Logistics - the latest challenges and opportunities
The prolonged economic downturn, the increased influence of the emerging markets and the pressure from green issues are all having an impact on logistics providers - and their manufacturing and retail customers.
The downturn has made markets like the UK even tougher places to do business. Retailers are watching costs like a hawk while at the same time using promotions like never before. The first part of just-food's latest briefing on logistics features an interview with Dan Myers, head of the food unit at logistics giant Norbert Dentressangle, who outlines the pressures affecting his business.
As the global food industry consolidates and companies become more international, so too are the customer bases of many logistics firms. This growth has meant logistics companies have had to adapt to the growing needs of its customers overseas and become more than simple hauliers.
To save money and to alleviate their impact on the environment, different logistics providers are increasingly working together, as well as with their retail and manufacturing customers on sustainability initiatives. As Ben Cooper writes, collaboration is a strategy stakeholders are turning to more often.
The so-called BRIC markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China have continued to forge ahead in demand and output. While these regions have continued to offer terrific economies to multinational food manufacturers and retailers, their sheer size and often primitive logistics infrastructure mean that companies are having to take careful measure of the real costs of manufacturing and distribution in these new markets.
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