Logistical Issues: What are They & How to Get Rid of Them?

Every single issue related to deliveries is most likely caused by a logistical problem. While there are ways to overcome said issues most people are not familiar with these ways. The leading factors behind logistical issues are usually human error and natural obstacles.

Even a delivery service with decades worth of experience is not immune to these issues. To deal with logistical challenges you need to innovate and optimize your current process. This is crucial as without innovation and optimization your industry is likely to suffer when dealing with new logistical challenges.

The competitive logistics industry is one that witnesses highly diverse issues and thus can profit by hiring expert problem solvers. Most of the solutions that are discussed are often easier said than done. This is why you must be equipped with the proper knowledge when dealing with logistical issues. 

What are Logistical Issues? 

Logistical issues might be as minor as a black cat crossing your path or as major as a bridge collapse. Either way, they result in you performing worse when it comes to making deliveries leading to the overall degradation of the supply chain industry which isn’t good for either customers or businesses.

Seeing how drastically this can affect all parties it quickly becomes imperative to understand what logistical issues are. The best way to understand logistical issues is by looking at examples that best demonstrate their effects.

Most significant contributors to logistical issues

Any issues that interfere with smooth logistics are logistical issues. This means that every person involved in the supply chain can turn into a logistical challenge, Including the customer. 

Issues such as worker shortages, economic fluctuations, rising prices, and technical difficulties can all be counted as logistical issues; however to get to the bottom of the problem we need to identify the most significant contributors and know them in depth. 

1. Rising transportation costs

Rising costs are at the forefront of almost all modern issues. It is a problem that makes everyone from top to bottom suffer. They are the greatest threat to the logistics industry since all the logistical problems can be attributed to rising costs.

Fuel costs seem to have delivered the biggest blow to the logistics industry. Since the industry heavily relies on petroleum-powered machines it is no shock that even a single cent hike in fuel prices will have tough consequences.

If you think switching to oil alternatives is the key then you need to keep thinking as switching is not an option either.  It is more expensive and severely affects the efficiency of business operations.  

Looking at the current situation this problem is only going to get worse in the foreseeable future unless the industry can adapt to the circumstances. The only greater threats to the logistics industry are the expectations set on them. 

2. Delayed deliveries and damaged goods

Delayed deliveries and damaged goods

Meeting the expectations of unhappy customers is already difficult and when you have delayed deliveries and damaged goods on hand the situation turns into a nightmare. Delayed deliveries were expected in the past however thanks to the competitive nature of the industry you are expected to deliver without a single delay. 

These damaged goods are also heavily taxed on the sellers and logistical companies. This is because they’ll not only have to replace the damaged product but also take on the cost of reshipping the product. 

A delayed delivery leaves behind a poor customer experience but it is generally tolerated within reason by most. Though a lot of delayed deliveries for an extended period will tarnish the reputation of any logistics company. To avoid these issues you need perfect employees that aren’t sloppy to carry out tasks. 

3. Lack of skilled labor in the supply chain

A logistics company without skilled labor is like a fish without fins. Having a great team always converts into a great business. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find well-trained employees for transporting goods.

The management system at logistical companies has to understand that their employees are the primary bridge that holds up their services to the customer’s expectations. Management must develop a new strategy that focuses on all parts of its logistics networks to avoid issues.

Everyone from the drivers to the inventory managers needs to be for smooth distribution to be possible. Usually, management takes a step towards bolstering communication to overcome this issue however there remains room for error. 

The strategy that is usually suggested for dealing with skill shortages is automation. While automation systems do make any given process more streamlined they still have their share of shortcomings. The most being technical difficulties which is impacting the customer service. 

4. Technical difficulties 

Even manufacturers complain how even in a field as straightforward as production, a minor technical difficulty can stall the process for weeks! Despite the rapid advancements in the field of automation it is still not deemed fit for applications such as transportation. 

