The pandemic has affected the global logistics and supply chain management just like other sectors. Logistics companies have altered their strategies to adapt to the changes in the other industries. This has helped the sector to recover after the setbacks suffered due to the pandemic and keep pace with the growth of the other sectors. These developments are also being called as trends of the sector. While 2021 saw a substantial number of developments, 2022 is also expected to see a couple of landmark trends.
With the COVID-19 imposed lockdowns affecting the movement of goods in various parts of the country, the logistics sector remained under stress for a considerable amount of time. The industry also realised some of the vulnerabilities and drawbacks that it needs to address. According to a recent survey by EY, 72% of companies who took part in the survey said they had experienced a 72% negative effect of the pandemic. The survey also showed that increasing efficiency and reskilling will emerge as two of the top priorities of the industry now. The need to increase visibility has also become a priority.
Most of the changes that we saw in the logistics industry in 2021 were enabled by IoT. This technology played a crucial role because it provides valuable data about the movement of goods, quality and demand. A majority of respondents said they were going to provide training to its workforce as they have realized the need to upskill. COVID-19 has also brought the focus on environmental and sustainable goals (ESG) for the industry. Rapid digitalization and introduction of technology are expected to accelerate the logistics processes. Some of the terms that have dominated the industry have been ‘lights-out’, ‘hands-free’ and ‘self-driving’.
What Are the Current Trends in Logistics and Supply Chain Management?
The future of logistics and supply chain will be dominated by digital and autonomous operations. The supply chain will be flexible, agile, more efficient and resilient. It will be able to adapt to changes in the system more smoothly than before.
Here is the list of upcoming trends and patterns in logistics and supply chain management:
- Use of automated vehicles and equipment: According to industry reports, the autonomous warehouse robotics market will touch $27 billion. Automated storage has picked up due to the introduction of robotic picking practices. Robots find, pick and move the goods at rates faster than humans. It automatically helps the operations to take place faster and makes them less risky. Logistics companies are also deploying self-driving trucks and self-driving cars. Investor funding in this sector has grown to $5.6 billion in 2021. The use of delivery drones and flying robots are all part of this development.
- Boom in Cloud technology: It has gained immense popularity since the pandemic. It is being predicted that the Cloud industry will be worth around $1250 billion by 2028. This has tremendously helped smaller enterprises as it helps them get access to different types of software for data analytics, inventory management, CRM and accounting.
- Green Logistics: The pandemic has made the world realize the importance of sustainable solutions. The logistics and supply chain sector have also accepted the need to become greener and contribute to the environment. This has been a cost-effective path that ultimately helps in increasing customer loyalty, boosting growth and improving the overall health of the industry. A recent Harvard Business Review has said that the businesses focused on sustainability have grown 6 times faster than the rest. There is a strong likelihood that Supply Chain Executives will gradually give way to Sustainability Chain Officer. Green logistics have also led to adoption of the circular supply chain approach that results in lower costs, less wastage and limited impact on the environment.
- Supply Chain Resilience: The challenges thrown up by the pandemic forced the industry to question the agility and flexibility of the value chains. It has also brought the spotlight back on the need for regionalised supply chain with the production houses being closer to the markets. The increasing level of fully automated manufacturing has turned the focus from cost of labour to cost of energy, taxes, ease of doing businesses and fiscal stability. 3D printing too has increased the resilience quotient and so has the demand for goods manufactured in the home country. Other factors that have contributed to resistance are the development of IoT, Big Data, predictive analysis and AI.
- Shipment of Refrigerated Goods: The pharma industry has seen a substantial growth due to the need to produce COVID-19 vaccines and other related health conditions. Moreover, there is a general increase in awareness towards ailments. This growing awareness for well-being has highlighted the need for refrigerated shipping. There is a strong demand for such facilities from the biopharma sector and from nations other than the key manufacturing ones. The distribution of COVID-19 vaccine globally has pushed shipping companies to expand their transportation fleet along with adopting technological resources.
