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The Twin Challenges Holding Back Logistics in 2024

In a world where logistics face the dual challenges of transformation and sustainability, it's vital to stand out. Our latest blog explores these issues, highlighting how they offer opportunities for differentiation and growth.

05th January 2024

Written by

Alistair Lindsay

Chief Operating Officer

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Logistics and supply chain processes have seen their fair share of setbacks over the last several years. From disruptions in the fallout of the pandemic to ongoing geopolitical tensions, companies like yours have had to reckon with a number of hurdles on the path to growth.

However, there are two critical challenges that you may have yet to fully recognise are holding your business back from seeing full logistical success: transformation and inadequately sustainable practices.

They may seem like two distinct gaps to fill — but they share two important factors:

  1. They’re both concerned with setting your business apart from an increasingly saturated market and appealing to your existing (as well as potential) customers.

  2. Digital transformation plays a major role in overcoming them.

The second point is especially pertinent in today’s business landscape. After all, the future of logistics and supply chains is marked by digitisation and autonomy, owing to a focus on optimising processes and investments while delivering greater results.

Here, we will explore these problems in more detail, why a refocus on digital transformation is paramount to overcoming them, and what your business can implement to start seeing progressed operations today.

Transformation of logistics

The transformation of logistics services has led to fierce competition based primarily on price, leaving little room for innovation or value-added services. This scenario is particularly challenging if your business relies on Just-In-Time (JIT) deliveries, where timing and reliability are crucial.

By improving coordination, service levels, and delivery times, your company can create a differentiated product. Advanced digital tools enable more accurate forecasting, efficient route planning, and real-time tracking, ensuring that JIT deliveries are executed flawlessly. This level of service not only sets your organisation and services apart, but also aids in building a brand reputation for reliability and excellence.

  • Enhanced coordination and service levels: Digital tools enable improved coordination, elevated service levels, and reduced delivery times, contributing to more consistent JIT deliveries. By leveraging technologies like AI for route optimisation and predictive analytics, you can offer a differentiated and superior service, moving away from the commoditisation trap.

  • Digital portals for customer service: Digital portals represent a significant leap in customer service. They provide customers with real-time tracking, order management, and personalised service options. This level of engagement and transparency fosters customer loyalty and can position your company as a provider of premium, differentiated services.

  • Analytics-driven transportation models: Advanced analytics enable the adoption of complex yet efficient transportation models like multimodal logistics. Additionally, by optimising full loads and routes, you can significantly reduce their carbon footprint, contributing to sustainability goals, as well as being more cost effective.. This approach is doubly effective in improving operational efficiency and positioning your business as an environmentally responsible player in the market.

Achieving sustainability

Adding to the point of environmental responsibility, it’s been long established that sustainability in logistics is no longer a choice: it’s a necessity.

Consumers and businesses increasingly prefer partners with a strong commitment to environmental stewardship. This shift is transforming sustainability from a compliance requirement to a competitive differentiator.

To achieve supply chain sustainability, your business has to implement straightforward enough strategies that consider critical ESG factors, including:

  • Responsible sourcing and waste reduction: Ensuring that materials and processes used are sustainable and minimising waste production.

  • Energy efficiency: Implementing practices that reduce energy consumption in logistics operations.

  • Adoption of eco-friendly transport solutions: Transitioning to alternative fuel sources, such as electric, hybrid, or hydrogen-powered vehicles which promotes greater levels of decarbonisation in the physical operation..

However, leveraging digital tools to implement sustainable practices plays a larger and more impactful role in helping your business both meet regulatory requirements and enhance market appeal. Such as:

  • Carbon tracking and monitoring: Digital tools allow for precise tracking and monitoring of carbon emissions, informing how your business can set, pursue, and showcase your sustainability goals and performance against said goals..

  • Optimising for sustainability: Digital transformation facilitates the adoption of sustainable practices like route optimisation, load maximisation, and the use of alternative fuels, for the end goal of reduced fuel consumption, lower emissions, and enhanced environmental responsibility.

  • Advanced data analytics: Digital tools also provide the capability to track and monitor carbon emissions, a critical factor in achieving sustainability targets. With enhanced analytics and coordination tools, you can jumpstart your business’ adoption of complex yet efficient transportation models like multimodal transportation. You also get the two-fold benefits of reducing your environmental impact while optimising your full-load deliveries for improved operational efficiency.

Embracing digital transformation as the way forward

Combating transformation and achieving total sustainability are both intimidating challenges — but they’re not impossible to solve. Investing in a robust strategy towards digital transformation is critical to addressing these problems as well as turning them into opportunities for growth and differentiation.

With that said, digital transformation isn’t something you can easily achieve out of the box. Your business needs a tried-and-tested solution that’s catered towards filling operational gaps while catering to your specific organisational needs.

That’s why we at Zeus Labs created Freight Command. We’ve long recognised the need for logistics and supply chain practices that consolidate various tools, data, and stakeholders, with environmentally-friendly processes embedded at every stage. Freight Command can take your business there, offering leading features such as:

  • Comprehensive integrations: Seamlessly connects with existing systems like your ERP, TMS, and WMS for unified and efficient operations.

  • Real-time data and analytics: Offers live reporting and advanced analytics for strategic decision-making and operational optimisation.

  • Total transparency and control: Provides a transparent view of the entire supply chain, enhancing control over logistics processes.

  • Automation and efficiency: Streamlines logistics processes, reducing manual intervention and increasing overall efficiency.

  • Proactive problem resolution: Employs predictive analytics for proactive management and minimisation of disruptions.

  • Sustainability at its core: Supports environmentally friendly operations, aligning with the growing need for sustainable supply chain management.

By embracing Freight Command’s best-in-class capabilities, your company can see improved service offerings, enhanced customer experiences, and adopt sustainable practices that will set you apart in a competitive market. All of this at a highly competitive cost, outstripping any other solution in the market. Book a demo today to discover how.

Reference:  How COVID-19 impacted supply chains and what comes next | EY - Global

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