Supply Chain

Supply chain plays a vital role when the economy reopens

The year 2020 is a year of ultimate challenges and now that we are getting past almost half of it the world economy and local businesses seem to be slowly opening up. Many businesses not to spare the large corporate houses have started feeling the pinch of the situation and seem to be eager and roaring to make a quick comeback. 

Lockdowns though have helped us to contain Covid19 in some parts of the world it has also posed a great threat to the economy and thereby causing anxiety of not being able to access and expect what’s next.

Offices closed and with layoffs on the rise with the latest estimate to be around 30 million unemployed people, one of the biggest challenges for many nations is to stabilize their economies. No nation can afford another round of complete lockdowns as this will only aggravate the situation in the already affected economy that may lead to a more serious crisis of people dying out of hunger. This will largely impact not only the stability of a nation but also on the future of world trade.

As we have seen a scarcity in the supply of medicine and essentials there is only going to be an increase in demand in the coming days. If any country needs to recover quickly economically then it is imperative to say that there has to be a constant flow of goods and supplies whenever it is required. Let it be medicine or any item for household consumption goods and supplies have to be made available. Hence Supply Chain plays a vital role in stimulating the world economy.

The supply chain helps in safely storing the goods and freight forwarding companies ensuring the smooth flow of transportation of the essential items whenever it is required thereby ensuring the smooth conduct of business.

One of the biggest learning curves we have seen from this epidemic is that there will always be a surge in demand for many products and items. The sudden change in the global and local scenarios makes it difficult for the supply chain industry to keep up and that will give rise to shortages. Distribution centers were not prepared and did not have enough products in hand to maintain stock levels with the exponential growth in demand.

With the government still urging companies to allow their employees to work from home, there is going to be the stocking of products with the expectations of shortages. 

Let us evaluate some of the most crucial aspects the supply chain industry will play while many nations are getting geared up to reopen their businesses.

Strategies to cope up with sudden demands:

One of the biggest advantages we will have is that as businesses start reopening we have much more valuable data in hand to forecast demand and thereby plan operations. Though we have assuring numbers of COVID-19 cases improving there are still concerns from the medical fraternity of a possible recurrence of the virus. Hence it goes without saying that companies have to foresee this and forecast the possible demands which can be a sudden one. 

Supply chain strategies have to be implemented to tackle such surges for their products and they should consider storing more products in hand to reduce the possible scarcity. One can use the history of demands and shipping from the past few months to draw an estimate of the demand and thereby create a more accurate forecast. This will help the supply chain in being on top of their game maintaining adequate supply levels in order to meet requirements.

Preparedness when the economy reopens:

It is not easy for any business to restart its operations right from day one, especially during such a crisis. Stability is an alien word now as the magnitude of the effects the epidemic has had on the world economy is unimaginable. No business can fall back to its full operating capacities as employees are still not allowed to turn up to offices in full strength. Safety and cleanliness remain the foremost concern in the minds of the people and hence all necessary precautions have to be taken by every sector of business. 

The supply chain is one of the most important industries that will help reconnect businesses and countries. All necessary policies and measures have to be formulated and implemented by the logistics partner to prevent the spread of the virus particularly when businesses are getting opened up.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

It is time we rethink our business plans and find out ways and means to get back to our feet. As economies reopen people will start using businesses. The supply chain is a sector that will be looked upon to help in boosting many businesses thereby helping in pushback nations to where it was earlier. Supply chains have to learn to quickly adapt to situations in a more efficient manner with constant communications with manufacturing houses and logistics providers.

Logistics Company in India

Avoid these 4 mistakes while reducing costs in logistics

For any business to survive and grow one has to concentrate on certain elementary yet critical aspects that also are an integral part of progress. One of the most common mistakes made by businesses is that more importance is given to the quality and cost rather than the value they deliver to the end consumers. There should be a high level of synergy between the quality and the costing of the products without compromising on the value that the product or service generates. The key would be to be able to charge the best prices while still maintaining the quality of the deliverables. 

Many times this is not adhered to by shipping and logistics companies in India and they end up playing with their costs at the price of quality. This is not a safe bet as one has to understand that it is quality that sells more as it assures repeat orders from the same customers. Not only that a word of recommendation from a satisfied customer goes a long way in planning out a healthy business. A cost reduction can bring in more profits that are just temporary as ultimately it is quality that sells. One cannot assure profits if the sales keep dropping. 

We will discuss some of the most common mistakes that a logistics company tends to make in the process of reducing costs.

