date01 March 2021

The key challenges facing the logistics industry in 2021

To say 2020 was turbulent for the logistics industry would be an understatement. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was a uniquely challenging time for this sector and continues to be as the industry navigates its way to an eventual post-pandemic world.

Never before have global supply chains been faced with disruption of such a high magnitude or been forced to adapt to meet the radical changes in consumer behaviour. Here we explore the most pressing challenges facing logistics companies.

E-commerce spike

The rise of mass remote working across the globe since the COVID-19 outbreak has led to a significant e-commerce spike and dramatic surges in online trading, which is transforming both global trade and consumer behaviour.

The increase of remote working, coupled with financial savings made on work-related costs such as travel, uniforms, drinks and lunches, has led to the population heading online to spend previously ringfenced disposable income. The impact? A rise in online sales, previously untapped consumer groups taking to shopping in the digital space, together with a challenge for logistics companies to meet consumer demand through the pandemic and beyond.

Supply chain visibility and transparency

With the significant rise of e-commerce and online trading has come the growth in consumer demand for improved service and supply chain transparency. With expectations high, customers want full transparency into what stage their delivery is at, at all times.

From fast shipping and online tracking capabilities to SMS alerts and emails, supply chain transparency is not only expected but embedded into a consumer’s psyche. Plus, with the ever-increasing demand for online sales swarming the logistics industry, the need for visible, highly responsive, and efficient delivery processes is only set to continue.

Keeping up with tech

There comes a domino effect with an increase in e-commerce shopping, customer demand and supply chain visibility. Logistics companies must keep up with tech to fulfil desired customer transparency. Embracing digitalisation can help overcome this challenge.

From paperless proof of delivery, effective route planning through to vehicle safety inspections, time efficiencies can be made which keeps the entire process streamlined, visible and cost-effective. Digital route planning ensures fleet drivers arrive at their destination within the agreed, allotted time, meeting distributor and consumer expectations while facilitating customer transparency needs.

Labour shortages

What can be looked upon as a positive surge in job opportunities across the supply chain does present its own set of challenges. As online sales have drastically increased and consumer behaviour transformed since March 2020, there is an increase in demand for workers throughout the supply chain.

One of the main challenges facing the logistics industry is how to fill these new roles quickly and with the right candidates. What has been referred to as a ‘talent crisis’, with demand outweighing supply, has seen the transport & logistics sector suffering a significant shortage of labour.  

Overcome your logistics challenges today  

If you are a business or enterprise and are looking to overcome key logistics challenges and make business-critical efficiencies through EPOD upgrades, contact Touchstar today. Our EPOD systems are a scalable solution designed for any business, from SMEs through to larger enterprises. Streamline your business operations, improve workflows and make significant efficiency savings all with the help of our dedicated sales and support team.