The events of 2020 have created an impressive time for supply chains. Even before the COVID19 pandemic hit, supply chains became too complex to meet the high demand for goods. At the onset of the crisis, the role of supply chain that has served as the lifeblood of humanity became immediately apparent. Amidst all this, one of the most affected parts is the distribution capacity of a supply chain, which got severely affected worldwide. Businesses and shippers are under pressure to quickly ramp up their efforts to create smart supply chains that are not only efficient, but also customizable, flexible, and innately transparent. Everything to prompt faster decision-making – ultimately serving the customers and communities better.
In 2021, supply chains across all industries face ongoing global disruption. A recent Accenture and GEODIS survey found out that companies expect a shift to selling online, specifically by selling directly on the internet on their own website. However, more than half (52%) believe their logistics capabilities are not enough to absorb the rapidly growing e-commerce volume. Innovative new capabilities around ecommerce for last mile delivery, reverse logistics and warehousing will become increasingly important. However, investing in new capacity is difficult and increasingly difficult to justify, making it essential to find the right Third Party Logistics Provider (3PL) for their needs more than ever.
Let’s dig a bit deeper into each of these areas and the role of 3PLs:
An overview: The changing dynamics
This year, shippers’ primary priority was to evaluate 3PLs to ensure that they are making the most of these relationships as they recover. In the past, shippers relied on 3PLs to profitably manage asset-based operations such as shipping and warehousing. These relationships have evolved over the past few years as 3PLs provide critical real-time visibility and reporting. The wide profile of freight forwarders means shippers have more bargaining power, which is a positive, but it can be difficult to choose from many options.
Meeting capacity challenges
With continued growth in demand, periods of capacity constraints in modes of transport and given the price challenge, shippers must constantly evaluate their options. In addition, tightening border controls and customs regulations will lead to longer wait times and developing the ability to perform long-haul and last-mile operations will present major challenges. Shippers will continue to face increased demand during capacity constraints coupled with modal and tariff challenges. With access to large shipping networks, 3PLs can be a great resource for shippers looking for capacity.
Assessing growth opportunities
As shippers look to build customer-centric supply chains to drive new growth, their 3PL relationships will be critical to executing distribution strategies. More so when it becomes specific to segments, they need to balance with service levels and costs flexibly. This requires greater visibility into demand requirements to align infrastructure and physical supply chain capabilities with dynamic planning and decision-making. Shippers need to assess which 3PL partners can meet the needs of different segments.
Shippers can also benefit from 3PLs as they consider their presence in the existing market and the opportunity to expand into new markets. Even before the pandemic, companies were redesigning their supply and logistics networks, and this disruption quickly led to foresightedness, lowering of the total cost of ownership, and ultimately growth.
Building resilience through digital transformation
After facing significant disruption at the start of the pandemic, many shippers have started to take a proactive approach to risk by implementing new initiatives to increase visibility and resilience. Shippers are also looking for innovative solutions to test their supply chains and logistics networks.
In 2021, 3PLs will play a key role in helping shippers with end-to-end inventory visibility, real-time order tracking, and super-reverse logistics. These capabilities enable shippers to make more informed strategic decisions and act quickly with greater precision, certainty and in full alignment with their overall business strategy. With advanced analytics, machine learning, and automated offers on pricing, shippers can rely on their 3PLs for better visibility and faster decision making and reporting on all activities.
MENA’s largest digital land freight platform, TruKKer, draws upon over 30,000 service-ready trucks that help almost 500 enterprise clients bring their global trade in the region. The whole freight forwarding is a pure play of innovation and professional expertise. Right from booking to delivering, TruKKer implements automation in the core DNA of its services and simplifies everything. With our auto-indenting, you get the best transport assigned; you leverage live track-and-trace features and enjoy optimum asset control on the go; you benchmark each trip for a detailed performance analysis. What’s more, you enjoy instant pricing on booking –and all you need to do this is your smartphone.