Defaulting Custom Standards:

One needs to have apt knowledge of customs standards about the classifications of goods and administrations. You need to have attentive involvement while doing the classifications on the invoices as if not carefully then your business can end up paying more taxes. Hence an experienced staff should be allocated the work of documentation and invoicing to ensure that no defaulting is committed.

Avoid bringing in everything In-House:

Every business looks to either integrate service resources to their business. This is achieved by having all services provided under one roof or outsource the requirements to a third party and integrate it well to the core business. One of the mistakes logistics companies make is to do all operational activities by themselves. This will ultimately ruin the business prospects as not everything can be done at the same time. 

To reduce the costs many logistics companies tend to think it as a very viable strategy and ultimately end up in messing up with the deliverances also increasing the costs. It is not a good idea to invest more and more in maintaining your logistics department when it’s robbing you of your time that can be utilized in planning better strategies to improve the core business and optimizing results that will help in business growth.

Lack of Market trends:

Businesses completely depend on the market trends of the respective industry and it is imperative to say that one has to be updated on the various socio-economic changes. Hence it is essential to follow the industrial trends, in particular, the shipping industry as it is the most susceptible.

One has to keep a watch of the competitors, partners, and learn what newer operational implementations they bring in. Even a very small change in the operational flow can prove credible to the logistics costing.

Outdated Technology:

Every industry is technology-driven today and operational decisions are based on the data collected via technology-enabled infrastructures. Any technology that does not provide seamless integration and complete automation is bound to add on to your costs.

Gone are those days where manual labor can be depended upon as more and more industries are transforming their methods to a more mechanical driven infrastructure. In such a scenario having a primitive way of conducting business can have adverse impacts on your business. A logistics company cannot afford to have mistakes in their supply chain and logistic service delivery. Same day delivery with track and trace at every touchpoint has become the need of the hour services offered to customers and hence you need to have a complete integrated system to achieve all that.

Final Thoughts:

Every industry has its methods of conducting business but one inherent aspect that is common to all is the need to keep costs in control without compromising on the quality. Hence it is the pertinently a requirement to not commit mistakes that may cost your business its clients. Reduce the costs by implementing the best-integrated technology and methods that not only will enhance your quality of delivery but will also reduce costs thereby increasing your profits.

Coronavirus-in-India

Impact of Corona virus on the industrial sectors of India

As the Coronavirus scare keeps on increasing every single day it continues to roil the global economy. Many countries have sealed their borders to prevent the spreading of the flu-like virus and like many sectors, the shipping industry has also taken a huge hit. The Indian logistics players have already started to feel the pinch as many are finding it difficult to keep the operational lines active.

The entire industry is facing multiple challenges as every single day situations are changing. The entire labor force has been asked to stay at home and many of them have already fled to their home towns. Also, industrial productions have come down which will largely impact the export sector.

Having mentioned this kind of scenarios it shall also be noted that in comparison with Europe and the United States where the virus has been spreading like wildfire, the situation in India is a little better. But in the worst-case scenario, the western nations will take time to get back to normalcy and this can also in a way affect the Indian Logistics sector.

It shall be understood that the impact on the supply chain are twofold and that poses the biggest challenge for the logistic industry:

  • First and foremost being the supply side as the shortages of raw materials and components is affected due to the transportation restrictions.
  • Secondly, the downstream demand is weakened and hence the production enterprises in the middle and upper streams are facing high inventory risks.

Let’s take a peek on some of the major areas that will have to bear the brunt of the deadly coronavirus epidemic.

MOST AFFECTED SECTORS IN INDIA:
One has to note that one of the major reasons why the Indian industry is impacted so much is because, of the top 20 products that India imports from the world, China accounts for a significant share in most of them.

Automobile Industry & OEM’s:
The current levels of inventory seem to be sufficient for us to survive but if China continues to be shut down for a longer time then it can result in a 10% contraction of the Indian Auto manufacturing industry this year. India’s OEMs (original equipment manufactueres) source critical components and sub-components that include fuel injection pumps, EGR modules and electronic components from China. Hence the impact will be extreme in the commercial vehicle, passenger vehicle and two-wheeler segments.

Chemicals & Textile Industry:
Many chemical plants are shut down in China and it is also going to impact us largely. With the restrictions on shipment and logistics, the estimated disruption of 20% in production is estimated. China is a major supplier of Indigo that is required for denim. There are also several garments and textile factories in China that have halted their operations which in turn will affect the export of fabric and raw materials from India. Globally India accounts for 10% of exports and this should also see a major decline in revenue as demand will fall in China, the US and Europe.

