Globalization is a challenge for logistics providers. The growth of the global economy has meant that consumers now expect to access goods and services from around the world, often at a moment’s notice.
The challenge for a 3PL company is to provide outstanding, easy-to-understand service in an increasingly commoditized world. According to a 2013 PWC Global Supply Study of 500 supply chain executives around the globe, the most pressing challenges include profitability, cost management, meeting customer requirements and supply chain flexibility.
Our clients and their customers also expect the same, seamless service whether a package is coming from across the street or halfway around the world. Shipping and transportation are core components of what we do; getting cargo from international origins to domestic destinations, before embarking upon the final mile to the customer.
Into the mix, add an increasingly volatile world market, uncertain weather conditions, not to mention disruptive and diverse political conditions around the many areas we ship from, and you have additional challenges thrown up by the logistics of globalizations.
As a result, supply chains must be tailored and responsive to customers’ needs and increasingly flexible.
The challenges for logistics providers are not negligible. But there are also opportunities and rewards. The same factors that have made globalization a reality have also increased what’s possible on the part of logistics providers. Technology has made it possible to offer services and customization that would have been unthinkable just a few short years ago.
As logistics providers, we also have an opportunity to become a more integral part of the services offered by our customers. The PWC survey revealed that 45 percent of the participants in the PWC study acknowledge that supply chain is perceived as a strategic asset.
PWC’s Summary on the Logistics of Globalization
Here are the main findings from the 2013 PWC Global Supply Study:
- You can have it all: companies that acknowledge supply chain as a strategic asset achieve 70% higher performance
- Leaders focus on best-in-class delivery, cost and flexibility to meet increasingly demanding customer requirements
- One size does not fit all: Leaders tailor their supply chains to the needs of different customer segments
- Leaders outsource production and delivery but retain global control of core strategic functions
- Leaders in mature and emerging markets invest more heavily in differentiating supply chain capabilities
- Interest in next-generation technologies and sustainable supply chains is growing
The conclusions are clear. Changing demands and technologies are requiring logistics providers to offer new and enhanced services. By adapting offerings and taking advantage of new technology the potential exists not only to meet the challenges but also to thrive in a global environment.