To keep your business moving seamlessly as you set forth into the era of new normal logistics, we’ve put together a handy guide, depicting how Twill’s platform can help fortify your supply chain with the tools it needs to navigate post-pandemic normalisation efficiently and effectively.
What is supply chain normalisation?
In the wake of a post-pandemic world, shutdowns have drawn to a halt and travel restrictions have begun to ease in some regions. Supply chain managers are now being tasked with careful planning and organization as factory operations reopen in the era of new normal logistics. With businesses rekindling operations and running at full speed to meet the increasing need for on-demand deliveries, production and distribution activities are being ramped up, bringing about new potential challenges that business leaders cannot afford to ignore.
Establishing the appropriate risk protocols to enable seamless transportation of goods and the need for strategic planning becomes more vital than ever to regain your footing as normalisation begins creeping through into 2023.
What does it entail for businesses and logistics managers?
1. Easing down of transportation costs
Businesses are out in full force to regain maximum productivity after two years of lockdowns, shutdowns, and closures. Meanwhile, transportation rates have gone back to normal. This normalisation of transportation costs, however, allows business owners to have more control over their financial resources – allowing them to allocate funds that would have been put into logistics costs into the budget to further develop and grow their businesses.
The easing costs, however, should not be a signal for managers to let their guard down. According to CNBC, demand collapses have caused U.S. manufacturing orders in China to slip by 40%, creating what logistics managers are citing as an “unrelenting demand collapse”. This decline in demands coupled with the nearing Chinese New Year holiday period, where factories in China are set to shut down two weeks earlier than usual for the Lunar New Year (21st of January 2023) creates extra complexity in the trade landscape. Ensuring that you’ve properly organised your supply chain management to accommodate these new changes and efficiently manage your business is vital.
2. Rising energy prices in Europe
Rising energy prices in Europe could conceivably create a more competitive business landscape for SMEs in the region, particularly with outsourcing of materials and manufacturing from the East. More pressure may be placed on Asian businesses as demands for lower production costs become important to mitigating the transportation rates being incurred by soaring prices of energy in Europe. This potential divergence of manufacturing and production to the East can result in Asia turning into a hotspot for businesses in the West due to the increased demand for production at a lower cost in countries across Asia, including The Philippines, China, India, and Bangladesh.
An increase in import/export from Asia creates a more competitive business landscape for outsourcing and ensuring your deliveries can keep up with demands, building a good customer reputation starts from efficient service and prompt deliveries.
3. On-demand delivery is increasing
On-demand, delivery entails that a customer now has the option to choose not just where they would like their products delivered but also when – that is, within the quickest possible delivery time.
It is important to organise all of your resources and processes across your supply chain to create a streamlined, efficient flow necessary to keep up with the on-demand delivery market and fulfil online orders right on time, all the time.
Digitising the logistics process with an online platform like Twill can help achieve this as you will be able to plan and implement everything on a single platform without engaging multiple vendors.
4. Shorter production lifecycle than normal
As more on-demand needs surface, businesses must shorten their product life cycles to meet important sales days as well as keep up with seasonal trends. This has placed greater emphasis on automation in supply chains to facilitate the efficiency of product creation to enable an achievable and profitable production life cycle.
5. Regionalisation for production and supply chain
Globalisation has played a role in facilitating logistics over the past decade, a wide variety of locations worldwide have become closely interconnected and more goods are being shipped across continents.
As trade landscapes begin to change, however, companies may be a greater willingness for products to be produced and sold within their specific regions. Being able to understand and navigate intra-regional trade and having a logistics partner that can help with this is a tool that logistics managers may want to acquire.
6. Multichannel supply chain
Keeping your supply chain agile and flexible is important when finding your way through this new landscape with potential risks. Finding a logistics partner that can offer you a variety of transportation services across different modes (ocean, inland, intermodal) will help put that flexibility into your management process.
How does the new normal logistics era affect SMEs?
With businesses across the world moving forward at full capacity, there is a higher likelihood that shortages in equipment supply, booking slots, container space, or even warehousing space may occur, not to mention an increased possibility of port congestions as a myriad of businesses across the globe attempt to re-gain their footing after lockdowns. If these underlying risks are not properly mitigated, it could limit your ability to expand shipping capacity to meet your targets and customer demands.
Such risks can become particularly prevalent during special sale seasons like Black Friday and festive holidays such as Chinese New Year or Christmas. SMEs need to ensure their goods are being given the care and attention it needs amidst the increased influx of cargo being shipped and transported during these periods. They also need to ensure that smaller volume shipments are not neglected for larger orders, as this may cause booking cancellations or further delays.
Twill’s platform is here to help you steer through the new normal
The documentation associated with transporting goods across different regional and international borders can prove to be a tedious task, our customs house brokerage expertise help you take the edge off navigation through the sea of often complex paperwork. This becomes important in the emergence of the new normal supply chain as any faults in or missed out customs forms along your route may lead to your cargo being stuck at a port resulting in delays in your goods reaching consumers in time or worse – the goods being returned to you. Getting your customs clearance right saves you precious time and ensures you meet delivery deadlines.
1. Getting you organised throughout your journey
Twill’s integrated, digitised logistics platform enables you to organize all your logistics needs to power through the new normal supply chain environment. Plan, book, and track your shipments through a single point of contact.
Reliable sailing schedules and transparent daily rates give you the visibility and agility you need to systematise your supply chain management, eliminating the need to deal with third-party vendors or engage extra manpower. This frees up time for you to focus on expanding your businesses.
Twill gives you the freedom to discover new markets, particularly when businesses are constantly innovating and creating new products – give yourself a competitive edge.
2. Empowering you with flexibility
The intramodality of Twill’s containers provides you with the flexibility you need to connect your cargo shipments from ocean to land.
Ocean freight, rail, truck, or barge, our digital platform allows you to book these services together, giving you control and visibility when you plan your transportation routes. Powered by industry leaders, Maersk – you will also have access to a wide route network giving you the agility to choose the best, quickest course of moving your shipments to avoid congestion or delays.
3. The Intra-Regional Edge
We’ve added new intra-regional routes to our services, enabling you to grow your business even in the new normal logistics landscape. Arrange and manage both your continental and intercontinental container shipping with one point of contact on an end-to-end logistics platform.
Whether you are shipping within the same continent or across the globe we are supercharged by industry leaders – Maersk gives you access to an extensive network of ports with 24/7 customer service. Check schedules and choose the solutions that best suit the needs of your business.
4. Keeping you updated. Always.
When trying to find your way in a new, changing landscape it is important to keep yourself constantly updated. Twill’s Knowledge Hub provides you with all the insights you need to ensure that you know what is happening within your region and even in other parts of the world. These insights can help you better plan, manage and organise how you decide to do your logistics, ensuring you are always aware of regional requirements and changes that are occurring.