Logistics sector feels under growing pressure to shorten delivery times

Shortening the delivery time is an ever-bigger challenge in the logistics sector, according to the annual Fleet Management Benchmarking Survey by Descartes, a vendor of on-demand SaaS solutions for logistics companies.

While the top 3 challenges remain unchanged since last year, the issue of delivery times has climbed to fourth place in 2019 (scoring 42%). This shift in the top 5 reflects the growing pressure on the logistics industry to improve performance and productivity. The main challenges faced by logistics companies are to save costs (78%), to manage driver performance and to improve delivery punctuality. The challenge to eliminate paper-based processes has slipped into fifth place.

Driver shortage has biggest impact

The survey also asked logistics professionals which developments will have the most impact on truck fleet management over the next five years. The driver shortage is clearly expected to have the biggest impact (65%). Further significant developments include increasingly demanding customers and rising fuel costs (both named by 33% of respondents). Other much-hyped developments such as autonomous trucks and crowd-sourced logistics are expected to have little impact in the short term.

Focus on performance

“The results of our global benchmarking survey confirm what people experience every day within the logistics sector: the pressure to perform,” says Albert van Roekel, Director Solutions Consultancy at Descartes. “The fact that shortening the delivery time is regarded as an ever-bigger challenge is an important indicator of this development. And that’s pretty difficult, especially in combination with increasingly demanding customers. Consumers and suppliers are becoming more critical about the delivery process standards so a new and innovative approach is needed.”

According to Van Roekel, the logistics sector would be wise to put fleet management high up on the strategic agenda and to seek advice from specialists: “Ultimately, good fleet management is crucial for competitive advantage.”