20 July 2021
How has COVID changed the logistics industry?
No-one is going to forget the coronavirus pandemic any time
soon, especially with the permanent impact it has had on everyday life on a
global scale. The impact on the logistics industry is no different, with 2020
reaching new heights with demand from online shopping putting couriers and
delivery companies under immense strain.
But what is the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the logistics
Data and technology
As shown by the past 15 months, the continual use and
development of technology within the logistics industry couldn’t be more
important. By improving the technology in use, and by increasing the use of
real-time data, businesses are gaining more visibility and becoming more
efficient in their planning and operations.
From the use of robotics and
sensors in warehouses, to tracking drivers and the introduction of autonomous
vehicles, any disruptions like stock or staff shortages, traffic or weather,
can be spotted and managed much earlier on to reduce their impact.
For customers, increasing levels of technology means they
receive an improved level of service from businesses, before and after their
purchase, such as up to date stock alerts and more information throughout the
transit period. Customers are also benefiting from more delivery options,
including smart lockers which have become more available due to the pandemic. This piece of technology is not
only a quick and cost-effective solution for businesses by reducing the last
mile, but for customers, it means they can enjoy a contactless delivery and
collection at a time that suits them.
Contactless delivery and collection options are vital
from a health and safety perspective and pave the way for things to come in a
Reconfiguring supply chains
With the impact of COVID-19 being felt across the globe, the
pandemic has uncovered the level of potential disruption on complicated and
long supply chains. In response, businesses may start changing their processes
by working with new partners, nearshoring to more convenient locations, or even
bringing efforts closer to home with reshoring. These changes will hopefully
have a positive impact in shortening the supply chain to decrease disruptions
and the time getting products to market, whilst simultaneously improving their
Also, in line with the increased customer demand, larger
warehouses or logistic hubs may also be needed, such as the
large 2.3 million square foot centre currently built in Swindon, UK. By
having more accessible stock and a more reactive logistics processes,
businesses are more able to respond quickly to consumer and business demand.
Preparing for future disruptions
Other key learning that all industries have felt from the pandemic
is that disruption is inevitable. With events such as natural disasters and
changes in the political landscape, there is always going to be interruptions to
the movement and flow of goods. Therefore, those in the logistics industry will
be more aware that having forward plans firmly in place will limit the impact
of these unavoidable events.
From diversifying the business offering and
creating emergency plans, to identifying ways to reduce costs to strengthen the
bottom line, businesses can grow and reduce the effect of the unknown on
themselves and their customers.
While, like other industries, logistics is certainly not out
of the pandemic woods yet, the impact of COVID-19 has drastically shaped and
impacted upon present and future business operations that are sure to set out
the future of the logistics industry worldwide.
Find out more
By embracing changes in technology and how the industry
operates, the impact of future disruptions within the logistics industry can be
limited. With today’s Electronic Proof of Delivery (EPOD) system providing a
digital solution across all areas of logistical operations, from route
optimisation to job scheduling and fleet maintenance, businesses can help serve
customers in a more efficient way. To find out more about TouchStar’s EPOD
solutions and how they can help your business prepare and flourish during future
disruptions, please get in touch with us.