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Guest Post: Trends and Strategies in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

June 27, 2013
Dr. A. Wieland

Dr. A. Wieland

Dr. R. Handfield

Dr. R. Handfield

Our Guest Post today comes from Andreas Wieland (  and Robert Handfield ( Andreas heads the Kühne Foundation Center for International Logistics Networks at the TU Berlin. Rob is director of the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative at North Carolina State University.

Some months ago, BVL International engaged us to find the most important trends that are currently going on in logistics and supply chain management and also the most powerful strategies to cope with these trends.

Our general observation, derived from both over 60 interviews and the analysis of over 1,700 international survey responses, is that complexity in the form of consumer demands for customized solutions, increased product variations, and fragmented channels has increased. We found that high customer expectations, an increasingly networked economy, intense cost pressure, as well as ongoing globalization, shortage of talents, and pronounced volatility are dominating trends in logistics and supply chain management. Other important trends are sustainability, risks and disruptions, and new technologies.

How should organizations prepare themselves to deal with these emerging trends? The top performing companies are not only preparing themselves for these trends; they are even seeking to exploit them for advantage. First, people are the core of any organization, and strategies to find and keep talented logistics managers and warehouse/transportation workers are crucial. Second, a strong core set of processes is needed, and these processes should be adaptive and flexible to accommodate different local and regulatory conditions. Third, technology must be leveraged to provide insights, visibility, and promote an action-oriented culture. Fourth, end-to-end integration will become an increasingly important logistics and supply chain strategy in the next five years. Finally, to pursue ethical, social and ecological standards, organizations will increasingly need to work both vertically and horizontally with suppliers, service providers, local agencies, and governments.

Our report, coauthored by Drs. Frank Straube and Hans-Christian Pfohl,  “Trends and Strategies in Logistics and Supply Chain Management,”  is available on BVL’s website.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 5, 2013 3:08 pm

    With online shopping fueling demand on top of the movement of metals and recyclable materials around the world, the logistics industry needs to be pro-active in two areas. Firstly by using a logistics portal to ensure that every freight train and cargo plane is as full as possible and also to look for large low energy logistics solutions for products that are not time sensitive. Super tanker sized cargo ships with sails might be the next big thing!

  2. February 9, 2016 9:22 pm

    Thanks Andreas and Robert for sharing this. You nailed it for me when you
    said it is important for strategies to be in place to find and keep talented logistics
    managers and warehouse /transportation workers.

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