30 years, and our industry has always risen to a challenge. This pandemic, while unprecedented, is no different. I’d like to thank the many people on the front lines that have kept America running through COVID-19. From grocery store employees to healthcare workers to educators who have quickly adapted their teaching styles to accommodate virtual learning, it’s heartening to see how each industry is tackling this enormous obstacle. And the supply chain industry is no different; I firmly believe it is this pride, commitment, and dedication that will help us get through this trying time. I am proud to be an American, and I know that together, as Americans, we can deliver!

Michael J. Ryan is the Executive Vice President at Preferred Shipping ( and has over 25 years of experience in the parcel industry. He can be reached at 708.224.1498 or

This article originally appeared in the September/October, 2020 issue of PARCEL.