The logistics industry refers to the distribution and transportation of goods. This includes the purchase and delivery of raw materials,and packaging, shipment and storage of materials. It is an extensive network that works together to deliver products to the customers, including vendors, transportation providers, call centers, warehouse providers, etc.
Logistics have a significant impact on business. The more efficiently the raw materials is purchased, transported, and stored until use, the more profitable the business will be. It is crucial to coordinate with resources to allow for timely delivery and the apt use of materials. On the customer side, if the products are not produced and shipped in a timely manner, there could be an adverse effect on customer satisfaction,, negatively impacting a company’s profitability and long-term viability.
Challenges faced by the logistics industry
Like others, the transportation and logistics industry also faces challenges in terms of technology, new market entrants, customer expectations, and new business models. Some of the significant challenges faced by this sector are given below.
1. Fuel costs
Among the biggest challenges faced by the logistic industry is fuel cost. Higher fuel prices are likely to increase transportation costs by pushing up fuel surcharges. These escalating surcharges are added to the freight rates making it difficult for truckers whose earnings are hampered.Rising fuel prices are an immense pain for the logistics industry.
2. Process improvisation
With the emergence of new technology and processes, it is imperative for the logistics industry to adapt and stay on top. . Taking advantage of new opportunities sounds enticing, but the adoption process and onboarding can sometimes be quite overwhelming.
3. Transparent customer service
Customers demand full transparency in terms of tiered delivery. These days it is also effortless to track the location of your delivery package. Since the customer expectations have increased, their willingness to pay for fast shipping has decreased.
4. Driver shortage
Since the logistics sector has expanded in such a short duration, there is a shortage of drivers, which is a significant challenge in the industry. Candidates’ driving records are thoroughly scrutinized for traffic violations or inspection discrepancies, lest it has a negative impact on the company’s safety compliance and accountability score.
5. Government regulations
Carriers usually face significant compliance regulations imposed by federal, state, and local authorities.
6. Transportation costs
This is the single biggest challenge as transportation costs account for a large chunk of total expenses.Costs can be curtailed to some extent by consolidating shipments and getting bulk rates; however, this could be at the risk of delayed deliveries, which would negatively impact customer satisfaction.
7. Improving business process
Logistics partners are experts with relevant ,in depth experience and knowledge. They also tend to be financially stable and flexible and capable of taking reasonable risk for long-term gains. The logistics business is highly competitive; hence industry benchmarking plays a crucial role in the business process improvements.
8. Improving supply chain visibility
Logistics companies need full visibility on the supply chain process. Shipments must be tracked to make sure that they are following the prescribed route.In case of any disruption, notifications and alerts should be activated to initiate prompt actions. Customers also need to get updates ,i.e., shipping notifications, ETAs so that they can track the shipment on the web portal.
9. Impact of the economy
Political instability, a drop in the performance of the manufacturing sector, inflation,or a rise in the consumer price index can all adversely impact demand for products and services, ultimately leading to negative impact on freight demand.
There is a significant focus on reducing emissions. Logistic companies must comply by adopting route and load optimization, tracking and reporting emissions, upgrading engines, and choosing alternative fuels.
Given the above challenges, logistics companies can meet the rising customer expectations by being flexible and committing to upgrading technology, process, and people.