- The changing demands by the shipper
Unlike the past, when logistics service providers had almost all the say, consumers now have more choices than they ever did, thanks to the rise in e-commerce buying patterns, driven mainly by the pandemic. With the new arrangement, e-commerce will ensure that only companies with the best logistics products or services win, and survival for the fittest will be a new norm. Ecommerce will bypass the traditional order where a consumer had to go through a retail buyer, and consumers will no longer have to wait for the conventional brick-and-mortar supply chain. Instead, they can easily purchase through e-commerce options.
- Omnichannel services and contactless product deliveries
Customers today want flexibility in their orders. As such, companies that have omnichannel delivery options will best meet their needs and enhance their experiences. Whether customers are shopping online or offline, they want flexible delivery options. The omnichannel approach, which offers a personalized, customized experience, will become a new strategy to win customers over in the new logistics industry after COVID. Customers will demand flexible delivery options for their in-store and pickup locations.
With the pandemic, no-contact delivery has become a new normal. Companies with various drop-off delivery options that meet the desires of the customer while minimizing physical contact will become a reality. This will see increased adoption of robotic and drone deliveries.
- Logistics and Technology
Even before the pandemic, technology had cemented its place as the key enabler of transformation in logistics. However, with the pandemic, the world has seen areas where technology can complement humans and keep people safe. Massive development of 5G and IoT are but a few of the technologies that will shape the logistics industry in 2021 going forward as companies seek ways of making their supply chains lean but effective. By the end of the decade, technologies such as the internet of things, robotics, and 5G will have changed the logistics industry as we know it today. Big data and analytics are also some of the technologies that make the decision-making process accurate and straightforward.
As technology continues being adopted in the supply chain, cybersecurity is coming into a sharper focus now than ever. This aspect can no longer be neglected considering the targeting of ransomware and hacks, which accelerated in 2020. Cybersecurity challenges can destabilize the supply chain leading to closures and locking up of orders or disruption of payment platforms. With working from home now a new normal, hackers work overtime to cause problems to shippers, clients, and logistics firms, most of who cannot fight back.
Generally, as we enter a new age in supply chain and logistics, there is a need for flexible and agile firms with the capacity to adjust faster to the changing customer needs by expanding or contracting depending on the vendor or customer requirements. There is also a need for contingencies to meet the political, labor, and natural disaster disturbances that can impact the supply chain, as 2020 has taught us.