The American Chamber of Commerce recently hosted a webinar entitled The Future of Logistics in partnership with Santos Knight Frank and the Makati Business Club. The panelists were executives from Fast Logistics Group, Orca Cold Chain, FedEx Philippines and PHILEA. The webinar’s discussion revolved around five main points.
Current Concerns and Solutions
The safety and health processes involved with the logistics of essential goods is one of the pressing issues nowadays. The panelists shared the different ways they tackled the issue. For Fast Logistics, they focused on the automation of old storage processes and their facilities; this also considers the limited manpower due to the quarantine restrictions. As firms upgrade their systems, to fast forward the education of the market in the digitalization of the economy is now becoming a must. Orca, however, concerns itself mainly with food chains, billing and collection. Adjusting to the circumstances and connecting food producers and consumers is a priority for the mean time of Orca and shifting to paperless transactions are already being implemented. Constant monitoring of the global network is the concern of FedEx especially with strict travel bans and restricted air travel of both commercial passengers and cargo. Living quarters for workers is the issue PHILEA hopes to resolve, acknowledging that economic zones cannot be put at a stoppage and must continue operating even at loss since it will affect the entire network area.
Growing Industries that Rely on Logistics
FedEx primarily offers its services in delivering PPEs in and out of the Philippines. Food manufacturers and fast food chains are working with Orca. Optimizing the direct delivery model of markets to home while partnering with government agencies and NGOs are one of the ways Orca is adapting, while they consider this model to be unstable given the uncertainties in the long-run. The focus for now is helping local farmers and producers to lessen spoilage of produce. Fast Logistics still reiterates delivering essential items to households and actively creating safe spaces in their geographical deliveries through advocating for continuous test, trace and treat. These measures hope to increase the company’s value proposition by showing care to its customers and aid in bridging supply chains.
Demand for Space
PHILEA concisely discussed this point. The association is pushing for industrial park development projects wherein ecozone communities are created. These designated ecozones will have schools, hospitals, commercial businesses, residentials, etc. With the issues of transportation in the new normal, it also recommends having walking distances within these developments from homes to establishments.
Technology and Innovation
With Zoom being one of the companies slowly cementing itself in the consciousness of the public, it is no doubt that technology can direct how industries will move forward. Orca prides itself with having the most advanced cold storage facilities in the country. As such, it encourages others to build strong warehouse infrastructures necessary for one’s own operations. It also emphasizes going paperless since documentation of order procurements are one of the bottlenecks in logistics. Fast Logistics also gave its two cents on the matter. One must be able to utilize technology to have a faster integration of information, to monitor information technology and business processes, and to translate business opportunities into action such solutions offered by the emerging e-commerce industry.
In relation to the previous point on e-commerce, to be able to tap and partner with e-retailers may offer opportunities for growth, riding the increasing trend of this particular market. It is an undeniable fact that businesses must learn to pivot from time to time. The challenge lies in the uncertainties in creating long term goals and plans. Some may need to opt planning monthly, bi-weekly, weekly or even daily until circumstances have achieved a steady state of stability and security. Lastly, with the health industry being put into the spotlight in these trying times, one must not be hesitant to explore opportunities that are opening to promote accurate information and communication, and health and wellness through the tools and specialized skills people in the logistics industry can offer. Collaboration is the key.