Apart from automation, even simple manual machines such as trucks, lifts, and conveyors are prone to technical difficulties as they have a lot of moving parts that are prone to failure. Despite the best efforts of modern technology, technical difficulties can pop up from anywhere without warning and turn into a big logistical problem. 

Say that a forklift at your warehouse decides to fail on you all of a sudden. With just this small failure your inventory management is going to face a chain of delays. This is an example that gives you an idea of how crucial it is to know the reasons behind major logistics challenges.

Leading Causes Behind Logistical Challenges 

After looking at the examples of logistical issues you probably understand how vital it is to understand what are the factors that cause issues in the supply chain. These causes seem uncontrollable but to understand their solutions we must understand the causes in depth. 

1. Unpredictable weather conditions 

Bad weather is one of the biggest challenges for logistics as mentioned above. This issue mostly affects the logistics markets where snow is present. A truck stuck in snow can cause a massive traffic jam leading to city-wide delays.

Under such weather conditions, you also need workers that have the expertise to deal with such weather conditions. Though finding these well-trained people could be a challenging process in the logistics industry as the market is not saturated with highly skilled laborers. 

Snow and rain can also take a toll on your trucks as it is not only inherently harder to transport the same goods but you’ll also face issues such as gelled diesel, corrosion, and breakdowns. These weather conditions can also cause accidents that can cause delayed deliveries and damaged goods leading to greatly increased costs. 

2. Economic fluctuation 

Economic fluctuation 

Problems such as inflation and taxation have been haunting employees and entire business alike. Inflation makes employees spend more leading to companies having to pay them more. Much like the weather, the economy can have bad ramifications on logistics.

With such unforeseen events like the pandemic and the Ukrainian conflict on our tails, it is of critical importance to focus on economic fluctuations. Employees and businesses understand the transportation problems caused by economic conditions however communication with customers has a different outlook when it comes to such matters.

3. High expectations from customers 

There is no doubt that a customer expects businesses to be unfazed by any adverse conditions that pop up. While manufacturers have some sneaky methods for dealing with such customers such as shrinkflation. 

No matter the number of unforeseen events popping up, customer expectations and demand usually remain the same. To counter these expectations, a logistics company has to either come up with a crafty strategy or optimize the points where they fall weak. 

4. Poor Route Planning 

Route planning is often an overlooked aspect when people talk about logistics despite it being a vital element for all areas be it distribution centers or transport systems. Whenever companies are faced with slow growth it is rightly attributed to poor plans and processes. 

Many don’t fully realize the risks of bad planning. They can cause transportation costs to go up, shipments to be delayed, services to be degraded, and just overall hurt the supply chain. A strategy to overcome poor management only comes when you know exactly what to do to fix potential challenges in the logistics industry. 

The above challenges put pressure on logistics companies. However, the good news is that emergent technologies are developing solutions to tackle these problems with the help of reliable third-party logistics. 

Follow Optimized Routes to Save Hours and Profit Your Business

Consider Upper Route Planner for dispatching and delivering the packages on time. Also, minimize your logistics costs with Upper’s automated delivery process.

4 Effective Ways to Tackle Logistical Problems

Now that you have seen the greatest problems affecting the logistics industry and their causes, it is time for the solutions to roll in. A logistics company can solve most of these issues by simply staying up to date, however, the topic at hand warrants a more comprehensive answer.

1. Use route optimization software

Using software that optimizes your logistics process is a must-have in the modern age where people across time zones have access to such software. Without it, you are doomed to waste a whole bunch of time doing the same work manually making you inefficient and inaccurate. 

Having access to such tools is truly a boon considering the amount of time and money that is saved by using them. To rely on manual planning and optimization is a thing of the past as software is here to take the burden off your shoulders. 

2. Invest in modern technology

Sure we aren’t yet at the stage of self-driving trucks, though autonomous technology has been making its debut in other sectors such as distribution centers. A lot of warehouses are investing in robot forklifts as their job is quite straightforward in an isolated setting. 

