Logistics and transportation, which has long been undervalued compared to other areas such as finance or marketing, has shown its strategic importance over time.
In a time of projection and planning for the future, these 3 main trends will guide transportation and logistics professionals in their decision-making plan for 2023.
As technology advances, multimodal logistics channels will become increasingly necessary to fulfill shipment needs.Mia Mazal, Business Development & Partnership Manager at Sworkz
Leaders are visionaries, always attentive to the future to lead their team to success step by step. The tricky thing is: The future is underway! We are 23 years into the XXI century, and thus we must consider processes, techniques, and behaviors according to the moment in history that we are experiencing. For the present situation in which we find ourselves, here are 3 trends that will make a difference when managing a transportation and logistics business.
Buckle up and get on board!
1. Hiring and driver loyalty: the backbone of the business
If there is no driver, there is no delivery. If there is no delivery, there is no billing. Across America, many chief operating officers have made this sour observation, and have been forced to reject contracts or postpone delivery deadlines, thus causing detrimental consequences for their companies.
In 2022, we had to find alternatives to move cargo without being affected by strikes like the Lufthansa airline pilots in September; according to the report by The Logistics World, organizers of one of the most important logistics events worldwide. (Europartners Group, 2022)
With the rapid action of critical load teams, the crisis lasted only a few days. However, the expectation of new strikes, catalyzed by inflation and its impact on the cost of living for workers, continues to haunt us at every opportunity.
As a result, in 2023, logistics managers will continue to increase the number of initiatives to keep their drivers as well as to attract new ones:
- Alternative selection processes: participating in job fairs, and referring staff.
- Improved economic conditions
- Use of route management applications to facilitate the work of drivers and reduce stress levels for all
2. The relocation of parts within the supply chain, a.k.a. offshoring
Some players are finally building cases for the relocation or regionalization of critical parts of the supply chain that were impacted by shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From the place of production to delivery to the final consumer, the goal is to reinvent a more robust and resilient supply chain in the possibility of a new crisis.
To solve this delicate challenge without sacrificing benefits, there are several solutions that can be considered:
Contracting service providers in Latin countries, such as Colombia, to limit risks in case of failure or local disaster.
Relocation of the most sensitive links in terms of added value or customer satisfaction.
Offshoring operations to service providers allow a partnership between businesses and their leaders to help them prepare and overcome growth challenges through new recruitment and team management strategies managed through remote teams.
These new collaborators will master flexible solutions such as account management, social media management, and administrative support, among others.
3. Ultra-flexible policies
One of the trends that will mark the supply chain of the future will be ultra-flexible return policies for all online operations, noted by the expertise we’ve achieved with our clients:
- Possibility to try before you buy
- Facilitate flexible packaging or systems to streamline processes
- Free returns
It is the main players like Amazon or Zalando who have started these very generous return policies. Over time, these policies have become powerful competitive advantages and thus are heading towards becoming part of the new ¨normal”. But with return rates high above 10% for almost all e-merchants, (Europartners Group, 2022) reverse logistics is becoming a market on its own!
Let’s start 2023 on the right foot!
This means checking lists of things that you can do to allow your business to adapt to modern strategies, giving employees the place and space they deserve, and ensuring their productivity. Additionally, reviewing offshoring trends gives companies and their leaders a new way of life, by injecting talented human capital directly into the heart of the operations, combined with a commitment to the success of the business.
Now is the ideal moment to act, so let’s get to work!