Third-party firms lax on innovation
Third-party logistics companies are the weakest drivers of developments in supply chain and customer service, according to a survey conducted by logistics and supply chain consultancy SCALA.
This was the response from 76% of those surveyed, made up of directors and senior managers from retailers, manufacturers, logistics firms and technology providers.
Technology providers were cited as the main drivers of change (86% of respondents), followed by retailers (71%).
John Perry, managing director of SCALA, said: “The findings of our survey have shown divided opinions about who is driving change in the supply chain sector. If Jeff Bezos [Amazon boss] believes it’s Amazon’s role to innovate – not the job of the consumer – and that Amazon focuses on enhancing and developing new consumer experiences, then it’s not the consumers driving requirements, it’s the new businesses. The ‘disrupters’ are driving the new world, and everyone else is having to follow the new expectations set.”
UK should adopt Irish freight model
The UK needs to move towards the Irish Sea model of unaccompanied freight and use ports across the country to mitigate delays at Dover post-Brexit, the Peels Ports Group has urged.
Routing via ports such as London Medway would be just as efficient as the existing options through the Dover Straits, said the company’s commercial director Stephen Carr. While the sea leg is longer, road miles would be reduced.
“Door-to-door cargo owners might actually save money, as well as avoiding congestion and reducing carbon emissions,” Carr added. “Other benefits include improved productivity for hauliers as drivers do not waste any time on the sea leg.”
In this model, goods could be held as contingency stock at the port of entry and trailers would not leave the port until up to 48 hours following their arrival.
Such an approach would provide more time for border checks to be implemented while removing the pressure of them needing to be completed during a short sea crossing or at a congested border point.