ELASTIC LOGISTICS: A NEW CONCEPT ADDED TO THE INNOVATIONS FOR 2020
According to the StartUs Insights report (May 2020), which analysed over 900 start-ups in the logistics sector, these enterprises are innovating and developing in 10 broad areas. Most aren’t new: internet of things, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, last-mile deliveries, warehouse automation, blockchain, autonomous vehicles, etc. We have been discussing most of these trends and how they apply to logistics on our blog. However, there is one term which caught our attention: elastic logistics. Even though at Nordlogway we advocate for logistics to be made more flexible as a way to increase efficiency while also being more competitive thanks to cost variability, we have never used the concept of ‘elastic logistics’. This is not about reducing inventories but making them adapt to demand. The concepts of just-in-time or lean manufacturing are no longer enough.
When we talk about elastic demand in the economic ambit, we are talking about a demand that adapts to the price. In this case, when demand fluctuates for a company, it needs to be capable of adapting its supply chain operations quickly and more efficiently. The study states, ‘Elastic logistics thereby tackle the challenges facing supply chain companies including underutilization of vessels, constraints on warehousing, and overstocking.’
Shorages is a start-up that has begun working with on-demand warehousing and is in the process of prototyping. At Nordlogway we already work on the concept of elastic logistics with most of our clients. They have the space they use available and they pay for its use. Logistics is a key element for market competitiveness, not only due to the impact on costs but also for the clients’ prevailing needs. Increasingly, companies demand the professionalization of this process, the traceability of their goods and the contribution of ‘smart-thinking’ applied to the services.
At Nordlogway we have been providing ‘elastic logistics’ to our clients for some time, offering storage spaces that suit the clients’ needs and all the services associated with logistics: picking, inverse logistics, and so on.