Foreword & Messages

Message by Chairman, Singapore Logistics Association

TLND2021_MS02-Message_SLA_PixIn the midst of ever-increasing customer expectations for better and faster service, the future of logistics lies in a highly connected landscape of visible supply chains reinforced by real-time data, advanced analytics and algorithms. Logistics companies of all sizes will implement business process re-engineering and pilot bite-sized technology to complement physical warehouse and distribution operations. Continuous upskilling will also be necessary to equip the logistics workforce with abilities to operate increasingly integrated and automated assets, and make meaningful and strategic decisions in an environment of data overload.

The depth of disruption caused by COVID-19 caught many industries and businesses by surprise. It exposed vulnerabilities and inadequate business continuity planning in most enterprises. Notwithstanding, the essentiality of logistics has been magnified in the current health pandemic, as operators navigated global border controls, restricted customs regulations worldwide and domestic movement-restriction measures to keep supply chains moving and enable citizens to stay home. The recent circuit breaker in Singapore forced many retailers and food providers to hastily develop digital presences. Consequentially, demand for last mile fulfilment of online purchases, groceries and food surged exponentially. Logistics companies had to manage this sudden pivot in their customers’ business models against a backdrop of safe management measures which mandated that on-site personnel be limited to the bare minimum. In the near future, we hope to see SMEs collaborate and leverage on each other’s strengths to expand, sustain and grow their collective market share. Demand for last mile delivery will continue to rise and companies should band together to optimise their resources and orchestrate an efficient and comprehensive fulfilment network. COVID-19 reiterated the importance for logistics companies’ business models to be lean and agile to stay on top of changes in the operating environment, regulatory requirements and customers’ needs. As such, the logistics industry will need to consciously streamline and augment their processes and operations with engineering innovation and technology. Discussions around new automation, technologies and other forms of digital innovation will be more prominent and calls for action for logistics enterprises will become more pressing. Logistics businesses will have to quickly adapt and respond to the immediate challenges by speeding up their digital transformation plans to optimize their decision making, improve cost efficiencies and enhance end-to-end visibility. Automation and digitalization will not be the only focus. The logistics workforce has to undergo continuous upskilling to enhance competencies and dexterity as the business and operating environment evolves.

While the world is slowly resuming and adapting to the new normal, enterprises will have to continue their efforts to transform themselves, adjust to the changing needs and reshape their business models to improve their value offering, efficiency and resilience.

The Association will continue to be the conduit for addressing members’ needs in their course of fulfilling business obligations while adhering to all prescribed precautionary measures. We remain committed to deliver value through multiple strategic thrusts, help members in industry transformation, attract talents for the industry, get set for recovery and when the time comes, to ride the next wave of growth.

Mr Dave Ng
Singapore Logistics Association