Electronics Industry:
One of the major suppliers for electronics in India is China, either as a final product or raw materials used in the electronic industry. The Indian electronic industry can face a major impact due to supply chain disruptions, production with lesser raw materials required for local manufacturing.

Tourism:
This is one sector that will take a long time to recover from the impact of the coronavirus and it is applicable throughout the globe. The very fact that social distancing is the only way to counter the virus spread will leave the tourism industry hue and dry for many months to come. There will be very few inflows of tourists from any country and people will keep away all their vacation and travel plans even after the epidemic dies down.

To give you a quick macro view together the trade impact is estimated to be the most for the chemicals and textile products followed by the automotive sector, electrical machinery, leather products, metals and metal products, and wood/ furniture products.

SECTORS THAT REMAINED UNTOUCHED:
The pandemic has initiated a stall to the economic activities and more so with yesterday’s 21-day lockdown announced by the Prime Minister. The recent infected numbers rising to 550 in India causing both demand and supply disruptions that will drastically slow down the Indian economy. As we have discussed some of the major industries that are heavily impacted there are also a few sectors that are not affected much. Three sectors that have remained untouched from the impact as of yet are as follows:

Telecom:
As the number of infections due to the coronavirus increases the government has urged the citizens of the country to stay at home and to undergo complete social distancing. In a way this is helping the telecom sector it is the only medium of communication left for the consumers. The consumption of data will see a sharp rise as people will resort to the various visual entertainment medium like Netflix, Amazon Prime and many more to pass off their time at home. Not only that many corporate sectors have asked their employees to work from home and this also will see the requirement for more data consumption. While China was under lockdown in January and February it should be noted that the revenue of telecommunications services rose 1.5 percent compared to last year. The same will be the case with the telecom sector in India as well. According to Rajiv Sharma, head of equity research and telecom analyst at SBICAP Securities, work from home and social distancing are expected to boost data usage by 10-15 percent in the home broadband and mobile space in India

Healthcare:
The impact of Covid-19 on Indian pharma is limited and one of the main reasons is that there are existing inventory levels across supply chains. But one cannot take this for granted as this can change any time depending on whether there will be supply shortages from China. India has a dependency on China for its raw material supplies and the global generic supply chain can remain unaffected if the pharmaceutical ingredient shipments from China start normalizing in a span of two to four weeks.

As of now, India is all set to spend nearly Rs10,000 crores to encourage companies to manufacture pharmaceutical ingredients domestically. The government has also taken necessary steps issuing guidelines for testing by private labs in the country and set price caps for the test as well as sanitizers. Also, national laboratories are roped in as the number of cases are on a rise.

Insurance:
This is another sector which seems to be less impacted because it is an under-penetrated sector. Moreover, it can also see a rise in more people resorting to buying health insurance, particularly so as The Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India has asked insurers to cover Covid-19 cases in their existing policies as well as ensure that they expeditiously attend to the coronavirus claims.

Final thoughts:
As we all across the globe fight against this terrible and deadly epidemic that has impacted many of our lives today it has sent concerning ripples across many industries. The world’s second-largest economy China has been brought down to their knees and is still fighting hard to getting a grip on the situation. In India, as we enter into the most critical stage of the spreading of the Corona virus, we still have to wait and see what comes our way and how well India will be able to cope up with the many transport disruptions and lockdowns that will happen in the days to come. All said it is our lives that matter the most and sit tight, safe and stay at home.

The logistics sector in India for the year 2020 and the key areas that will drive significant growth.

Logistics is one such sector which has seen constant evolution over the past few years and is on a fast-paced growth in recent times. There is an upward trend in the global market and the same can also be said about the Indian Logistics Sector.

It won’t be wrong to say that the Indian logistics sector and the Logistics company in India is competing with many global logistics players of the most affluent countries. There is a great potential for improvements in many areas of logistics in India and hence this is the best time to understand the specific domains where one can invest time, money and efforts to achieve maximum growth.

Current scenario :
The growth rate of the Indian Logistics sector today is interconnected to every industry and has got integrated with technology and newer service providers. According to the latest world logistics index rankings based on the global logistics performance index, India has moved to the 35th rank from the 54th in the year 2014.

It is imperative to say that the Indian Logistics industry is the backbone of our economy and has shown massive improvement over the years. The Indian logistics industry in the year 2019 has been considered as the most promising and a year that has seen the quickest growth rates.