- Omnichannel services and contact-less deliveries: Customers nowadays have a strong desire for flexibility. They are also in search of options whether it’s offline or online delivery options and pick-up options. Logistics and supply chains now have the responsibility to fulfil the need for no-contact delivery and drop-off delivery options. This has increased the role of robotic deliveries.
- Technology and 5G: Technology has led the logistics industry to embrace IoT that has been playing an important role in tracking inventory. IoT’s potential will be fully realised once we adopt 5G in its full force. This is expected to happen by the end of this decade. The other utility of technology is the ease it brings in handling of data. Logistics companies handle more data than most other industries and they will benefit a great deal with the introduction of Cloud network.
- Supply chain as a Service (ScaaS): The industry has been predicting that an increasing number of businesses will adopt supply chain as a service model while outsourcing manufacturing, logistics and inventory management.
- Elastic logistics: Elastic logistics has emerged from the need to manage fluctuations in consumer demand and the disruptions in the industry. It has helped in increasing efficiency and visibility. Elastic logistics enables efficiency, visibility, ability to scale and optimize.
- Blockchain: Blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can record financial transactions and a whole lot of information. It helps individuals to enter commercial transactions without the fear of misuse. The software’s transparency and accountability make it a useful application in the supply chain domain.
- Robotic Automation: Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is used to automate high volume and repeatable tasks. It helps enterprises to get their jobs done more effectively. RPA increases efficiency of logistics industry by automating processes, improving business operations, reducing costs and increasing productivity.
- RFID: Radio-frequency Identity (RFID) chips can provide real-time tracking information, precise location and quantity data. Some of the functions where RFID is used is for tagging trucks, pallets and inventory. It provides multi-lateral views of what is happening across the supply chain. With the help of RFID, companies can change delivery route in case of unpredictable events like accidents or hazardous weather conditions.
- Last-mile service: There is a lot of demand from customers for faster and accurate deliveries. This has pushed logistics companies to aim for achieving the best last-mile services now popular as LMaaS.
- Reverse logistics: The growth in eCommerce has brought an increasing need to accommodate Returns and Delivery Failures. So logistics companies now need to handle goods returning in the same way they dealt with the deliveries. This is where reverse logistics comes into play. Business houses now need to be able to predict which items are likely to come back and how much would the cost of that be. They also need to ensure that the goods don’t get lost in the process.
- Need to expand locally: This is yet another realisation that logistics companies had with COVID-19. The disruption in supply chain forced many firms to tap local manufacturers. They found significant opportunities in going local. This trend is expected to continue for a good part of 2022 as well.
Scope in Logistics and Supply Management Sector
The logistics sector is evolving and growing with every passing day. Its prospects in the coming years definitely look bright because of the advancements in digital technologies, changing preferences of consumers, government reforms and better sourcing strategies.
India has emerged as a leading player in this sector and an important part of the global supply chain. The career opportunities in this field are equally encouraging with some of the best job profiles being:
- Business Development Manager
- Research Officer
- Sales Officer
- Material Manager
- Head of Supply
- Shipments Manager &
- Operations Manager.
A degree in Logistics and Supply Management can help you find suitable placements in leading firms of the country with some prominent names being:
- Blue Dart &
Role of TransGlobe Academy
This brings us to the question as to where should you get your degree in logistics and supply chain from and which institute provides you with the best placement opportunities. A careful look at the college and institutes in the country offering this course shows that Kochi’s TransGlobe Academy has a comprehensive programme with the best placement offers.
TransGlobe Academy offers a 12-month PG Diploma and a 6-month Diploma in Logistics & Supply Chain Management. It also provides industry-best certifications that open up career opportunities in a vast range of sectors like aviation, customer service, eCommerce, logistics, shipping and supply chain.
The students have the opportunity to be trained under global industrial leaders. TransGlobe Academy makes sure that the curriculum is updated with industry-relevant information and one that helps each student to develop key skills required for a global logistician. Moreover, the faculty makes sure that the students are given the opportunity to improve their skills through real-time industry situations. The career counselling and guidance sessions for the students also help them during the placement rounds and interviews.
Visit website to know more about the courses and send in your applications.