Farewell 2021. Welcome 2022. Last week we counted down en masse to a new year and left the year 2021 behind us. A year in which you managed to keep your logistics operation running. Despite all the challenges in your path. From Covid-19 to Brexit, and from sustainability to keeping up with lightning-fast technological developments. Being where you are now is an achievement in itself. However, a new year brings new opportunities. Never before have we longed so much for a new beginning as this year. Because where 2021 was marked by the corona crisis and its consequences for your business, you are ready to put your shoulders to the wheel for a prosperous 2022. What trends do we see for the logistics market? And what challenges will you have to overcome this year?
Recovery Logistics Market After The Corona Crisis Continues
As much as we had hoped, we are not yet rid of the coronavirus. Not even in logistics. This affects the way you work. But also on irregularities in the logistics market. Nevertheless, the recovery that started in 2021 seems to continue in the coming year. Last year the transport and logistics sector already experienced a turnover growth of 9% and a volume growth of 7.5%. And the prospects for 2022 are also good. With e-commerce as the biggest driver for this growth.
E-fulfilment is growing structurally
For the second consecutive year, North America had a record amount of online orders and parcels delivered. Where it was thought two years ago that this might be a one-off, we can no longer ignore this structural change. And as a logistics service provider, you can no longer ignore e-fulfilment. The cry for companies that specialize in the logistical handling of these ordered packages is loud. Very loud. It is not without reason that a large part of the traditional logistics service providers are entering this booming market.
Pressure on international supply chain. High costs container transport
Last year, the blockage of the Suez Canal caused major problems in the supply chain. Incidents like these, corona-related port closures and power shortages in China exacerbated the already existing congestion in the supply chain . At the end of last month, thousands of container ships were waiting at a berth off the coast of North America, Europe and Asia. The consequence for you in the new year? A continued rise in container rates. In addition, shippers are expected to experience higher total transportation costs until at least the second half of 2022.
Capacity shortages in logistics persist
It is not only the problems in sea freight that cause higher prices. The shortages in space, materials and people will also affect the rates you pay in 2022. And therefore also on the amounts that you have to ask your customer. These capacity shortages do not appear to be coming to an end in the coming year. For example, many companies postpone expansions of their fleet or capacity because there are no human resources to fill them. And with a quarter of drivers retiring in the next ten years , this challenge will not simply pass. You will therefore have to set up your processes in such a way that you can handle the current amount of work (or more) with the people you now have at your disposal.
Efficiency is key
To be successful in this, efficiency is of paramount importance. This way you can save time by receiving pre-notifications of the inbound in your warehouse via EDI . Or by automatically calculating the correct storage costs and invoicing them directly to your customer. Or by giving your customers insight into the latest transport status via a customer portal, so that they do not have to call your office. This saves time that your employees can use on other aspects of your logistics operation.
Robotization in logistics: from luxury to necessity
Robotization will also play an increasingly prominent role in the logistics sector in 2022. In addition to the possibilities that have been known for some time, the shortage on the current labor market also clearly demonstrates the value of robots in your logistics processes. For example, robots can make the work for your employees lighter and more pleasant, which reduces the chance of failure. Robots can take the work completely off your hands, such as in a fully automated warehouse .
Overcome challenges with a suitable software solution
Knowing which trends to expect in 2022 is step one. Step two is making sure you can use these trends to your advantage. Overcome challenges and strengthen your market position. A suitable software solution will help you with this. This way you can use your WMS to gain efficiency so that you can deal with staff shortages. Or you can change rates in your TMS at once for all your contracts, when something changes in the transport costs.
Would you like to know how Solution PL’s logistics industry standard can help you with this? Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was written by Mike Oerlemans from our partner Boltrics