Based on official statistics the growth rate in 2019 can be largely attributed to the increasing number of e-commerce providers. It can be undoubtedly said that people have already started relying hugely on e-commerce for almost all their requirements and the same is said to continue in 2020 as well.

If we have to go by numbers, in the year 2019 the Indian logistics industry was valued at $160 Billion and with the present growth rates it is expected to be roughly around $250 Billion in the present year.

E-commerce has also attracted many FMCG and multinational companies into this space and has started creating many opportunities for the logistics industry to grow. Some of the areas which have had a direct impact are the inventory management and warehousing solutions of the retail industry. It has forced the retailers to find efficient warehousing solutions that facilitate better storage and also more responsive means of deliveries.

No wonder the Indian logistics industry which provides employment to more than 22 million people has shown a CAGR of 7.8 percent over the past five years and is expected to surge to 40 million by the end of 2020.

This is also because many companies are relying on the Indian logistics industry to help them better serve the ever-growing customized demands of Indian consumers. This is a very promising aspect of the current economy and in a way creates more jobs in the logistics sector.

Let us check out some of the key areas that will bring in substantial changes and development for logistics growth in 2020 :

Technology to be the backbone of Logistics :
Technology is going to be the driving force for many industries that will put businesses on a growth path and that too at faster paces. Technology in the industry has already started providing huge progress in the operational as well as various systems. Hence it won’t be wrong to say that technology is going to be the backbone of the economy that will be a primary tool in making it stronger and reliable.

Though adopting technology might be expensive but in the long run, it is going to give you more integrated, swift and error-free logistics operations. Technology such as AI, BlockChain, Machine Learning, and IoT are going to be implemented not just as a collection of fancy gadgets but as a means and methods to build a more robust foundation logistics in India.

Assurance of Indian Government for better infrastructural developments :
There has been a constant assurance from the Indian government about implementing more modernized and improved functional infrastructural development projects in Logistics. It has also assured that innovative measures will be introduced to help tap rural sectors as well. Projects as such will not only bring in more efficiency in the supply chain but also improve connectivity issues faced by geographically dispersed areas in the country.

Companies will be able to reach more untapped rural terrains and get a much wider customer base to serve in particular for the e-commerce sector. This, in turn, will be a huge opportunity for the Indian Logistics Industry.

Newer Policies & Regulations :
There are a lot of promising policy changes and reformations that are being planned and introduced by the government. The Goods and Service Tax (GST) was one such policy that has changed the face of the way the Indian logistics works. Along with this is the granting of the infra status and relaxing of the FDI policies that will also play a major role in 2020 that will give a huge boost to the Indian Logistics industry.

One of the major advantages the GST has brought in is that industrial centers can also act as distribution and aggregation hubs and that in effect has reduced the need to run several warehouses. This has considerably also brought down huge operational expenses in the storage department. With the growth of E-commerce and many FMCG now making their products available online easier transportation directly from the manufacturing units to the warehouses, wholesale as well as retail markets have been made possible.

FINAL THOUGHTS :
The Indian Logistics industry has undergone a serious transformation and is now classified as an end to end solution provider that has integrated multiple sectors. The year 2020 seems to be very promising with many key areas that are going to contribute to the substantial improvements both in operational efficiencies as well as overall growth. There is no doubt that the Indian Logistic Industry is going to be the most dominant force in the overall economic growth of the country.

Phamaceutical Transportation

Special key points to know while shipping Pharma products

Pharmaceuticals globally is a big business and industry as according to the recent statistics nearly 4.5 million Americans are employed in this sector alone. It is also worth noting that the Bio-Pharmaceutical industry in the US contributes to around 1.3 trillion to the world economy every single year and it keeps growing. Hence one can imagine the demand and the scale of operations involved to supply such a large requirement globally.

Shipping pharmaceutical products is not a cakewalk as it requires special know-how because mostly they are of high sensitivity in nature and have to be delivered in a time-bound manner.

They are the most complex than any other product to be shipped and hence involves a lot of guidelines and regulations that need to be followed and adhered to. After all, it is medicines that are to be shipped which is ultimately consumed by people for their medical ailments.

One of the key factors that makes it such a complex operation is that the pharmaceutical products are to be kept safe and beneficial to the end-user after the transportation is carried out. This involves immaculate planning and checks where proper inspection and care has to be assured from the factory to the point of delivery about the integrity and quality of the product. Both the pharmaceutical industry as well as the shipping industry have to work under tight regulations and scrutiny while carrying out the transportation operations.

