The logistics industry is expected to make great strides. Consumer behavior changed drastically with the sudden outbreak of the global pandemic. As customers look for more convenience amidst the persistence of physical distancing and shelter-in-place measures, they turned to online shopping.
More than a year into the global pandemic, this shift remains strong. More than that, it has accelerated the transition away from brick-and-mortar physical stores to digital shopping by approximately five years. Naturally, logistics companies have also benefited significantly along with this sudden change.
The Necessary Evolution of Logistics
The shipping and logistics industries are currently caught in a state of flux as the frequency of online shopping increases steadily. The unexpected boom of online sales has greatly impacted pricing and delivery times. Key players are still improving their habits and processes around digital commerce as it continues to dominate.
Online shopping has also prompted the surge of global e-commerce. This entails an increasing demand for international delivery couriers. Shipping and logistics companies are expected to incorporate reliable and cost-effective shipping solutions coupled with innovative technologies as they expand into new markets.
This year and beyond could prove to be a profitable year for many in the logistics industry. Provided that they can adapt to the constant evolution of digital commerce and shipping demands. These are the top international supply chain trends that companies should prepare for in the post-pandemic era.
Aside from the global pandemic, threats of the current climate crisis also became more apparent in the previous year. The strength and frequency of natural calamities increased drastically, which ravaged several communities.
In the post-pandemic world, logistics companies should expect to accommodate increasingly climate-conscious shoppers. Being among the industries that contribute significant amounts of greenhouse gasses, adopting practices that promote sustainable shipping will definitely impress more consumers.
These companies should consider using eco-friendly packaging for their deliveries. This is one of the simplest ways to reshape customers’ views around the industry. Partnering with logistics providers that reduce emissions should also be a valuable effort.
Climbing Shipping Costs
While the global pandemic and the shift to digital commerce have proven to bring positive outcomes for the logistics industry, it’s important to note that it has also strained the international supply chain. Particularly, the unpreparedness of some importers caused shipping rates to soar at the start of the year.
There has been a significant lack of containers and ships. Port blockages are also a common issue as countries continue their border lockdowns. These major problems, coupled with other inefficiencies in logistics processes, can add up and continue to drive prices higher.
Logistics companies should diligently monitor their shipping costs to mitigate their losses. Investing in warehouse technology that automates inventory storage is another viable route to save up against increasing prices. Seamless warehouse management will surely help to avoid these rampant issues.
Convenience is one of the major factors that led consumers to shift from physical stores to digital shopping. As e-commerce continues to progress in the coming months, customers will surely demand better end-to-end experiences from ordering to delivery.
Logistics companies must invest heavily in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) platforms to make their services more efficient. Within the supply chain industry, offering an experience centered around the consumer will definitely increase their satisfaction and retention.
The adoption of conversational AI chatbots and virtual assistants improves the service for customers and answer their queries without delays. Providing real-time tracking and updates on deliveries will also enhance consumer shipping experiences. Companies will stand to benefit from these simple upgrades.
Better Modes of Transport
The efficiency of delivery transportation is also integral to logistics companies. As technologies continue to reshape mobility in its entirety, these same advancements can also be applied to improve how shipping is achieved.
The adoption of commercial drones for residential deliveries stands as the first step towards a more cost-efficient delivery system. In August 2020, low-altitude drone deliveries in the U.S. were approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Now, companies are racing to develop their own flying capabilities.
Autonomous trucking is another notable development that’s been in the works for years. Unmanned trucks are expected to be widely seen on the road sometime in 2024. The return on investment for these delivery transports will be excellent, so companies should begin looking into these technologies.
Change with the Times
The logistics industry has experienced remarkable evolutions and expansions over the years, especially in the previous year alone. Likewise, the impact of innovative technologies on international supply chains has also seen significant growth. Readily adapting to these drastic changes in the coming months will be a daunting task, but it’s also essential as the demand for better logistics persists.