The logistical challenges presented by COVID-19 for businesses and consumers alike are arguably the greatest in over 75 years. Business models are rapidly adapting to reflect the “new normal” and this is creating new opportunities for growth, engagement with consumers and re-evaluations of supply chains across nearly every sector of the economy. High quality logistics solutions and processes are a key component of delivering these changes successfully.

The lock down effect

With social distancing and lock down measures preventing many businesses interacting physically with their customers in a traditional sense, adopting successful logistics services has been the lifeline for many companies, allowing them to continue trading and to reach their consumers in new ways.  Well known restaurant chains have recently launched home delivery services. Take Côte Brasserie, for example, that recently launched a home delivery service in the form of Côte at Home, to deliver restaurant prepared food to consumers’ front doors.

Changes in purchasing behaviour are also creating demand and opportunities for innovative technology solutions to enhance customer experience along the delivery journey.  As physical delivery of product most often involves the services of a third-party logistics provider, this interface with the customer is imperative to get right, to ensure that customers maintain their positive view of the brand they are purchasing.

We have all experienced missed deliveries and damaged goods. As such, utilising integrated communications software, to ensure that the positive experience a consumer has enjoyed when purchasing via a website is then followed through from despatch and to a successful (and unbroken!) final delivery, is of great strategic importance to most brands.

The global supply chain

Minimising manufacturing costs will clearly remain a key priority moving forward, but if the flow of product from the other side of the world is disrupted by lockdowns or further restrictions which limit output, then these cost advantages of low costs jurisdictions start to reduce rapidly.  We expect more on-shoring in key manufacturing sectors, which will create new logistics opportunities for the transportation of raw materials and final product.

In other sectors where manufactured products rely on a global integrated supply chain, utilising low cost manufacturing jurisdictions in Asia, the COVID-19 situation is leading companies to re-evaluate their arrangements.

The latest Oaklins Report – Oaklins Transport & Logistics: Adapt and evolve in times of crisis – presents a global view of M&A trends in logistics and strategies post-COVID.

There is no doubt that the “new normal” will continue for at least the foreseeable future. While this has clearly created significant challenges for companies and the global economy, successful logistics strategies will remain a key focus in successfully engaging with customers, particularly as businesses are forced to focus all of their efforts to online platforms rather than traditional physical engagement.