How the pandemic has changed our view on logistics

The unexpected pandemic has turned the world upside down since 2020. The impact has been enormous, not only for us as individuals, but also for companies and the entire world economy. In addition to COVID-19, the Suez Canal blockage and Brexit led to closed borders, shortages of raw materials and personnel, high container prices, and completely filled warehouses. This has, of course, had a major effect on global supply chains. Uncertainty about how long the pandemic and its effects will last and the potential for similar yet unpredictable situations in the future mean that a one-size fits-all solution no longer seems realistic. Do we need to change our entire view on logistics?

Unexpected supply chain challenges

Closed borders, shops, and restaurants have led to consumers increasingly ordering online. This has prompted retailers to increase their storage and distribution capacities. At the same time, the pandemic is creating challenges in the delivery of goods. Staff shortages in factories are causing scarcity in raw materials. Containers get 'stuck' in ports due to a lack of people to unload them. And then there are not enough drivers to transport goods, container costs are skyrocketing, and warehouses are completely filled due to a fear of shortages. That's why it is a major challenge for companies to be able to deliver the right service and keep customers satisfied.

What does this mean for our view on logistics?

We are slowly seeing a change in the way logistics is understood. In particular, there is an awareness that these kinds of unforeseen situations may, of course, happen more often. Whereas companies used to focus on minimizing costs, there is now growing awareness that 'efficiency' and 'flexibility' are key. Right now the pandemic is having a major impact, but next year we may be facing different challenges.

The new standard

The 'new standard' is not fixed. We no longer focus solely on price or cling to traditional ideas. For example, we are seeing a change in the approach of companies towards logistics departments and service providers. They are increasingly looking for future-proof solutions. And that requires creativity, flexibility and the ability to deal with unexpected situations. Today, tomorrow, and a year from now. As a logistics service provider, this means that we will have to deal with customer-specific solutions more than ever and seek out partnerships even more intensively. This is the only way that we can be future-proof together.

 

Want to find out more about what such a partnership would look like? Or do you have a specific question? Then please contact us. We are happy to advise!

Written by:

Edward van Kasteel | Director Supply Chain Solutions

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Edward van Kasteel

Director Supply Chain Solutions

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