Logistics Sector in the Post-pandemic World
Be sure of one thing: we will overcome these dark days. At the same time, it is important that we accept that the new coronavirus pandemic is, without a doubt, the greatest tragedy of the century. Statistical data are still being computed, but the global damage certainly surpassed the trillion dollar mark. The world’s GDP shrank by more than 4% in 2020. However, the saddest thing, without a doubt, is that around the planet more than two million and seven hundred thousand human beings died. Until now.
The damage was only not greater because of all the technology we have at our disposal. Among other things, this technology enabled the production of a vaccine in record time. In addition, it allowed the economy not to stop completely, thanks to the online universe.
The need for social isolation anticipated future revolutions in data traffic via the internet. In 2020, online trading revolved around 4.28 trillion dollars around the world. A growth of 27.6% in results. In Brazil, electronic sales grew 205% compared to 2019. According to the Brazilian Society of Retail and Consumption (SBVC) 61% of Brazilians who visited malls frequently said they had accessed digital platforms in 2020. Numbers like these forced the logistics sector to the extreme in all countries and some changes are certainly here to stay.
Yes, the logistics sector, vital for the world economy, as without storage and cargo handling there is no trade, will also have to go through some adaptations. According to research carried out by SBVC, 70% of consumers who have had experiences in e-commerce intend to maintain this method of purchase in the future. Anyway, these are inevitable trends, according to experts.
Two alerts are important: online consumption will increase, it is true, demanding precision, speed and efficiency from the logistics sector. But, at the same time, it is necessary to keep the channels offline, as 73% of consumers intend to return to these spaces after the pandemic. In other words, we have a lot of work ahead of us.
Therefore, within this physical-digital, flexible and agile universe , scholars say that the logistics sector will have four characteristics in the post-pandemic world:
Local production and the slowdown of globalization
The world will continue to be globalized, but there will be a preference for closer suppliers (mainly with regard to services). This distributes the supply chain regionally and streamlines processes.
Supply chain transparency
Transparency between the different players (members) of the supply chain is the result of trust between suppliers and customers. Something that doesn’t build very quickly. But by sharing operational information, chain members are able to identify bottlenecks, that is, critical points in the supply flow, allowing the dynamic management of eventual crises.
Collaboration with suppliers
A good relationship between companies and suppliers is a strong trend in this post-pandemic world. Knowledge of warehouses and inventory control, for example, can facilitate supply chain control to avoid eventual failures in the supply of products and services. Knowing your business partner allows you to make decisions together, which, with the flexibility of processes, facilitates the achievement of good results for all involved.
It’s not repetition. It’s an observation. Artificial intelligence and machine learning (technology learning based on corporate information), for example, prevent losses and broaden horizons. Everything related to IT, even if it seems like science fiction, such as robots, 3D printers, the digital twin ( digital twin, which reduces costs when creating tests for a new product) , are tools that are already part of everyday life for many corporations.
Finally, companies in the logistics sector must have strategic plans that are adaptable to everyday changes, aware that they must serve the physical world and an online universe in constant expansion. Many corporations are also investing billions in new warehouses that meet all the expectations of the segment, including LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which in Portuguese means Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for sustainable and economical buildings. Some warehouses are being built with windows on the facades to facilitate the entry of natural light, for example.
Yes, we live in a difficult time. But together we will overcome. The pandemic will end, and the world will march again, and we will always be here, doing our part.
And if today, one of your challenges is the logistics of your company, we are here at your disposal. Call 42-3220-2666, send us a message on WhatsApp or send an email to email@example.com.
And for you, who work with Logistics, we leave here as a bonus, some topics that deserve extra attention at this time:
The management of the logistics sector must, with more agility, review processes, in order to reduce bureaucracy, streamline steps, always in a creative and flexible way. The manager must be focused on three fundamental aspects: Professional qualification of the team members, Constant investments in new technologies, mainly in the IT area (we will talk about Information Technology later on), and the Application of efficient methodologies, such as collaborative relationships, management by results, management by objectives, reengineering, reverse logistics (little developed in Brazil) and supply chain management, among other tools.
- Internal processes
Firstly, you need to define the basics. Processes are sets of activities that result in products or services. All steps for building a warehouse, for example, from receiving inputs to final assembly, form a process. They must be reviewed without fear. Among the internal processes, the home office stood out in recent months. It can increase productivity and reduce expenses. Hybrid systems, with part of the employees at home and the other part in companies, are being implemented in several countries, mainly in monitoring activities, customer service and sales.
Never before has the just-in-time model been so important. Companies have been working to reduce their inventories to zero, avoiding waste. This has given rise to many self storage companies (self storage units), as well as logistics operation companies, with their own regional distribution centers. Strategies for consolidating merchandise such as cross docking , where inputs and finished products are received and redirected to the person who placed the order, are also being used. The same goes for the milk run., routes for collection and distribution of goods created with the aim of delivering practically within the company’s production line. The storage units that are being built for this purpose need to be flexible and intelligent to meet different demands.
In the United States, logistics costs are equivalent to 8% of GDP. In Brazil this number rises to 12%. And the explanation is simple. 61.5% of all our goods are transported by road, 23% by rail, 11% by waterway, 4% by pipeline and 0.5% by plane. Simply put, we use the most expensive modal in Brazil. Reversing this situation with investments in railroads and waterways is necessary. Meanwhile, alternatives are beginning to be explored. This is the case with drones, which have already proven to be efficient in short-distance deliveries.
Deadlines became more flexible due to the obstacles caused by the pandemic at first. But the trend is that the consumer’s good mood ends in this sense. The shorter the delivery time, the better. That is why many companies are adopting the same-day delivery method, with real -time monitoring of the flow of goods. Such agility requires a large investment in logistics. Remember those regional distribution centers we mentioned earlier? So one of their goals is to shorten delivery time.
- Customer contact
It is necessary to develop an omnichannel strategy to facilitate customer contact with your company. The more channels evaluate, all with similar language, on different platforms, the better for the consumer.
- Be digital
Digital control tools will allow real-time changes and resource optimization. Among such tools we can mention big data (database), business intelligence , with performance indicators, sales robots, among other things.