Nowadays, transformation and the COVID-19 pandemic, both of which have never been seen in the past century, are intertwined. Among the victimized fields, logistics is one of the most severe. So what logistics challenges have come to this emerging industry? And what logistics services providers can do to deal with those situations?
Logistics Challenges Facing the Industry
There's been no sector left untouched by the widespread impact of the COVID-19, but logistics is an industry that links with many factors. One part infected will influence the left. Therefore the challenges, which are listed below, are profound.
- City Lockdown Delays Delivery Process
One of the responses to the sudden outbreaks of the pandemic that terrifies international logistics providers is city lockdown. With the rapid development of e-commerce, the public has soaring demand for logistics. According to Statista's report on Dec 6, 2021, the size of the global logistics reached 8.6 trillion USD in 2021, revealing the rapidly growing industry.
However, with an aim to reduce the flow of people to cut the possibility of virus transmission, when an outbreak appears, the government will choose to impose a city lockdown, which will trigger a ripple effect on international logistics: first a decreasing orders, then a rocketing logistics price, an insufficient position for storing the freight and finally the delaying delivery.
- Uncertain & Changing Policies Impose in Different Areas
The attitude and response toward the pandemic vary from country to country, city to city, and county to county. Therefore, it poses a challenge to international logistics services providers to update their knowledge of the policies in different areas to impose methods accordingly.
- Rocketing Oil Prices Increase the Cost of Delivery
The pandemic intertwining with the evolving international landscape saw the price increase from $92.04 a barrel in February to $96.48 a barrel, reaching a record high. The soaring oil price takes a toll on the international logistics provider since about half of the logistics cost goes to transportation, for which oil occupies one-third. In this case, the international logistics services provider should increase their charge to maintain revenues.
- Labor Shortage Posts Another Logistics Challenge
Despite the development of artificial intelligence, labor remains a monumental factor in the logistics industry. However, the labor shortage has long been a logistics challenge, even before the pandemic outbreak, because of the aging workforce. Against the background of the pandemic, the labor shortage has become more pressing.
In the supply chain, where ports, warehouses, and manufacturing locating, the workforce is in great demand. The sudden outbreak will cause cargo to pile up, which demands people to deal with, be it coordinating as a whole or transmitting to different warehouses. Therefore, the labor shortage is a time-bomb in this industry.
- Lax Disinfection May Transmit the Virus
Parcels transmitting in numerous areas, delivering from hands to hands, become a compact greenhouse for the virus. Ensuring comprehensive disinfection of the parcels is the top concern for the logistics services providers in the struggling time.
Over these years, COVID-19 cases relating to parcels are rocketing; people are worried that they will be victims of the "toxic parcels." Lax disinfection is unbearable, so the reputation of logistics companies that are not capable of offering full disinfection and protecting workers from being affected will be damaged.
Responses to the Logistics Challenges
Confronting all these logistics challenges, what can the international logistics services providers do to respond to them?
- Systematic Packages Disinfection
From receiving to unpacking the parcels, people in the link should pay much attention to sterilizing. Logistics companies should take the major responsibility of ensuring parcels are clean from the virus when handed to the customers. Therefore, it is critical to protect customers, workers, and reputation.
- 24/7 Customer Services
During this challenging time, customer services are in great demand. The changing response to the sudden outbreak of the pandemic put an unknown delivery time of the parcels. Therefore, when customers are anxious about their parcels, sound customer service should be provided to answer their questions and assure them in a way to minimize a further cost of refund.
- Take Advantage of State-of-the-Art Technologies and Big Data
Among all the advanced technologies and big data that are employed in this industry, the following three points are the most outstanding:
- Digital information platform: the platform provides logistics companies to notice the changes and make a well-time, transparent control of the logistics situation.
- Automatic sorting system: The system makes sure the parcels can be sorted efficiently and the transportation chosen can be more accurate.
- Auto-tracking system: update the location information of the parcels in real-time.
Conclusion: Evolving Situation VS Responsible Logistics Company
Although being crippled by the evolving pandemic, certain strategies can be implemented to minimize the cost. You may wonder what logistics company can provide safe and reliable services at this time? Then 4PX can be the answer.
4PX, an experienced and professional logistics company, has actively reacted to the logistics challenges among all the international logistics services providers. It fully commits to offering safe and efficient logistics services at affordable prices. Interested in knowing more about how 4PX can serve you with safe and efficient logistics services? Visit the website and contact their professional teams!