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Top 3 Logistic Trends for 2020

2020 is here and now it’s more appropriate than ever to study up on the most popular trends to prepare for possible new challenges within the new year.  We are currently in a highly transformative era in which experts are dubbing, “The 4th Industrial Revolution”.  Technology is advancing in an exponential rate and businesses are shifting priorities to keep up with the competition and the ever changing landscape of this industry.  In this post, we will explore the top 3 logistic trends for 2020.

#1 Sustainability and Visibility

More and more logistics companies are integrating sustainability efforts into their overall strategy.  Climate change has become a popular public concern, and everyone wants to do their part especially since the logistics industry plays a large part in greenhouse gas contributions right next to energy/power plants.  The idea of “going green” has embedded not only the minds of consumers, but political, economic, and financial leaders as well.  While green logistics is ideal, it is not an easy feat.  Not everyone has the resources to become net zero carbon which is why visibility and sustainability go together in this trend.  Logistics companies are providing more visibility in their operations so everyone—inside the company, and out—has access to information that would reveal issues that may otherwise remain hidden.  Things like empty miles, dwell time, trackability, etc. 

Related articles: The Impact of Weather and Climate on Logistics; Visibility is the Master Key to Solve Most Challenges in Logistics.

#2 Utilization of Advanced Technology

Technology has been advancing at an exponential rate.  We already have drones and self-driving semitrucks making deliveries.  Soon, everything that we can automate and digitalize will be automated and digitalized.  Robots are becoming more intelligent.  Not only can they perform simple tasks, but they now have the capabilities to learn, recognize patterns, make decisions, and adapting independently.  The developments on artificial intelligence (AI) are particularly important in the logistics industry because eventually, it’ll become and important tool for efficiency.  It will be no surprise to us when AI dramatically influences the transport industry and change the traditional processes of freight forwarding. 

Related articles: Advancement in Logistics: Technology vs Humans

#3 Managing Customer Expectations and Partnerships

With the implementation of advanced technology, many companies will be looking for ways to minimize freight costs while still being efficient in their operations.  In 2020, companies will be seeking out effective partnerships that can help reduce costs, minimize risks associated with shipping cargo, decrease delays in delivery, and enhance customer value and satisfaction.  Customer expectations will be shifting due to the advancement of technology.  Not only will customers become data-enabled but they will also be wanting to associate themselves with a business that aligns with their individual ideals.  Catch-all solutions will be obsolete, and companies would have to rely on transparency and technology to give them that competitive edge. 

Related articles: What’s the Difference Between Customer Experience and Customer Expectations?; Is Customer Experience Growing in its Importance in Differentiating Brands?


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What’s the Difference Between Customer Experience and Customer Expectations?

We hear it all the time in meetings or in sales pitches. Every business claiming to, “exceed expectations and heighten the customers’ experience”.  But, what does it really mean?  When talking to other businesses regarding how they create an excellent customer experience, most resort to describing typical customer expectations.

In logistics, that means delivering to load on time through the appropriate channels and modes of transport, and having it arrive undamaged.  In this situation, the “customer experience” isn’t the ease of access to tracking information, having a point of contact throughout the transport, or even a smooth and headache-free delivery. Believe it or not, those attributes are still a part of customer’s expectations.

So, what is customer experience and how do we cultivate it? 

 

Unfortunately, there isn’t a straight answer to this question.  However, there are a couple of examples you may be familiar with.  For instance, the “missing bookmark” concept.  You go to a hotel, you expect the room to be clean, the bed to be made, and maybe even a mint on the pillows!  However, the missing bookmark alludes to coming back to a room, seeing a book you’ve been reading bookmarked by scrap paper that came from wherever, and finding a hotel-branded bookmark sitting on top of it.  You didn’t know you needed it, but now you have it!  That is really the essence of creating a customer experience. 

Another well-known example also involve hotels.  You go and check-in, there’s a long queue but you patiently wait along with the others. When you get up to the front, the person working the counter is calm, treats you with the upmost respect, and even manages to make you crack a smile.  Despite the slow service, it’s so incredibly pleasant you forget about the long wait.  Months past, and you find yourself at the same hotel, different location.  This time, instead of waiting in a line, there’s a second hotel worker suggesting people in line to sit in the lobby and help themselves to a complimentary cup of coffee. When it’s your turn, a concierge approaches you and escorts you back to the front desk area to check you in.  Both approaches are correct. However, the latter approach really enhances the customer experience. 

In short you can enhance the customer experience by:

  1. Anticipating what your customer needs outside of your typical service.
  2. Going above and beyond to meet those needs.
  3. Making the experience so incredibly thoughtful and unforgettable they convince themselves they wouldn’t be able to obtain that level of service anywhere else.

US Cargo Link makes an effort to treat any business—large or small—with the same amount of attention.  We assign one sales representative for each move or project, so you always have one point of contact and rest easy knowing that they understand the entire scope of your company’s goals.  Contact us today to see how US Cargo Link can be your link to success.


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