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What lies ahead?

Published:Wednesday | October 22, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Logistics Hubs must factor not only today's movements in goods and services, but those of the mid-term and the long-term.

The potentially very costly determination regarding how to balance capacity so that it meets marketplace requirements, as and when needed, must be weighed against having too much or too little capacity.

Employing a Delphi Survey, two world-class institutions, Pricewater-houseCoopers and the EBS Business School's Supply Chain Management Institute, brought together some of the industry's best minds to share thoughts as to what that future holds - and some of the findings are worthy of note.

The survey discovered that:

1. "The world's supply networks are changing. New trade corridors are already becoming visible and those companies and countries able to capitalise on them will benefit most from the evolution of global trade."

2. "As emerging markets continue to grow, there will be a host of opportunities for logistics service providers of all sizes. Some of these will stem from the sharing of a whole range of good practises that are commonly used in developed markets, but not yet fully implemented in many emerging markets.

These include strategies for managing people, such as diversity management, managerial accounting systems, including the use of KPIs, sharing lessons learned during past liberalisation processes, and developing robust corporate social responsibility practices and reporting.

Others may involve emerging market providers who are able to act as advisers to those entering their marketplace, to help scout out suitable acquisition targets, as just one example.

3. "Most importantly, though, logistics companies will need to develop or fine-tune their own specific strategies for operating in diverse emerging markets. They will need to understand how government regulation in each market affects them, be it changing customs procedures, the establishment of free-trade zones, incentives for foreign direct investment or new sustainability requirements. This may mean adapting their service portfolio not once, but many times, as demand patterns change and emerging markets".

Transportation & Logistics 2030. Volume 3: Emerging Markets - new hubs, new spokes, new industry leaders?