In the wake of the current Covid-19 crisis, the world as we know it is bound to change. With it, shipping lanes, transport expectations, and logistics trends have already begun to shift toward a new age of information.
According to JOC, global container volumes have increased by 4% to a total of 146.4 million in 2019. Largest container export hubs – China, US, South Korea, Japan, and Thailand – estimate a 4.8% yearly growth through 2025.
Even though COVID-19 may have slowed down shipping and logistics due to an increased concern for health and safety standards, the world will recover. That being said, it’s worth keeping several disruptive container logistics trends in mind as we move forward into 2020 and its newly-established status quo.
1. QA Standardization
The safety concern for not only shipping managers but the end-product users has grown exponentially. As such, introducing elevated security measures and quality assessment processes for incoming and outgoing containers is more than welcome. The point of standardized QA is to feature centralized container trading, data flow, and shipment tracking throughout the handling and shipping process.
According to MH&L, warehouse automation is expected to grow by 12.6% in the next five years, prompting businesses in container logistics to reevaluate their business models. Having such measures in place will surely speed up your containers’ end-destination processing and allow for quicker turnaround, approval, and container retrieval as a result. Failing to meet expectations in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis will slow your logistics down to a crawl and result in a loss of productivity.
2. Long-Term B2B Networking
Every shipping company’s main goal is to minimize shipping costs while improving the effectiveness of logistical services they provide to third-party businesses. Thus, every successful contract can be followed up with intentions to create long-term partnerships with mutual benefits which can speed up logistical processes quite efficiently.
Partnering with trustworthy shipping and logistics companies that you’ve worked with before is a worthwhile trend to implement. In the wake of current events, building a stable B2B network will further improve your container logistics management as approval and handling become more effective. Don’t rest on the laurels of simply procuring shipments or providing services for individual businesses – build a solid B2B network that you can count on.
3. Cloud-Based Logistics
With the increased emphasis on digitalization (and current social distancing), investing resources into a cloud-based container management platform seems like a logical step for 2020. Thus, collecting data on your partners, containers, and shipping routes into a reliable tracking platform can allow for much faster order management with minimal error.
Using such a platform in day-to-day logistics can effectively minimize manual workflow and let you automate data processing activities for more efficient client servicing. Likewise, your finances can also be integrated into the platform for better container logistics management, allowing you to focus on communication and servicing without worry. Given that 2020 has introduced digitalization elements into a plethora of industries in the wake of COVID-19, this trend can certainly be worth your time.
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4. Supply Chain Sustainability
Pollution, energy savings, and cost-cutting have become a predominant trend in container logistics ever since the global crisis has ground the industry to a halt. However, the situation can be taken advantage of by introducing sustainability elements to your business model as we move further from the ensuing crisis. According to The Guardian, carbon from shipping makes up 3% of global emissions and is expected to rise to 17% by 2050, prompting a change.
Adopting eco-friendly container handling, thorough QA, as well as reevaluating current shipping lines and processes will inevitably lead to the detection and mitigation of existing bottlenecks. Furthermore, order grouping, bulk shipping, and networking with transportation companies that rely on eco-friendly energy consumption can make your container shipping efforts even more sustainable. In the long term, this can lead to better brand reputation, client loyalty, cut shipping costs, and even more B2B networking opportunities as a result.
5. Client-Side UX Improvements
While the container logistics industry is firmly based on physical shipping, clients and companies like to know where their orders are at any moment. Beyond the traditional tracking numbers, your container logistics management efforts can go as far as to include GPS devices and website chatbots available for communication.
While not strictly present in container management, Amazon’s drone technology is an example of an attempt to elevate the UX of individual clients. Increasing the appeal and user experience (UX) of your clients during the logistics management process will improve your brand reputation greatly in terms of retention. With the growing emphasis on digital technologies and web-based cloud services, allowing clients to have an insight into their orders is a welcome UX addition.
6. Predictive Container Availability
Depending on the type of goods, urgency, and their QA requirements, certain businesses will want to know as much as possible about container logistics availability. However, knowing when certain shipping lanes will be available and in what capacity can be difficult without insight into current transportation activities.
Thus, a predictive, container availability index can be utilized to carefully plan container shipments based on a variety of criteria. By partnering with a container logistics business that provides predictive availability indexes on a regular basis, your company’s performance can thrive as a result. This is a trend that allows for logistics forecast and can further enhance a business’s efficacy in delivering goods to their overseas partners.
While none of us can predict what the future of container logistics will entail once we enter 2021, what we can do is adopt change. As in maritime transportation, shifting tides and unexpected changes are there as a challenge, not a setback. Make sure to adapt your shipping management strategy to meet current trends. And maintain optimal performance for your production and distribution facilities. Be aware of the coming tide and the changes that come with it. Before you know it, new logistics norms will become a standard affair.
Bio: Bridgette Hernandez is a professional content creator, writer, and editor at Trust My Paper and Grab My Essay writing services. Her career goals revolve around delivering quality content through articles, essays, and studies via writing platforms such as SupremeDissertations and BestEssayEducation.com. In her spare time, Bridgette enjoys keeping in touch with various industries’ trends as well as reading personal development literature.