Various factors play a major role in assuring the safe and secure transportation of pharma products to the end consumers.

Maintain Pharmaceutical Temperatures: One of the key concerns while transporting pharma products is the temperature to be maintained. The desired temperature that needs to be maintained is around 55 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit for most of the shipments to maintain product stability. Hence products must be shipped in contained that are well insulated in refrigerated trucks that can maintain these temperatures even if the normal weather is hot. The cold chain also known as reefer trucks can be used as they are designed to hold such temperatures.

The packaging is very crucial: Another very important rule when shipping pharma products it the quality of packaging. Packaging has to be thoroughly inspected and has to be shipped in climate-controlled trucks and insulated containers. Many a time shippers use thermal pallets when moving such products as they can provide another layer of protection. They protect the product from temperature fluctuations, sunlight as well as humidity.

Security a major concern: This is one material where utmost importance has to be given to security arrangements as pharma cargo is always susceptible to theft. This is because of the nature of the product that is shipped and hence faces notable dangers. Cargo thefts are real threats, especially when hauling products like narcotics. A well-experienced logistics provider can foresee and manage all such treats to keep pharma products safe. All warehouses today are equipped with state of the art CCTV cameras and with higher visibility of cargo transportation via tracking one can ensure that the pharma products are securely transported to their destinations.

Proper adherence to licenses: As already mentioned there are a lot of rules and regulations while transporting pharma products hence it is important that the logistics provider who has been entitled the job has all the proper licenses. Not only that the logistics company has to be competent to handle all the tasks involved to ensure safety with the necessary types of equipment. Not only pharmaceuticals are delicate but expensive as well and hence special precautions have to be carried out while shipping.

Summary: Logistics can be about any product both domestic household items or high-value cargo. Though every shipment has to be transported securely and on time Pharmaceutical is one such product that needs to be handled with utmost diligence and care. Afterall many times these products can be life-saving.

Cargo in Monsoon

Prolonged rains have warranted for special cargo precautions

Though the recent rains have been much relief for many after the terrible hot summers it has also been a great area of concern due to the hazards the rains have caused. With such unpredictable and prolong rains across the country one of the major industries that are affected is logistics. 

In such scenarios, it is imperative to say that all the necessary precautions have to be planned and taken while transporting cargo goods to avoid all kinds of damages due to rains.

There are many restrictions in place while transporting your cargo especially when your cargo gets wet. Wet cargo may invariably not be allowed into the warehouse to protect the existing goods. 

Hence it is imperative to say that your one has to think ahead during the monsoon seasons and all the necessary measures have to be taken to pack your cargo in the full proof manner.

To help you out we have listed down a quick important precautions points that need to be kept in mind and implemented while carting your cargo and which will also help you t avoid last-minute hassles.

Proper Carting :

A good method is to see to it that your cargo is carted withing the shed premises. This gives you the protection from rainwater and hence rest assured that your cargo is dry before it is packaged.

Good Packaging:

Packing is one of the most important aspects of your logistics delivery process and your cargo has to be adequately packed, palletized. A better idea would be to shrink wrap your goods well that will help in preventing your cargoes from getting damp and wet.

Use Best Packing materials:

One has to use the best packing material particularly when your cargo has to braze the sea. Ensure that your inner, as well as external packing of the cartons, are proper and strong to avoid any damage caused due to rainwater seepages.

Fumigation is important:

It is customary that all your wooden cases and pallet are fumigated which will prevent any molds, moistures, and dampness to the cases.

On-time customs clearances:

It is but natural to have traffic snarls as well as customs clearance delays due to port congestions, especially during the monsoon seasons. Hence to avoid the same you must plan your shipment on time and your cargo transported, carted and customs cleared well in advance.

Summary :

These are some of the few tips that can be noted and kept in mind while transporting your cargo during the monsoons as this is one season that posts a hell of a challenge to the logistics operations. 

For any of your customs clearances and logistics requirements, you can get in touch with our experts now at info@nauticalcargo.in

Reverse Logistics - Nautical Cargo

What is Reverse Logistics and how can you effectively manage it.

Logistics is a complex business with many unforeseen events propping up which needs to be handled immediately. One such event which needs to be finely addressed and planned is Reverse Logistics. To understand the importance of this growing logistics operations it is worth diving into some of the latest statistics concerning reverse logistics.

