Looking forward, prospects look more encouraging: for example, an estimate tells us that the global logistics market will recover in 2021, and grow a 4.7% until 2024.
To understand from where the future trends could come from, we thought appropriate to summarize this article which provides a pretty clear panorama. The author starts by highlighting something we have lived through: in 2020 many smart organizations rapidly precipitated towards electronic commerce and digital transformation. Besides, it indicates that in the future, digital strategies will have to include operations and central commercial processes, as customer service and inventory storage, for which diverse technologies will be available – for instance, Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, process automation and other digital products and services.
If before Covid artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics advanced slowly in the field of logistics, with the interruptions of supply chains at a global scale because of the pandemic, “some companies are analyzing closely the integration of these innovative technologies into operations; robots, for example, could help track issues in supply chains, disinfect, and manage operations of packing and shipping, and more” as is read on the note we are reviewing. Nevertheless, the author understands that robotics should only be integrated to cover some of the most common tasks, such as loading and unloading pallets, and classifying. And it suggests that companies should invest in competency improvement to help employees with the transitions in order to work with these technologies.
Managing the supply chain from one end to the other was already a concern before the pandemic. From now on, logistics companies “will have to consider digital supply nets to optimize shipment routes, detect unforeseen delays and facilitate follow up and localization, and inventory substitutions and rebalancing”.
In the current context of returning to the “new normal”, digital transformation implies the capacity of responding to clients’ new needs and innovating with creative services. And as clients look for visibility and transparency from one end to the other more than ever, it is probable that organizations from the logistics area will continue to transform themselves at an accelerated pace.
Anyway, the author highlights that the fundamental factor that allows for profiting from the technological advances to the maximum, are people. – as they are those who “offer the vision, the knowledge of cultural and geographical nuances, and creativity” particularly during a time where there will be a need to generate exceptional experiences for clients, in a more connected world. With this in mind, it will be central to “grant access to better quality data to staff, as well as tools to automatize redundant or repetitive tasks and technology to boost better decision making”.
Impacts on the strategy
With the pandemic, many corporate leaders acknowledged that complex and extensive supply chains are vulnerable. “As a result, many companies are making plans to shorten them via nearshoring or reshoring, and less imports”.
In such sense, the article predicts that companies will look to expand their supplier basis in multiple production sites, and raise inventory levels in all the system, as they are less concerned about the least costly supplier. In that key, logistic services companies which are able to increase storage capacities or dry ports, could have an advantage.
To know more about this subject, we invite you to check this link.