The global logistics environment brings out the increasing complexity and several important parameters shaping the global environment. The change in these parameters is breathtaking and is driving increasing complexity in the logistics ecosystem. We have labelled these changes as “trends”, in that they continue to re-shape the logistics landscape, and provide a shifting set of environmental risks and limitations that either constrain decisions or present opportunities which nimble enterprises can exploit quickly. We begin by describing the major trends that are impacting organizations and follow up with some of the key strategies that successful organizations are applying to cope with or even exploit these trends. Key Trends Impacting Global Landscape Overall top logistics and supply chain trends. We have grouped the top six trends into two sets of related forces, network and external forces. The External forces bring out the changes that are not occurring within the network but are driven by other non-network elements over which organizations have little to no control.
- Globalization of logistics networks is increasing. During the process of expanding their global footprint, global networks are fraught with challenges due to government regulatory forces, channel fragmentation, and poor logistics infrastructure. Increasing the risk of supply chain disruption from any number of possible nodes along the supply chain further complicates the logistics environment.
- One of the most critical concerns on the horizon for global organizations is the impending talent shortage in global supply chains. This will occur not just in manual processes (truck drivers, warehouse workers, material handling, expediting), but also in managerial capability (buyers, planners, analysts, schedulers, warehouse supervisors, and distribution managers). Supply chains cannot operate without people, yet organizations are recognizing that they face critical shortfalls in the number of unfilled job requirements and the shortage is growing with every day.
- The volatility of the ecosystem is now important. Volatility is the major shift in the customers demand volume, product or service mix, government regulations, new competitors, substitute products, short product life cycles, and requirements for rapid network nodal changes and redesign. The transformation of enterprises is now in trend as organizations are continuously adapting and re-inventing their operating model in the face of continuous global change. The speed and scale of this change are unparalleled in the last decades.