According to the latest information from Statistica in the US alone the return deliveries are estimated to cost $550 billion by the year 2020 which is approximately 75% more compared to the previous four years figures. With the arrival of the E-commerce era, Reverse Logistics has been of extreme importance more so in a scenario where physical retailers have been replaced by online providers and sellers whose sales had predictively touched around $414 million in the year 2018.

What is reverse logistics?

To clearly define reverse logistics in the simplest ways, it stands for all related operations where goods need to be returned from the place of consumption to the place of their origin. This sounds strange as rather for any logistic operation aimed to deliver the goods to the final customer this is a reverse of what should be happening. Precisely why such operations in logistics is termed to be reverse logistics. Now let’s understand the reason for such a different kind of operation and the need of the day which has seen it evolving so fast recently.

Managing reverse logistics is not a thing of ease as we are trying to address a situation where the shipper needs to handle a disappointed customer who wants to return the goods purchased for probably a replacement. Hence basically the shipper or the 3PL agent has to retrieve the product and needs to ship the item back to the hub. The return can be due to a few reasons being damaged product or an item which does not satisfy the customer. This has to be precisely accessed which is the key in initiating a counter shipping operation.

Hence, to put it more precisely, reverse logistics is the process of moving the goods from the final destination or consumption for the sole purpose of either disposing of, remanufacturing, refurbishing or reinitiating a similar replacement order to the customer. It also includes the process of the management of surplus of products which are left as returned. It is worth to be noted that in the online retailing business at least 30% of all products ordered are returned in comparison with almost 8.89% products which are purchased in brick and mortar shops.

Reverse logistics can also be taken as a source of accessing the quality of the products and the efficiency of the operations of all parties involved as this is a direct indicator of how much your customer is satisfied with the product and the delivery operations. Hence one needs to address this with accurate planning and as far as possible to avoid it as items which fall under the reverse logistics can become a big source of concern to any organisations profits.

Having understood the importance of reverse logistics it should also be noted that with a good reverse logistics process in place companies not only be able to track returns but also get the desired value from the returned products. To implement a successful reverse logistics process the following points can be followed:

Real-time monitoring and tracking facility:

The company should have a very viable and state of the art process and platform that facilitates its customers to return the product with ease. The platform should have proper data capture points that will help to categories the products to be returned as damaged, defective or scenarios where a product needs to be replaced with a new one. This will give the shipper or the 3PL agency to ship back the product to their desired origin based on this categorisation also with the help of the real-time monitoring capabilities to ensure the product reaches its origin.

Engage with the best warehouse and distribution centers:

One of the many important factors that should be taken into consideration and aptly engaged is that of the warehouse management services and distribution centers. Reverse logistics is all about getting the product once delivered to the endpoint of consumption back to the original point. Hence one needs to strategically decide on the return and collection centers and have more than one collection centers based on the category of the goods returned to access and estimate the quantum of damaged goods or the ones that have to be replaced for redistribution.

Customer communication:

Any industry which is doing business that directly satisfies its customer’s, communication is of top importance. Reverse logistics is not of any difference as especially in this kind of processes one has to give utmost heed to the queries of the customers. Let us not forget reverse logistics is all about an unsatisfied customer who wants to return the products delivered. Hence to gain trust companies have to communicate constantly with its customers and need to listen to queries raised by the customers with possible and quick solutions which will leave them delighted.

Partner with a good 3PL logistics provider:

Logistics is a very complex industry and reverse logistics is one such operation which is very much complex. One needs to have a separate logistics department with an able human resource team to handle the reverse logistics services with a state of the art technologically equipped platform to manage all the data involved. Many companies have started outsourcing their reverse logistics operations to 3rd party logistics vendors that are well equipped in providing the much needed real-time tracking of the reverse shipments and have the best human resources to ensure the proper flow of goods to the origin. This not only reduces the investments involved but also will ensure the effective return management process.

Summary:

In an industry and business scenario where E-commerce has established itself as the driving factor for any seller, one has to indulge in identifying the problem areas to generate apt solutions. Return of goods is one of the most pertinent concerns and companies must have a solid game plan to reduce operational costs and time lags involved in reverse logistics. Ultimately the goal is to satisfy the customers in the best and fastest way possible.

Last Mile Logistics

How to overcome Last Mile Logistic Challenges

The easiest way one can explain logistics is to describe it as a management of the flow of things between a point of origin and the point of destination, to make it clearer the point of consumption. There are a number of resources that are transported today such as food, materials, animals and even liquid form products. Hence logistics is one such industry that has to integrate many aspects and various industries such as transportation, production, inventory, warehouse management services, packaging and the most important being the flow of data.

