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Challenges and opportunities for the logistics industry

The logistics industry saw astronomical demand in 2020 as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic filtered through the world.

 

 

Increase in online shopping and prioritization of medical supplies were just a couple of the reasons that led the global logistics industry to quickly adapt its operations so demand could be met. 

The challenges that started last year will most likely leave an everlasting footprint for many years to come. However, said challenges are also bringing may opportunities for the near future. In this article, we'll outline a few of them and how your logistics business can benefit from emerging changes.

mika-baumeister-HFF_RO3jTwA-unsplashPhoto Source: Mika Beaumiester

Challenges in the logistics industry
The key challenge the industry has been facing since 2020 is technology. Even before the pandemic, a global push for digitalized information and processes was already predominant. Now, more than ever, the push has become urgent and any company that wishes to be part of this global market will have to promptly adapt. adjust and leave behind old processes. 

Digital transformation
Many players in the industry are looking for partners who can respond well and play their role in the digital transformation. Much is said about big data and Ai (artificial intelligence) and companies like Maersk are heavily investing in start-ups and other digital players who are innovating with those.

However, many companies still do not prioritize such technologies and such a slow response is definitely one of the biggest challenges for the logistics industry. The majority of the new technologies out there, like Shipeezi, can be easily implemented and rolled out to all users - and even third-party partners. Digital transformation is a challenge, even though its adoption can revolutionize and simplify the supply chain. 

Supply chain integration
Speaking of supply chain, the lack of integration amongst all players that are part of the process is also one of the biggest challenges. The globalised nature of modern trade means trade flows and geopolitics play a larger role than ever before on supply and demand impacts. Therefore, it highlights the importance of integrated data across the supply chain to adapt quickly to changes, make the chain of custody reliable, and avoid gaps and out-of-date information.

Opportunities in the logistics industry
Similar to the challenges outlined above, the critical opportunities for the logistics industry also centre around technology. It's important to note that challenges also represent opportunities for change and growth. Overcoming some of the common challenges in the industry will put businesses in a good position to drive profitability, customer satisfaction, and efficiency. 

Data and analytics
Data optimisation includes more accurate pricing, effective inventory management, and tracking,  establishing predictive maintenance processes and insights to identify outliers proactively. In an industry with large assets such as ships, trains, planes and trucks, having the right systems in place to automate, integrate and analyse your data effectively provides the business intelligence required for smart decision-making. 

For example, using Shipeezi to bring together all information from your company and your partners will allow you to manage better your process and quickly make decisions if delays occur. 

Cloud computing
Cloud-based and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions provide companies with the tools for efficient workflows with low capital investment. These solutions not only enable people to work from anywhere, but it helps to address any gaps in data by implementing tools that integrate a range of business systems. 

Facing the challenges and benefiting on the opportunities
While it all sounds exciting, we know that it can be challenging to know where to start, especially in companies where old systems and processes are deeply ingrained. However, improving systems and processes to decrease the bottom line rather than increase the top line can be a missed opportunity. Companies would benefit from making changes in a way that integrates the supply chain into the commercial side of the business to drive revenue growth. This approach requires a holistic view of business planning that balances people and technology. 

Understanding and responding to the drivers of challenge and opportunity in logistics, particularly technology, will be critical for businesses in the sector. The companies that use these challenges to optimise their businesses and capitalise on new opportunities will have the competitive edge they need now and into the future. 

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