Rapid globalization has led to the burgeoning growth of the logistics industry over the last couple of years. Much like all the sectors, the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the logistics sector as well, halting day-to-day operations and forcing businesses to adhere to the new regulations of safety and social distancing.
The recent lockdowns and supply chain breakdowns have forced businesses to adopt digital transformation services to efficiently understand and analyze customer behavior. The new normal has forced both manufacturers and retailers to revitalize their supply chain solutions using tech-enabled resources to deliver highest levels of quality, cost effectiveness and service.
Some business trends reshaping the Logistics industry in the new normal are:
1. Change in Customer Behavior: Online Shopping a Norm
The pandemic has re-shaped customer behavior and modified their overall approach towards consumption and lifestyle. The restricted movements have given a significant boost to the popularity of online shopping. With essentials like groceries, clothing, medicines etc being delivered at home with the tap of a button, it has become essential for businesses to adapt to these changes and deploy digital transformation tools to understand and analyze customer needs and deliver impeccable customer experience.
2. Increased Transparency & Supply Chain Visibility
Customers are concerned about their safety and want to know everything about the products they use- how are the raw materials sourced, how is the product manufactured and how is it finally delivered. Now more than ever, customer engagement and communication has taken the front-seat and businesses must prioritize customer experience for both reassuring the customers about product safety and retaining them. Transparency and supply chain visibility is a growing trend shaping customer preferences and will become a critical factor in logistics planning in times to come.
3. Reduced Demands for Cargo Shipments
Consumers are wary of purchasing imported products, which has put a hard stop to all the global shipping operations and modified supply chain dynamics. Both the decrease in demand and production has reduced the movement of cargo shipments across the world, exposing a huge number of container carriers to the risks for bankruptcy and defaults.
4. Air Cargo Affected Tremendously
The on and off travel ban between countries and states have affected passenger airlines the most. This decrease in the demand for air travel is also affecting the supply and transportation of raw materials like electronics, automobile and industrial parts, which are generally transported as bulk cargo through passenger planes. The difficulties will spike even more when manufacturing and trade picks up and the demand for air shipments increase with a depletion in demand for passenger flights in the new normal.
The Roadmap Ahead for the Logistics Industry
Latest technologies will play a crucial role in shaping the course of action for businesses in the next normal. Supply chain organizations must leverage transformational technologies like AI-automation, predictive analytics, machine learning, GPS tracking and sensors with edge computing for demand forecasting and efficient supply chain management.
Logistic companies must leverage contactless technology to reduce the dependence on paper and curtailing the possible exposure to the Covid-19 virus. E-POD (electronic proof of delivery), a digital receipt of proof of delivery can be leveraged by the logistics industry to reduce the operational cost and shorten the payment cycle. Shorter payment cycles and adoption of digital payments will become critical for the sustenance and growth of businesses in the post-pandemic world.
Personal hygiene and employee safety will become critical. Employees should be trained on always following personal hygiene measures and social distancing norms. Logistics and supply chain organizations must focus on constantly communicating with the customers to reassure them that their products are being handled safely and provide real-time updates to gain the trust of customers and form lasting relationships.
The next normal will continue to bring new set of challenges, the logistics industry must utilize the latest technology to optimize processes and be prepared for future contingencies.
Over the years, Espire has delivered multiple projects globally in the back-end supply chain & WMS space. Blue Yonder (Formerly JDA) Warehouse Management Solution as our key technology specialization positions us at the forefront in this space, to deliver end-to-end services for logistics organizations who need to stay ahead of the competition. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any queries and do subscribe to our blogs for latest updates and insights.
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