Last-mile delivery is often being heard and is also considered an important phase of the transportation which also ensures the completion of a logistics operation. Last-mile delivery can be defined as the movement of goods from a transportation center or hub to the final destination of the delivery. In most of the cases, the final delivery can be a residence of the person who is expecting the goods. Hence the entire focus revolves around how well and quickly one can deliver the goods to the customer in the best possible packing ensuring no damage.

While we very well are aware of both perspectives, that of the logistics company as well as the customer the importance of this phase it becomes important to understand the various challenges involved in the same.

Unforeseeable expenses : 

One of the most inherent problems the last mile delivery poses is the unpredictable expenses that can occur as the goods have to be reached to the doorstep of the consumer. Imagine you need to deliver the goods to an end-user who is living in a busy urban area where there are a lot of retail stores, restaurants and many business houses in a very congested locality. This means the budgeted fuel costs won’t be sufficient enough to complete the delivery as it will take a good amount of time to drive around and make the delivery. Moreover, one has to imagine that the delivery is not in large volumes as this presumably will be a business to consumer delivery which can involve just a small package. 

Inadequate facilities :

It is not necessary that all traditional delivery facilities will be equipped with a number of facilities. An insufficient number of transport facilities can adversely contribute to an increase in travel time, thereby also increasing the cost of delivery.

Last Mile Distribution Distance : 

There should be proper research done on where most consumers reside as this will become a vital element in deciding the location of a distribution center. Closer the distribution center to the consumer the better will be the efficiency of delivery and reduction in costs. A company that does not choose its distribution center based on the consumer location research will end up incurring huge expenses.

Delivery Time :

Distribution centers cannot be created in residential areas and most will be in an industrial zone. Hence the stem time needs to be the least possible as if the deliveries take more than 45 minutes then it means there is a serious issue and apt measures need to be taken to open up more distribution centers.

Traffic conditions :

All last-mile deliveries will occur via land transportation and hence one has to take note the area where your consumers have to be reached at. Having consumers in rural areas is not at all a problem but if it’s in an urban sector then delivery in congested areas will take more time than one can anticipate. One will need to have additional distribution centers and opt for more efficient transportation means.

Hence as we have learned last-mile delivery is the biggest challenge to meet particularly in a scenario where the E-Commerce industry is booming with more and more consumers opting for online purchases.

Customer communication:

Customer communication forms the key in a perfect delivery cycle as it is of utmost importance that the customer is well informed about the visibility and time of delivery. Also when a customer has opted for a revision to the delivery schedule it becomes easier with the right technology for logistics companies to revise the data and inform the driver about the change. This will ensure that the delivery is done only when the consumer is available at home.

Auto Pickups and Drop off points and consolidated deliveries:

It is always better to plan a network of pickup and drop off points and also to consolidate the deliveries as this will save time as well as minimize the number of failed deliveries.

3PL Software :

It would be best to contract a 3PL software that will help in providing better visibility solution thereby increase in much-improved access to delivery details and processes. This also in effect provides a single point of data management that will provide accurate information of the movement of the transportation.

Better vehicles:

Urban areas are always congested with a large number of closed in localities as well as floods of vehicles that will only increase traffic. In such cases, it goes without saying that the use of huge sized transportation vehicles will only make things difficult for the driver who has to deliver the goods to the consumers on time. Better and smaller transportation vehicles have to be opted such as bicycles, or smaller cars. This will make last-mile delivery efficient and faster.

Consider using Drones:

The future of drones is in the hands of the government system, security, and legalities and though there a number of critical concerns drones are surely going to be the best possible option in the near future. Drones can avoid traffic and spend less making deliveries much easier and faster.

Parcel Locker Stations:

Another possible feature that can help in facing some of these challenges posed would be to have locker facilities or locker stations near main central localities as a shopping centre where courier houses can place the packages that need to be delivered in such lockers and they can provide a unique key to their consumers to open it and get their goods.

Summary:

Last-mile delivery is one such phase that can not be afforded to be ignored in any way.  More and more resources and strategies have to be implemented to ensure efficient and satisfying delivery of goods to consumers as this is the most important aspect of a logistics delivery operation. If a company messes up with this part of the operation then it will have a direct impact on the operational credibility of the company.

Air Cargo Import Services

Biggest challenges faced by air cargo companies in 2019!

