Contemporary Issues in Logistics
Contemporary issues in logistics
The field of logistics has developed and enhanced over the past decades. This has lead to a more responsive and efficient logistics structure. Some major factors behind this advancement include the dynamic technology, breaking of trade barriers, and the creation of more stable logistic policies. However, logistics still need change. There are various issues, which force it to be better every day. This essay will eye the issues and explain how they relate to logistics currently, and in the future.
The issues surrounding logistics
Some of these issues include;
Technology: This is one of the main issues behind the nature of the current logistics. The world has become a global village through the emergence of new technology. Communication between parties in logistics has become easier and more effective with the outcome of electronic logistics. Vehicles scheduling, inventory management, and transport have become digital (Thiel et al. 129). Managing logistics has become easy thus reducing the high costs of logistics experience in the pre-electronic era. Several challenging issues face logistics concerning technology. The issue of security in critical in managing the information systems which support and facilitate logistics. Hackers and crackers have become the order of the day. Vandalism as well has led to high costs of information technology in logistics.
Breaking of trade barriers and opening of new markets: Many trade unions have reduced the barriers of trade between continents or countries. This includes scraping off trade tariffs or negotiating them to enhance business over the boundaries (Thiel et al. 121). This thus has boosted completion over the boundaries thus leading to heavy use of the differentiation strategy in logistics. Logistic companies or agents are now differentiated transport, warehousing, and delivery of products or services to the customer in order to achieve a competitive edge.
The breaking of boundaries has also allowed logistics companies to operate internationally thus gaining access to new markets. The interaction with new markets has brought about the issues of outsourcing, buy or make. The cost issues affect the decision to make, buy or outsource. Many companies had shifted to outsourcing unlike in the past when most logistics organization used their own warehouses and transport means, as well as human resources.
Third-party and fourth-party logistics: Third-party (3PL’s) and fourth-party logistics have also emerged and become a main contemporary issue. The third parties are people or organizations, which provide logistic services to the seller or the buyer, or manufacturer and consumer. They provide warehousing services, transport services (vehicles scheduling, routing among others), and distribution services (depots, distributing agents, e.t.c). Fourth parties are those contracted to offer logistics service to 3PL’s. They offer similar services as the third party.
Creation of more strong and stable policies and code of ethics: Governments, organizations, and trade unions have constructed more strategic policies, which go a long way in embarking on the transformation of logistics (Mallik 106). These policies touch specifically on the major activities of logistics like warehousing, transportation, and distribution. This provides for a more ethical and transparent logistical process, the extent to which government should support and control logistics. The policies give a clear explanation of the responsibilities of each player in the logistical process.
Environmental issues: Green procurement has emerged with a reckoning focus on logistics (Thiell et al. 127). According to green procurement, all logistics activities should be in a way that is friendly to the environment. The transport means and machines used should cause little or no harm to the environment (Mallik 109). Gases and wastes need control to ensure green procurement. This issue, however, is relatively expensive to adopt, which is a significant reason why many organizations are still catching up with it.
To conclude, all organization over the world needs to keep an eye on these issues to ensure that their logistics is current and that it gives a competitive edge. The above issues are but a few of the many other contemporary issues, and hence one should not consider them solely without considering other issues in the dynamic world.
Mallik, Susan. The Handbook of Technology Management: Supply Chain Management,
Marketing and Advertising, and Global Management. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley
and Sons, Inc., 2010. Print.
Thiell, Zuluaga, Montanez, and Van Hoof. Green Logistics – Global Practices and their
Implementation in Emerging Markets. Boston: Allyn, 2011. Print.