Three Logistics E-Commerce Trends to Watch in 2018

As e-commerce continues its meteoric rise, more and more companies need to significantly increase their logistics performance. How can that impact your business? For businesses that want to grow their position in the supply chain, understanding key trends in logistics is critical to success. Here are a few to watch for in 2018.

Digitalization and Automation

While people talk about automation and digitalization as though they are magic pills, it’s’ not as simple as buying the latest PC for employees, adding a tracking feature, installing corporate software or extending corporate website functionality. Companies need to follow trends in electronic logistics and implement emerging technologies before their competitors do.

Companies should use Big Data to make their services faster and more convenient.

Some of today’s latest trends include:

  • Incorporate more convenient digital payment methods
  • Use software to predict market behavior
  • Mobile integration
  • Delivery process point automation

Managers also need to be sure their teams are well-educated in all the technologies being implemented in the company for maximum efficiency.

Unusual Delivery Methods

Everything from drones to self-driving transports are being considered for delivery. While this may not yet be practical for smaller companies; larger companies like Amazon are pursuing more futuristic delivery models. Keep an eye on these new methods as they will become the norm faster than anticipated.

Customer Personalization

What client doesn’t like to get exclusive offers that seem to be designed especially for them? That is just the first step in the personal approach now being used to attract and keep more clients.

In order to improve communication with clients, companies should consider the following to enhance the client experience:

  • Personalize their newsfeed and offers.
  • Employ 24-hour support in order to help customers solve their problems quickly and get the necessary information they need.
  • Use chatbots to solve problems before people from the support team can do it.
  • Use same-day and next-day delivery
  • Enact a rewards program to engender customer loyalty

By staying ahead of the trends, companies not only keep their competitive edge but develop stronger customer relationships which encourage brand loyalty.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: U.S. Southeast ports hunker down for Hurricane Irma

Hi everyone,

As you well know, it has been a horrific week weather-wise. A lot of LTL and small package, as well as truckload carriers are not taking shipments destined for much of the southeast or Houston.  Unfortunately, the impact is significant and may last for a while, especially for industries that use plastics and packaging materials.  Like many of you, Langham is doing what we can to aid the storm victims.  We will keep you advised as we are updated, and please let us know (24/7) how we can help you. Continue reading…

Avoid Confusion with Shipping Rules : Let’s Talk Incoterms

Companies that still use the old contract terms that were used decades ago are not taking advantage of Incoterms and the opportunity they provide to improve your supply chain performance. Incoterms help avoid confusion that’s created by varied and sometimes wrongful interpretations of shipping rules in different countries. By having an understanding of Incoterms, you can minimize confusion and misunderstandings and can alleviate trade disputes and litigation in international shipping. Continue reading…

The Pro’s and Con’s of Nearshoring

When it comes to outsourcing operations, nearshoring is becoming a better and better option for many companies. With rising labor costs in China and the problem with maintaining quality standards, as well as the desire to reduce transportation. Costs companies have started to reassess their manufacturing and offshoring strategies.

If you are unsure of what the differences are, we can explain. Offshoring involves shifting work to a foreign or distant country and/or company to production costs. Nearshoring, on the other hand, means sourcing manufacturing closer to The United States; to countries like Canada and Mexico. Many other nations in Central and South America like Argentina, Brazil, or El Salvador; and in the Caribbean like the Dominican Republic and the U.S. Virgin Islands are also used.

With offshoring, not offering the same cost benefits it once did, companies are moving production closer to home. According to an article published by Manufacturing Today, “companies like Apple, General Motors, General Electric, Microsoft, Caterpillar, and Ford have recognized that overseas offshoring is no longer the good deal it was, nor does it comport with today’s supply chain demands.”

Continue reading…

Hanjin Bankruptcy Update

On Friday, September 2, 2016, South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping Co., filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. just days after filing for receivership in South Korea. Hanjin Shipping’s creditors withdrew support after deeming a funding plan drafted by the parent company, Hanjin Group, was inadequate.
Continue reading…

Zika’s affect on logistics

As the Zika virus spreads, how will it affect the future of logistics?

Zika has recently emerged as a significant challenge, not only for the general population of the United States but also for logistics. China has placed the United States on a list of countries with restrictions requiring companies to take extra precautions to ensure that shipments are mosquito-free. This is in hopes of preventing the spread of the Zika virus. China previously instituted these import rules in March and had just added the United States. The move is expected to delay exports as companies figure out how to comply with the new regulations.

The Chinese government stated that shipments arriving from affected countries would be rejected if all anti-mosquito treatment protocols and proper certifications were not provided. If rejected, Chinese port authorities could require containers to submit to quarantine and undergo anti-mosquito treatments, resulting in additional costs and delays.

Continue reading…

INTERMODAL SHIPPING: Top 3 Considerations

Before Malcolm McLean, the shipping and logistics world was a different place. Tired of how much time it took to load and unload shipments, Malcolm McLean needed a more efficient system. He wanted a better way to ship his client’s cargo. His idea to create an intermodal shipping container offered the solution that he and his clients desperately needed. Imagining how his business would transform the transportation industry, Malcolm got to work. Continue reading…