The global Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on lives and health, but it has also caused severe damage to the world’s economy. Because governments have closed borders and restricted people’s movement, the shipping and logistics industry has suffered crushing losses that have left companies looking for the best way forward.
Although the situation is ongoing, and no one is sure how the future looks for any industry, there are specific steps shipping and logistics partners can take to stabilize the current downturn.
1. Assess and Restructure
Before making any significant changes, it’s essential to understand your current situation. If you are suffering losses, you need to know where the problem is in your pipeline. After identifying the issues, stakeholders work with existing partners to overcome the challenges or replace suppliers who are no longer trading.
Current issues could likely magnify as companies worldwide battle to stay in business and make a profit. Therefore, it’s vital to look critically at potential problems that could develop in the months to come. This may mean looking back at all the links in your supply chain, identifying issues that could cause a partner to reduce their ability to provide you with their services.
It may be possible to lower current costs. Analyzing your fuel costs, payments for maintenance services and labor costs could highlight areas where you can save money. It’s possible there may be a subdued demand for shipping services because other businesses lose custom, but it’s crucial to cut costs where possible.
The leanest and agile companies are most likely to survive this economic crisis, and the shipping and logistics companies who adapt fastest will be the most competitive.
2. Prioritize Customer Service
It has never been more critical to provide your customers with added value. If you can differentiate your business from your rivals by going the extra mile, you will be more likely to retain clients and grow your customer base.
Because companies are finding it challenging just to trade during the Covid-19 pandemic, it could be that customer service levels decline. It’s crucial you don’t let this area of your business suffer.
Your customers may be frustrated if there are delays in the supply pipeline, but they know this is an unprecedented time. They are more likely to continue working with you and recommend your business if you keep them informed of any issues. If you can offer an alternative solution to the problem, this could help mitigate losses at their end, which is likely to strengthen your relationship with your customer.
Shipping and logistics companies are in a unique position to assess the supply and demand for specific products. By analyzing the data, you can quickly see the rise in orders for particular products and spot the reduction in the need for others. You can use this information to diversify your shipments, offering the swift provision of the most in-demand commodities.
Having an overview of the market is also an opportunity to reinforce your relationship with your clients. If you can provide them with new products that are new to their stock, they are likely to appreciate your flexibility and capacity to adapt to a rapidly changing economic environment.
3. Invest in Technology
Digitalization has been a significant influence on the shipping and logistics industry for many years. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of technology to global businesses.
Staff working from home can use internet-based systems to interact with colleagues around the world, keeping companies trading when they would otherwise have to close. There are also benefits from using computers to make critical decisions during transportation.
Human error when calculating shipping routes and delivery schedules can cost significant amounts of money. However, computers can analyze data faster and more effectively than the human brain, helping companies cut costs by reducing fuel usage.
There can even be smaller issues such as mistyping a container number or not attaching an email document. If staff in one part of the world work different hours from employees in another country, this can cause hours of delay until they can communicate and resolve the issue.
There is an upfront cost to purchasing and implementing computer systems and electronic devices, but they are easy to monitor and function well with regular IT backup. One such area is in ship maintenance, as it can be expensive to employ staff to check large ships and identify areas that require repair.
A large shipping company can install monitoring devices that instantly alert the business when there is wear and tear, or a more significant issue, with the ship’s condition. Engineers can immediately locate the problem area and carry out maintenance work before the damage becomes a more substantial problem.
Investing in digital technologies now might be challenging in the current economic climate, but it could save your business considerable amounts of money as you navigate the Covid-19 crisis.
Contact Asiana USA
Asiana USA is a world-class shipping and logistics company. As a market-leading international freight shipper, we are in the ideal position to help you deliver the highest customer care levels when serving your clients.
For a consultation and quote for your freight shipping requirements, contact the Asiana USA customer sales team at 855-500-1808.