Martin Lee, Business Development executive for WiseTech Global, discusses how successful companies react to critical pressures in the Logistics Industry.

The logistics industry landscape is constantly being battered by the rough seas of internal and external pressures. There has always been a crisis just around the corner.

The current external pressures within the EMEA region, for example, arise from the political stage in the form of sanctions and counter sanctions to restrict trade with Russia, and these are having a devastating impact on forwarders with heavy commitments in the movement of goods to and from the area. The eruption of war and political instability in some Middle Eastern countries bring forwarders additional pressures as well as concern for their colleagues on the ground. Trying to survive day to day and provide a professional service to the industry requires courage and dedication.

These stresses cause us to focus on the short term, on our immediate surroundings, on what we can change here and now. This leads to the very human ‘fight-or-flight’ reactions and ‘knee-jerk’ responses. Some companies will panic at the first signs of difficulty when their revenue takes a drop and try to sell their company for pennies, dropping them into the crushing depths of oblivion. Others might try to hold onto their current position by battening down the hatches and floating aimlessly while hoping for a return to the safety of the world they once knew. These companies inevitably sink as they watch their market share taken by more agile competitors. We all know the logistics industry, in one form or another, has been around since the dawn of trade and that we need to move with the times and tides of our environment. We must always be looking for ways to move forward, even in the toughest of times.

Good Decisions for All Conditions

Throughout my 25 years in the logistics industry, I’ve had the benefit of working with some great companies, through both the good times and the bad. I’ve seen what it takes to continue to grow.

Freight forwarders are very good at identifying commercial opportunities across all areas, globally, and operationally. But those that succeed have flexibility built into their operations, infrastructure, and workforce so they can look beyond the present to future opportunities. They are able to make decisions strategically for the long haul.

Those that thrive when the going gets tough have invested in their flexibility and their ingenuity. They adapt to the needs and changes within the industry, and they draw from their experience to plan for resilience in the face of internal and external pressures.

Fluidity in a Structured Approach

Flexibility in operational processes allows you to expand and contract as customer demands change. Structured staff development allows you to manage skill gaps, maximize quieter times, and build loyalty. Enable your staff to be fluid and encourage them to train in new areas, including sales.

Critical to the better management of your staff is having a means by which you can see into their individual workloads. When times are quiet, it’s the human nature of your staff to stretch their workload to fill the day. By offering avenues for professional growth, you train them to push for higher throughput and customer service. And your staff will appreciate being involved in the success of your company.

Maintaining Operational Activity Through a Physical Disaster

The cloud is the greatest single response to resilience. It provides you and your customers with the flexibility to survive when disaster happens. With a virtual office, you can work from any place that has an internet connection, secure in the knowledge that your data is safe.

Putting productivity and structured flexibility – for staff, training, customers, and surroundings – at the very heart of your organization will keep you looking beyond the ‘knee jerk’ reactions to the crisis of your present and focus on your prosperous future.

Martin Lee is Business Development Executive for WiseTech Global

Media Contact: Lisa Tree,