The Driving Force

Strategy & Leadership

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”
– Helen Keller

 

Logistics Companies Detail Changes Affecting the Industry

In a world that’s constantly changing, it can feel hard to keep up. For logistics companies, things are no different. Economic shifts, constantly evolving supply and demand, and shifting consumer priorities are just a few of the factors these companies constantly have to navigate. Here, we’ve spoken with several area logistics leaders about what additional changes they see on the horizon and how their businesses plan to keep up.

paul bunn

Paul Bunn

President & COO, Covenant Logistics Group, Inc.

Previously, consumers went to a store, hit an order button online, or took their automobile to a shop where they could obtain a service immediately or at least within a day or two. All of that changed during the peak of the pandemic. While not fully healed, the supply chain is closer to normal, but the pandemic did expose its fragileness. In response, companies are more focused on safety stock, near-shoring, dedicated fleets, inventory planning and visibility, and supplier diversity. We began a multi-year journey in 2018 to “get deeper in the supply chain.” Specifically, we have created long-term partnerships with most of our expedited customers by leveraging our team fleet which is the second largest in the United States. We have also grown and optimized our dedicated fleet footprint, added a warehouse/distribution management segment, and significantly grown our brokerage/managed transportation operation. This strategic shift has aligned well with customers’ needs and supply chain strategies in a post-pandemic world.

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carlos garcia

Carlos Garcia

General Manager, LogistiX

One of the most significant changes that has recently affected the logistics industry is the increasing demand for e-commerce and last-mile delivery. With more and more people opting for online shopping, there is a growing need for the efficient delivery of goods. As a result, logistics companies have had to adapt to faster, more flexible, and cost-effective solutions to meet demand. The biggest shift on the horizon will be the increasing adoption of automation and digitalization in logistics operations. This includes the use of technologies such as drones, autonomous vehicles, and artificial intelligence to streamline supply chain processes. At LogistiX, we are investing in new technologies, upskilling our workforce, and adapting to changing customer demands to remain competitive. This involves creating more efficient supply chain networks, implementing advanced tracking and monitoring systems, and collaborating with technology providers to develop innovative solutions. Overall, LogistiX is embracing technological advancements to meet the demands of the future and stay ahead of the competition.

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jason whitten

Jason Whitten

CEO, KCH Transportation

Currently, the United States is in a recession that has resulted in layoffs, specifically in the supply chain industry, for the last eight months. KCH Transportation made the bold decision over two years ago to run on lean margins, allowing us to hire new talent as other companies are downsizing their workforces. In the last year, our company has upsized four offices and opened the doors to three more. As KCH Transportation looks to the future, we’re leading the way in building collaborative partnerships inside and outside of the supply chain. A recent brand refresh, technology audit, process and policy update, outreach program implementation, and re-trained workforce have reinforced our foundation of putting people before everything else.

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heath haley

Health Haley

CEO, Trident Transport

Covid-19 caused a major shift in the industry that we’re still seeing the effects of years later. These changes encompass everything from customers moving to a remote or hybrid work setting to the domino effect of shutdowns and a clogged supply chain. Plus, the cyclical nature of market conditions always plays a huge role in the logistics industry. Some industries are up and some are down, but it all comes back around. That’s why it’s important for Trident to be there for our customers during the good times and the bad. By providing our customers with excellent communication, consistency, and additional technology, we’re able to be the solution for any of our customers’ supply chain needs. We’ve aligned ourselves to be the one-stop shop for them by being a full-service logistics provider.

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jason provonsha

Jason Provonsha

CEO, Steam Logistics

The industry is in a post-Covid downturn after companies stocked up on too much inventory and consumer demand has cooled. We expect it to continue through this year and make a turn for the better going into 2024. Steam Logistics is in a fortunate position because we have a multi-modal strategy and can deliver a much broader range of solutions than most 3PLs. Since the pandemic, there has been a real shift in customer expectations, and they are looking for partners who can deliver these expanded services rather than being one-dimensional. We are seeing this first-hand from our customers and our shipment volumes are up 50% year-to-date as a result.

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cindy lee

Cindy Lee

President & CEO, LYNC

Freight is a cyclical business. High rates bring new trucks to the market, and then as truck supply increases, the rates fall. Then trucks are forced out of the marketplace, and the cycle starts over again. LYNC made a strategic decision to move from a high-growth business to a sustainable model. This allowed us to concentrate on finding the best markets for our services, find niche markets that were not as rate sensitive, and build the culture at LYNC. We switched to a new transportation management system recently that has increased our automation, and we are beginning to use AI to augment our sales procedures. These changes have protected us from most of the downturn in the market and will allow LYNC to continue its growth.

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thomas brown

Thomas Brown

Enterprise Sales Director, Coyote

Shippers and carriers are facing new business challenges because the world and consumers are changing. Rapid shifts in supply and demand and ever-increasing consumer expectations represent a constant change in this industry – a trend that has accelerated as a result of the pandemic. Now more than ever, there’s a consistent need for more speed and efficiency at every step in the global supply chain. Success in the long and short term requires a balance between human expertise and technology synchronized to enable smarter decision making. At Coyote, we remain focused on offering flexible, reliable solutions that help us deliver this balance to our customers as their needs evolve.

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rebecca wilson

Rebecca Wilson

Vice President of People Operations & Total Rewards, Kenco Group

Labor is one of our top challenges, especially flexibility for both our exempt and non-exempt teams. The pandemic changed the office workforce culture and accelerated the shift to a hybrid, or even fully remote, schedule. Our frontline workforce is now expressing that same desire for flexibility. To address this at Kenco, we have been piloting shift scheduling programs (both swapping shifts and alternative shift schedules). The shift to a remote environment for our exempt team has impacted employee engagement and company culture, which are paramount to attracting and retaining our workforce in the ongoing fight for talent in logistics. We are conducting monthly employee engagement pulse checks to understand team sentiments so we can address identified shifts in a more agile fashion. One such adjustment has been scheduling more development and networking opportunities that bring teams together in person.

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