The COVID-19 pandemic has had a lasting impact on supply chains around the world. Starting in early 2020, when manufacturing and logistics sectors experienced major disruptions on a global scale, companies needed to adapt to a rapidly changing new environment. This “new normal” is still a moving target, and smart business leaders recognize that they must keep adapting and realigning to the current circumstances. https://exegistics.com/wp-login.php
A recent article in Logistics Brief outlined significant trends in warehouse and logistics in 2020, and what we can expect to see in 2021. Here are three lessons we can take with us as we begin a new year.
Warehouse space and labor are indispensable.
The surge in e-commerce sales last year led to high demand for more warehouse space and labor. Demand for large warehouses and distribution centers increased 51% in the first half of 2020, as e-commerce and logistics companies sought more space for processing, packaging, and shipping online orders.
While warehouse employment reached the highest level ever recorded in September, 1.25 million workers, businesses still faced a major labor shortage. Human resources were limited even before the pandemic, and health, safety, and distancing concerns have exacerbated the problem. Companies must prioritize both space and staffing needs when planning for 2021.
To survive, companies must be agile and adapt to changes.
Different industries have faced a wide range of logistics challenges in the last year. The manufacturing shutdown early in 2020 forced the auto industry and other sectors to be agile and readjust their supply chains quickly.
E-commerce and healthcare, two industries that have seen a massive surge in demand, have also had to adapt their operations to deliver products to customers without long delays. 2021 will bring new supply chain challenges as e-commerce continues to grow and the health care sector ramps up for worldwide vaccine distribution.
Supply chain providers are most valuable as real partners.
The last year has emphasized how crucial warehouse and distribution providers are to a company’s success. Businesses that move beyond merely transactional relationships with supply chain providers and build true partnerships are better positioned to manage challenges, like shipping disruptions or material shortages. Flexible, proactive logistics partners are a competitive advantage, now and in the future.
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