The outbreak of COVID-19 has upended daily life for millions of people as well as logistics professionals around the globe. With consumers staying home and many businesses remaining closed, the traditional flow of goods and services has been disrupted.
As we head into the new year of 2022, the world is slowly starting to get back to a sense of normalcy. So, what will logistics look like in a post-COVID world and what do companies need to do to prepare for it?
Logistics In a Post-COVID World
1. Sudden disruptions happening anytime and anywhere in the world
As seen from the recent pandemic, unexpected disruptions can have a ripple effect throughout the entire logistical supply chain.
Routes were cancelled and cargo was backlogged at ports for ocean freight. Meanwhile, the decrease in passenger flights has led to a significant drop in aircraft belly cargo capacities for air freights. In land freight, new safety measures and social distancing were introduced, with many sudden lockdowns and border closures that have restricted the flow of goods.
All these disruptions can impact everything from production schedules and inventory levels to customer service and delivery times.
As a result, it is critical for businesses to be agile and have strategies in place to deal with these unexpected disruptions when they occur. Planning for potential disruptions in the future is key to keeping your business running smoothly. By having contingency plans in place, businesses can minimise the damage caused by these disruptions and get back up and running as quickly as possible.
2. Diversified logistical services
To cope with the unexpected disruptions, the logistics world has seen an increase in diversified logistic services.
For example, chartered flights were used to transport shipments instead of passenger flights to solve the problem of reduced airplane belly cargo capacities.
If a business is only reliant on one type of logistics route, any sudden disruptions can be a major cause of concern. Such disruptions can halt production, disrupt supply chains, and impact customer service, causing chaos and affecting the business’s bottom line.
Maintaining the logistics network, diversifying logistical services, and building strategic relationships are crucial steps companies must take so they can be actively involved at every stage of the supply chain.
3. Shifting to Just In Case Inventory Management
Due to breakages in the supply chain and increases in demand for certain types of goods, companies that have originally operated under Just-in-Time strategy faces some significant problem when it comes to unforeseen challenges such as pandemic.
Suddenly many companies shift their strategy to Just In Case Inventory Management. Companies that implement JIC are now more agile and able to respond to sudden demand increases or disruptive supply chain process. Just-in-case inventory prioritizes preparedness over the cost and cash flow implications of holding stock in reserve. It protects businesses from falling behind in production or losing revenue because they couldn’t meet demand.
Another solution would be to simply diversify where the products are made, or just rethink the whole supply chain, from global to regional. Mitigate risks of supply-chain disruption. This may be easier for some than others, depending on the availability of raw materials and the supply chain needed for producing goods in a certain country.
4. Growth of innovation and scaling new technologies
From massive closures of businesses and schools to workers staying home out of fear, the virus has upended life as we know it. This has extended to the world of logistics too.
Businesses must now come up with new ways to get their products and services out there. They need to use methods that never would have been considered before, such as innovating and scaling new technologies.
Making use of data analytics, Internet of Things (IOT) as well as robotics and automation will be crucial to companies’ future success.
For example, IOT devices can help to identify predictive patterns and gaps, highlight potential efficiencies, and detect upcoming problems so there is continuous improvement across the entire supply chain. Meanwhile, data and insights gathered from shipments can also help businesses make more informed decisions.
We Are All In This Together
The pandemic has forced many companies to completely rethink their logistics strategies. However, this is also an opportunity for them to reinvent themselves and come up with new ways of doing things. Companies are going to have to adapt their supply chains significantly to keep up with changing demands. The world has changed, and businesses – as well as supply chains – must change with it.
As the one-stop logistics solutions provider in the Asia Pacific region, Halcon Primo Logistics (HPL) Pte Ltd provides customised solutions for companies’ needs and serves as one-point of contact for their logistics requirements. Contact us today to simplify your logistics processes.