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Bags of chips don’t magically find their way to local grocery stores ready for purchase, and that football jersey you ordered online, complete with name and number on the back, doesn’t get delivered to your door by luck.
Ask any logistics professional, and they will tell you: It takes a lot of time and effort by many people to develop the processes and automation needed to make sure products are shipped to retail stores and to your home correctly. No small task – and lately, the logistics and supply chain industry is making waves and getting some well-deserved attention.
Logistics Heating Up
A quick glance at the landscape shows how the logistics arena is heating up:
- Increase in e-commerce. People ordering more products online means a greater demand for warehousing, goods transportation and packaging as well as the material handling automation and software tools that businesses employ to handle the ever increasing number of orders.
- Amazon Supply. Amazon already dominates the e-commerce industry for consumers – and has its sights on the industrial business space with its Amazon Supply incarnation. Google, not to be outdone, has also thrown its hat in the ring with Google Shopping for Suppliers.
- Apple’s Supply Chain. Ever wonder how Apple meets consumer demand for its latest gadgets? It isn’t easy and the company built a mighty solid supply chain to accomplish its goals – only to receive scrutiny for its international supply chain practices.
- Food Safety. Significant media exposure of the issues facing the food supply chain has brought the logistics/supply chain industry into the forefront of consumers’ minds. Do you want horse with that?
- Twinkies. Everyone’s amped that Twinkies are back. But their return brings a new business model that focuses on using third party transportation firms to deliver the spongy, cream-filled treats directly to retailers’ distribution centers rather than individual stores. The goal – get more Twinkies in more places to allow for expansion.
- Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals. To fortify the pharmaceutical supply chain, both the U.S. and EU have moved forward with regulations aimed at ensuring quality and mitigating the risk of counterfeit drugs.
What’s Next for the Logistics Industry
Current logistics professionals can tell you – this is a dynamic industry. To keep pace with increasing demand, a global environment, and crucial quality and safety regulations, many industry professionals have a full plate and then some. There are opportunities and challenges abound, and to predict the future would be foolhardy at best; nevertheless, it is safe to say the logistics industry will be ever changing and never boring.