1 February 2021
Founder and President
The logistics industry was turned upside down in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent impact on internet sales boosted the sector’s growth considerably. The industry boomed despite the lockdown during March-May as well as a small drop in sales in September, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The effects of the Pandemic gave the cargo industry good reason to invest more efficiently in technologies. It was clear to see that those companies, which already had invested, were ahead in the sector. Many supply companies still are adapting to the new world and how goods are delivered to clients.
During 2020 the logistics industry increased the distribution of its supply-chain activities to outside parties. With end-to-end management, they were able to reduce risk, increase flexibility, focus on their core business, and respond rapidly to changes in the market.
Companies were faced with huge amounts of data, especially during the first lockdowns. The online market grew tremendously as the world responded to the Pandemic. The digital technologies offered quick responses to fluctuations in demand while maintaining additional volumes of orders even with strict social-distancing protocols in place.
We are not claiming that digital documentation, instead of paper, was adopted during the pandemic, it of course existed before. However, to lessen the spread of disease, companies reduced the use of paper, thereby adding protection for their employees and customers. This trend of digitalization underscored the value of being able to respond quickly to customers’ needs and demands, through a well-thought-out strategy. According to a CNBS report, global e-commerce sales were up more than 31% at the end of June 2020.
During these difficult times, many lives were put on hold, while the Pandemic has slowed down the progress of some existing trends. We are confident they will resurface in 2021.
Although unemployment rose in 2020, and many companies were forced to close down, logistics providers experienced a shortage of workers. The moment the economy begins to rebuild, the industry will be faced with some competition, as other fields also begin to open. A positive and efficient work environment will become once again the primary competitive arena in the supply chain.
Customer behavior was unpredictable during most of the past year, which made it almost impossible to use historical past to manage inventory and foresee a client’s next move. When we return to a more stable environment, AI and Machine Learning will take back their position on the front seat of advanced analytics and forecasting.
Unfortunately, many industries put questions of sustainability in the background, because it was more important to fight for business continuity while the world was struggling for survival. US President Joe Biden signed an executive order to rejoin the Paris Agreement for climate change the moment after his inauguration. In 2021 issues of sustainability will take high priority, where it will be supported on a global level.
We know during 2021 the challenge of the global crisis will continue in the world. Dealing with COVID-19 made us think more creatively and struggle for efficiency. However, if we continue to use and improve modern technology together with the experience gained last year, strategies implemented to fight the virus will continue successfully. As long as we are together in this effort!
“In the past we have had a light which flickered, in the present we have a light which flames, and in the future there will be a light which shines over all the land and sea.”
– Winston Churchill