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6 logistics industry trends to look out for in 2024

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In the ever-evolving world of international shipping, the logistics industry stands tall as the backbone of efficient operations. As Bangladesh continues its journey towards economic growth, staying abreast of the latest logistics industry trends becomes paramount in ensuring your business can keep up with changing market demands.

Let's explore the trends that will shape the logistics landscape in Bangladesh in 2024.

1. Global labour shortages

Labour shortages are currently a significant challenge impacting the global logistics industry. According to Team Global Logistics, resource shortage trends have been particularly dire in the transportation and warehousing sectors, reaching up to 61% and 56%, respectively.

Despite logistics still being fairly manpower intensive, such shortages have emerged due to internal factors such as gaps in workers’ knowledge and ageing populations, as well as external influences like the outpacing growth of the global logistics demand. 

In Bangladesh, where manpower plays a pivotal role in leading industries like garments and textiles, the shortage of skilled labour can significantly impact workforce dynamics. Businesses in Bangladesh must strategise to optimise their workforce management by investing in training programmes, upskilling existing employees, and leveraging automation technologies to fill the gaps left by labour shortages. Additionally, collaborating with educational institutions to develop industry-specific skills can help address this challenge in the long term by building a knowledgeable workforce with specialised knowledge.

2. Complexities associated with automation

According to a study by McKinsey, the logistics and fulfilment sector is expected to spend 30% or more of its capital on automation in the next five years. This is the highest share amongst various other industrial segments, signalling the sector’s overall embrace of the benefits of automation.

However, the widespread implementation of automation technologies comes with complexities that Bangladeshi businesses still have to grapple with. Businesses face challenges such as high initial investment costs, technical expertise requirements, and resistance to change from the existing workforce. This is especially the case for small and medium-sized enterprises, which may lack the financial resources to invest in productivity-boosting technologies.

However, businesses must look towards the long-term benefits of automation when weighing the value of such an investment. Automation can help companies manage seasonal spikes in demand, such as dealing with holiday shipping, as well as improve waste management strategies in logistics through its precision capabilities. To fully harness the benefits of automation, businesses must invest in comprehensive training programs to upskill employees and ensure a smooth transition. Additionally, fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration within the organisation can help overcome resistance to change and drive successful automation initiatives.

3. Growing customer demand for real-time data and visibility

In today’s era of instant gratification, customers have come to expect real-time tracking and visibility of their shipments. Technologies like IoT and AI can empower businesses to meet this demand by providing transparent, real-time data sharing throughout the supply chain. 

In Bangladesh, where customer expectations are rapidly evolving, businesses must invest in advanced tracking and monitoring systems to enhance visibility and provide superior customer experiences. By leveraging logistics technology trends like GPS tracking, RFID tags, and predictive analytics, businesses can not only meet but exceed customer expectations, leading to increased loyalty and repeat business.

Businesses should also partner with logistics companies that possess the capability and expertise in overseas shipping, such as DHL Express, to ensure timely delivery for even the most complex of shipments. This will help to optimise the customer experience journey and enhance customer satisfaction, positively impacting their business reputation in the long run.

4. Logistics demand forecasting

Accurate demand forecasting is essential for efficient logistics operations. By adopting data-driven approaches, businesses can predict demand accurately, leading to cost-efficiency and improved resource allocation. In Bangladesh, where market dynamics are constantly evolving, demand forecasting becomes even more critical and can give companies a competitive edge in the market.To leverage the benefits of demand forecasting, businesses must invest in advanced analytics tools, gather and analyse data from multiple sources, and collaborate closely with suppliers and partners to align production and inventory levels with anticipated demand. By adopting a proactive approach to demand forecasting, businesses can minimise stockouts, reduce excess inventory, and improve overall operational efficiency.

5. Reducing carbon emissions

Sustainable logistics practices are gaining prominence globally, and Bangladesh is no exception. In a country where rapid urbanisation and industrialisation are driving increased demand for logistics services, addressing carbon emissions becomes imperative for businesses looking to improve their sustainability outlook.

Businesses can adopt various green logistics practices to reduce their carbon footprint, such as optimising route planning to minimise fuel consumption, investing in fuel-efficient vehicles, and transitioning to alternative fuels like compressed natural gas (CNG) or electric vehicles (EVs). Additionally, implementing eco-friendly packaging solutions, promoting modal shifts from road to rail or water transport, and leveraging technology solutions like blockchain for supply chain transparency can further contribute to reducing carbon emissions in the logistics sector.

These strategies will enable businesses not only to mitigate environmental impact but also enhance brand reputation and appeal to environmentally conscious consumers.

6. Supply chain agility

In today's fast-paced business environment, supply chain agility is non-negotiable. Bangladeshi businesses must prioritise flexibility and adaptability to navigate uncertainties effectively. Factors such as geopolitical tensions, natural disasters, and market volatility can lead to unexpected challenges, necessitating the need for a resilient supply chain.

Businesses can enhance supply chain agility by leveraging technologies like cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and blockchain to improve visibility, streamline processes, and enable real-time collaboration with suppliers and partners. Agile methodologies such as lean manufacturing and just-in-time inventory management can also help businesses respond swiftly to changing market conditions and customer demands.

By embracing supply chain agility, businesses can stay ahead of the curve, mitigate risks, and seize opportunities for growth in the dynamic logistics landscape of 2024.

Face upcoming logistics challenges and trends head-on in 2024 with DHL Express

As Bangladesh continues its economic ascent, embracing these logistics industry trends is crucial for sustained growth and competitiveness. By staying proactive and adopting innovative solutions, businesses can navigate the evolving logistics landscape with confidence. 

At DHL Express, we're committed to supporting Bangladeshi businesses on this journey towards success. Open a business account today, and let's shape the future of the logistics industry together.