With every passing day, the production for making existing processes better is growing. Every bit of technology in the supply chain gets optimized to reduce costs or boost performance. Take trucks for example. They’re being fitted with engines that are smaller yet stronger than their predecessors. 

Modern trucks are all about fitting the greatest amount of technology possible that makes every aspect of trucking more efficient. Gone are the days when truck drivers had to keep an eye on their RPM to save gas. Now they have computers calculating the best ways to drive in real time. 

3. Hire the most skilled employees 

Hire the most skilled employees 

Employees that are dedicated and professional are the greatest asset that a company can have. Which is why it is critical to hire the right sort for your business. Their skills and solutions might just make the difference that you’re looking for. 

Even if you simply get employees that get the job done without any hassles then their service is going to be of value to you. Keep in mind that communication is key to getting the job done without any potential delays.

4. Fleet maintenance 

It is shocking to see how logistics companies try to attempt cost-cutting by not maintaining their fleet. Don’t bite the hand that feeds. Don’t try skimping on maintenance as they are necessary to keep your hardware in working order. 

A logistics business has to create a system that looks over the health of its fleet, proper maintenance is essential for any fleet. As without it, there ought to be no business. The best way to start is by giving your existing employees some training for fleet maintenance.

We have an entire blog post with tips for better fleet maintenance for delivery drivers to ensure that your tools are in an optimal condition at any given time. It sure would be wonderful if there were more tools like Upper to take your business to the next level.

Drive Down Transportation Costs with Upper

Ever since the creation of Upper, plenty of businesses have gained access to the future of route planning and optimization. Upper is the finest route planning software on the market that provides solutions to overcome all your delivery problems. 

Upper makes your delivery routes so accurate that it ensures faster delivery times. Why shoulder the risks of delayed shipments when you could get Upper to do all the planning and optimization for you?

With Upper looking over your delivery, shipments are delivered with the highest accuracy possible! Upper has systems in place that allow you to create the most optimized routes available in a matter of minutes with just one click!

Minimize fuel costs, complete deliveries faster, pack in more stops than ever before, and forget delivery delays! The benefits of using Upper are innumerable! Slice logistically challenging time  in half and enjoy greater success with Upper!

Never Let Logistical Issues Affect Your Business

Now no need to give extra effort in route planning. Simply use Upper to plan and optimize routes faster than ever. Start using Upper to get rid of logistical issues.

FAQs

Communication. Without clear and concise communication there is a lot of room for error. Supply chain markets around the globe have issues when it comes to communication leading to further delays and damages.

Since the biggest logistical issues are often unpredictable, it is best to have backups in place to account for any mishaps that may occur. It is also a good idea to analyze and eliminate as many points of failure as possible for a satisfactory customer experience. Moreover, the customer retention will gradually boost your logistical profits.

Any issue that disrupts the smooth operation of logistics is called a logistical issue. For example, if there is a sudden massive snowstorm that causes trucks to be stuck and create major delays in distribution then that is called a logistical issue.

Conclusion

Logistical systems are inherently prone to issues as they deal with some of the most difficult operations with extreme time constraints. Perfecting such a system is no small task. Though with every passing day, new solutions and processes are introduced to enhance the system.

There is perhaps no other industry that comes close to the complexity of logistics. Without the logistics industry, shelves at every store around the planet would be empty. One only has to have surface-level knowledge about the industry to understand its responsibility and importance.

Seeing how complex yet important deliveries are it quickly becomes obvious why Upper is essential. To lift the burden of responsibility and optimize existing outdated processes is a difficult task, yet Upper will do it in a matter of minutes.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel is the founder and CEO of Upper Route Planner. A subject matter expert in building simple solutions for day-to-day problems, Rakesh has been involved in technology for 30+ years. Looking to help delivery businesses eliminate on-field delivery challenges, Rakesh started Upper Route Planner with the ultimate goal of simplistic operations in mind.

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