Reviving Logistics Post COVID - What Would Be The New Normal?
The pandemic has highlighted the challenges and opportunities that lie in the sector.
- Logistics moving from informal to formal sector; brands prefer organized logistic players vs local vendors
Technology will be the differentiator; preference to scientific approaches over traditional methods
Onset of micro-warehousing and the advent of dark stores can be anticipated
The current pandemic’s impact has brought forward the importance of the logistics sector. It is now evident that logistics is not just an activity that happens in the background, it is the very core that binds the entire supply chain together for the economy.
The pandemic has highlighted the challenges and opportunities that lie in the sector. The disruption of the logistics sector during the national lockdown had far-reaching effects. It has been proved that logistics is the core thread that unites all varied activities and sectors – be it essential goods, e-commerce, QSRs, etc. Logistics is now moving from the informal to formal sector with these brands wanting to work with organized players vis-a-vis local vendors. The far-reaching tangible and intangible benefits that are offered by organized players have proved to bring efficiencies to the highly inefficient systems. This was clearly visible in the nation-wide lockdown. The future of logistics in India lies in seamlessly integrating the internet of things, and technology to disrupt on-time delivery with last-mile efficiency.
There have been many massive changes that we have seen during the last few months. The penetration of technology in logistics will only increase from here. Technology will indeed be the differentiator as more and more scientific methods and approaches become the need of the hour. Data science will be critical as it aids in powering the supply chain and to gather insights from the heaps of data. These deep-dive analytics will help in better decision-making and heighten the consumer experience. It is pertinent that now is the time when a push needs to come from the industry to become receptive towards wider tech adoption and the government on an institutional level through a policy push that benefits the sector and all its stakeholders. There are more than 50 lakh trucks in the country. This number calls out to the need to create a National Registry of Truck Drivers. The unorganized nature of the sector and the askew multi-modal mix calls for a unified logistic policy applicable for the country. The other facet is the technology that will address the impending challenges.
Social distancing, safety, and hygiene will continue to be a focal point for consumers hereon. It is foreseeable that there may be a contraction in the economy, change in consumer behaviour, and consumption patterns which may lead to severe problems and discrepancies. Tech is the only way to solve these challenges. The onset of micro-warehousing and the advent of dark stores can be anticipated to maintain economies of scale as the frontline staff is replaced by tech and inventory management and invoicing gets automated. Data security, sharing, and contactless payments will be top priorities. This sector could see the usage of blockchain to ensure this. Digitizing records will allow their patrons to be more robust. More businesses will come forward to partner with organized logistics players to enable direct to consumer deliveries.
It is evident that during the pandemic, logistics has emerged as the most resilient sector in the wake of the pandemic in India. Going forward, one of the most critical operations for any business will be supply chain planning and focus on improving logistics tech, visibility, and transparency. From development to implementation, each aspect of the logistics process will be reassessed, reprogrammed, and realigned. Adaptability to the newer dynamics, leveraging technology and data insights, and responding proactively to a new and evolving situation is foreseen for logistics in India.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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