After the Crisis: New Demands on Logistics

After the Crisis: New Demands on Logistics

The logistics industry faces four new realities that will have a long-term impact on supply chain management. Dr. Detlef Trefzger, Member of the Management Board of Schenker AG, Essen, Germany, responsible for Contract Logistics and Supply Chain Management, emphasized these trends today in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States. Speaking to an audience of over 500 attendees at one of the world’s key congresses for logistics service providers, he addressed the new demands being placed on logistics at the start of the economic upswing.

“There are excellent opportunities for the global logistics industry to benefit from these developments,” said Trefzger. In his opinion, one of the new realities is the tremendous growth in new markets and emerging economies. Trefzger added that these regions will have and will also demand a more significant role in the global economy. This is expected to result in new business opportunities for the logistics industry, a case in point being the automotive sector. Many manufacturers are now moving parts of their production to these countries.

Another new reality he identified results from the strong fluctuations in world trade, on the commodities markets and in production costs. These changes will lead to fluctuations in global freight flows and the demand for warehousing services. “The result is increasingly less time to plan logistics processes,” explained Trefzger. Permanent change is becoming the order of the day in planning. “Those who miss the boat by not diversifying broadly enough and not adopting a global stance will face difficulties,” said Trefzger.

Outsourcing is growing considerably. Logistics companies are continually taking on more of the customer’s workload and the associated responsibilities. Increasing expertise is needed to handle these tasks and deliver the quality and productivity levels expected. Success very much depends therefore on having qualified employees. Good talent management is in demand.

The strong demand for standardized logistics solutions on a global scale is the fourth market reality. “Delivering consistently high standards of service quality will be one of the fundamental requirements in contract logistics. This will apply to all standard solutions, but also increasingly to customer-specific solutions,” Trefzger continued.

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Yesterday’s decisions are today’s reality, but by tomorrow they will already be out of date. “Actively driving change, exploiting talent and innovation; and ensuring continuity in the provision of services and quality to the customer - these are the new post-crisis requirements for logistics service providers,” Trefzger concluded.