The logistics sector has shown remarkable resilience during the COVID-19 crisis in spite of upheaval, including a major slowdown at the start of the pandemic and a subsequent capacity crush during the holiday season. One emblematic image of the industry’s adaptability: United Parcel Service, which shortly after two coronavirus vaccines won approval, ramped up production of dry ice at its hubs to preserve the medicines during delivery to health care institutions.
Such moves are not surprising, we explain in our new TCS Perspectives article (Mastering the Post-pandemic Logistics Revolution). Players in the $9.6-trillion global logistics industry have evolved continuously during the past three decades.
As we explain in our article, the pandemic has accelerated three important challenges: rising consumer expectations for quality service, distribution companies’ growing impact on the environment, and the emergence of new and innovative logistics players. Logistics companies cannot ignore these issues. Those that master them will gain big competitive advantages.
In our article in Perspectives, we discuss the origins of these fundamental changes and what logistics companies can do to thrive. One of the most important questions they must answer is who owns the customer experience. Is it the logistics company, the retailer, or the goods manufacturer?
In the days when consumers mostly shopped at stores, retailers ruled. But in a world in which online shopping continues to grow, the delivery of products to consumers’ homes has become just as important as the in-store retail experience. That means the stakes go up for logistics companies. A mishandled purchase, damaged package, or delayed delivery – retailers will hear consumers’ complaints. Sellers of goods will start to select shipping partners based on quality of service, not only price.
We explain three must-dos for all logistics companies:
First, easy-to-use mobile apps and websites. Many of today’s user interfaces make it difficult for consumers to find what they need. Intuitive navigation and fast response times on queries (like delivery status updates) can win consumer loyalty.
Second, performance data shared with business partners. A logistics firm with strong delivery performance can cement relationships with retailers and other business customers if it lets them know about that performance.
Third, rigorous delivery tracking. End customers must be able to track their shipment deliveries on their desired devices and send immediate feedback to the shipping company. The data from these deliveries can help shipping companies identify unproductive drivers, unreliable transportation and other inefficiencies.
This is a great time for logistics companies to pull ahead of the pack. I invite you to read how this can be done in our Perspectives article.