At the close of 2021, The Economist warned that: “The era of predictable unpredictability is not going away,”  recognising that market changes aren’t disappearing. In fact, over the past few years, every historic working practice, in every sector, has been up for revision. And none more so than in logistics. Black swan events, supply chain complexity, the rise of e-Commerce, a lack of visibility and much more, have all coalesced to make the task of getting items from A to B, hugely challenging.

But The Economist is right. These situations won’t disappear. Instead, businesses have to find a way to turn challenges into opportunities. This turns Less-than-Container Load (LCL) logistics from a time-critical solution to a business-critical one. So, how can it help businesses of all shapes and sizes respond to market changes and grasp every opportunity?

Two men unloading boxes

Black swan events

Black swan events threaten the overall health and productivity of the supply chain. The conflict in Ukraine, for example, has placed significant strain on an already over-burdened global and European supply chain – accelerating shifts in procurement patterns. Retailers are being forced to find alternative logistic routes as supply chains become increasingly stretched and congested.

The power of LCL logistics here is its place in a wider, integrated supply chain. This allows customers to respond at rapid pace, no matter their sourcing requirements. Whether you’re a large company looking for more agility or a small business without the need for bulk cargo, LCL makes it easier and more manageable to keep goods flowing through the supply chain – even as black swan events proliferate.

Woman checking out clothes at a store

The rise of e-Commerce

Clearly an opportunity for those businesses that get this right, the rise of e-Commerce has irreversibly changed the logistics landscape. Companies, particularly in the retail sector, have to meet customers’ heightened e-Commerce expectations – the primary one being speed.

Without LCL logistics, this could present a problem for smaller-sized companies that don’t have enough orders to fill a standard container. With LCL logistics, however, these businesses can improve speed-to-market and meet tight deadlines. Rather than waiting for the entire container to be filled, an LCL shipment departs as soon as it’s ready for the journey.

Woman checking shipping logs at a warehouse

The growing importance of visibility

Increasing supply chain visibility has, in the past, been a nebulous and complex undertaking. Global supply chains are often disconnected, without a single source of truth or information exchange. Nevertheless, companies recognise the importance of gaining visibility and are working to correct that. 65% of retailers and manufacturers surveyed globally felt that improving customer service standards was a driving force behind their use of supply chain visibility technologies. This is driven by the need to provide customers with greater visibility over their purchases, but particularly due to a growing need to meet expectations and improve delivery times.

LCL logistics provide complete transparency and traceability. Maersk’s end-to-end, integrated supply chain means that an LCL shipment with us never leaves your sight at any point in its journey. For your end customer, this drives more accurate delivery timelines, while offering you peace of mind through every logistics challenge and disruption.

Interested in how Maersk LCL services can support your business?

Contact Maersk to discuss your requirements.

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