The unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19 did not only create hurdles but also made a gigantic demand in the transport and logistics industry. The year 2020 saw the most vulnerable supply chain management owing to the surge in demand, road congestion, state border closures, curfews, increase in e-commerce and rising infrastructure expenditures. The year also saw an upswing in cyberattacks, with cyber risk among the major factors concerning the challenges faced by the freight and logistics industry. Considering the pattern, as an industry driven by changing consumer needs, 2021 will have its own prospects and tests to deal with.
The challenges That Await
As an essential component of the national economy, the transport and logistics industry, like any other industry, has faced the striking impact of COVID-19. The industry is set to face the upcoming challenges which revolve around technology and changing consumer behaviour. Although the industry has shifted itself through the multifaceted challenges, the aftermath deliberately highlights the need to modernise with leading technology.
High Demands in Supply Chain Integration
Despite the best efforts of the transport and logistics industry in mending trade flows, the increasing demand for e-commerce has reiterated the need for supply chain integration. It has indeed become the wake-up call for every entity and enterprise to re-examine and repurpose their supply chain strategies to avoid data silos.
The Need for Digital Technology
Even though the transport and logistics industry have seen rapid growth and revolution employing digital technologies, there has not been a full-scale effective utilisation. Technological advancements such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics can ramp up the supply chain management to meet the consumer demand without disruption.
Opportunities in the Industry
As the supply chains were severely disrupted, the business-to-business markets saw critical opportunities from the challenges they wrestled with. With progress in making substantial changes and development, the industry can revive businesses with high productivity, profitability, customer satisfaction and efficiency.
The transport and logistics industry can take the best advantage of data analytics for a superior end to end transparency, decision making and supply chain optimisation. As an industry with huge assets and a complex data landscape, data analytics and AI adoption are critical to offering unparalleled reliability. This includes order management, material management, routing optimisation to IoT optimisation, and insights to identify outliers proactively like never before. Employing the right data analytic tools benefits business to business providers to operate with great impetus.
Cloud Computing Technology
Cloud-based SaaS solutions are an upfront low-cost investment that enables tools for a streamlined and efficient workflow. This system offers effective collaboration throughout the supply chain without data silos. Given the interdependent and complex nature of the logistics industry, cloud computing provides accelerated regulatory support, facilitating remote operation with convenience.
The last-mile delivery tosses some of the biggest challenges in supply chain management, where freights travel to their end destination- the customers. Although it’s never intense as 2020, it is still a challenging area where 3PL warehousing companies must employ efficient strategies to combat the competition. Customer satisfaction directly relies on this step, making it the most critical step in the delivery process. Demand driving primarily focuses on creating supply chain forecasts based on historical data and statistical forecasting. A well-executed demand planning not only improves the customer satisfaction ratio but also the supply chain’s profitability.
Making changes is a delaying process involving tons of trials and errors, but 2021 is set to be a transformational year that challenges us to be more resilient. Our C2C Logistics team based in Wollongong and Illawarra in NSW, is all prepared to face the hurdles to help you grow your business.