The logistics scenario has changed to a very great extent and a market that had seen the lowest of times is now running consistently on a profitable high. Today Air freight is having a competitive edge over other modes of transportation supported with reduced oil prices. Yet there are various bottlenecks and challenges that need to be overcome to keep the successful run going.

We have been understanding the various challenges that are faced by Air Cargo and a few of the most interesting and important ones to be tackled mentioned here.

E-Commerce :
E-commerce is growing exponentially all over the world and hence air cargo is also gaining popularity as it becomes the most viable and time-saving option. The sheer volume of air cargo handling has increased manifold with the advent and growth of E-commerce as ordering a product is just a click away. According to the latest reports, the global E-commerce forecast for the year 2019 is an all-time high of $3.5 trillion. Hence with such a huge number it certainly requires a much more integrated operational approach from everyone involved in the supply chain in order to succeed.

Electronic air waybill mandatory:
As electronic Air Way Bills are still relevant for specific situations in 2019 Electronic AWB’s will be the only and default method particularly in a scenario when almost every industry is aiming to become eco-friendly and paperless. With every introduction of change comes the biggest challenge of adopting and adapting. Same goes with the E-AWB becoming mandatory as it will be of great challenge for the humans to move away from manually creating Air Waybills.

With any big change comes human defiance and errors. Satisfying the need for hasty communication among workers and consumers with the new technology will be the first challenge to present itself, in along with the need for critical information being uploaded correctly and in a timely fashion.

Stringent compliances:
Safety and security have already become the topmost priority for any country in this growing times of terrorism.
In the coming year’s many transportation organizations, in particular, the postal services will have to follow more stringent regulations when it comes to international delivery. All incoming goods will have to be duly reported to the customs agents and including the air carriers will have to follow the same.

Need for proper integration:
Technology has a major role to play today when it comes to increasing efficiencies and operational smoothness. But technology fails when many times it becomes to difficult for all parties to be equally enhanced. It is going to be a great task when logistics operations have to be carried out between nations with diverse economic and financial capabilities. Based on this it needs to be mentioned that technologically and financially sound countries implement a different system to carry out trade and commerce as in contrast with lesser capable nations. A uniform system is the only way to have a good and better supply chain management.

Summary: Any industry will have to keep evolving and need to embrace change at any levels of operations if it needs to be at the forefront of growth and competition. Technology and using it to keep with the timelines also providing better visibility will surely have a giant impact on the way air cargo industry progresses in the coming years.

3PL-Third-Party-Logistics-Services

Choosing a Third-Party Logistics Provider

What is a logistics provider?
A logistic service provider basically deals with storing and distributing products on behalf of the local firms. They basically act as an intermediate between the producers and the customers. They offer storage facilities so that the products get stored without any harm and then they deliver the product to the point of consumption with the help of express delivery services like aircraft, ocean freight etc. Some of the other traditional functions of a distributor as also offered by them like management of inventory, warehousing, tracking of order etc.

How logistics is important for your business?
Logistic is one of the most integral aspects of any business. When you have a good logistics system, it would help you in the growth of your business and would also help you to achieve your goals. Starting from raw material delivery to your production house to delivery of the fished products to your customers, the logistics service provider helps in all of them. They help you to get your product to deliver in the most cost-effective way through the cargo services.

How to choose the correct logistics service provider?
Choosing the top logistics and supply chain company can be a bit tricky. You would need to notice certain facts in order to choose the best one for yourself. Moving products with care is a complicated task and not everyone can do it properly with full accuracy.

Hence when you choose a Third Party Logistics Provider, do consider the following factors:

● Connections
The top logistics and supply chain company would have some great connections and contacts that they have established throughout the years and this indeed would help them to carry out their services efficiently.

● Scalability
You would need to see how scalable the logistics company is. You can see the companies with whom they are associated and how logistics have helped those company to grow. Reviewing the services is quite important.

● Customer Service
Do check out their customer servicing skills. How much responsive they are when someone tries to contact them. They should also have different ways to address their customers, like through social media and calls, emails and different types of communications. Being active on all the channel and responding to all the queries is a must-have feature for any logistics company.

● Safety
The primary focus for any logistics company should be the safety of the products. They would need to take special care of all the products while storing and delivering them from one place to the other.

Choosing a third-party logistics and supply chain company is a very tricky task. If you do not choose the right one, you might have to suffer losses which in turn would also affect the reputation of your company to your customers. Take time and do your research, read the reviews and go for an experienced company. It is worth to invest a bit more in order to get the services you desire.