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different types of logistics service providers

Logistics is simply a procedure that deals with the management of goods. It includes processes such as; acquiring, storing and transporting goods to their designated areas. It is a complex process with many complexities, so the purpose of a supply chain is to make things easier and there are different types of logistics providers. A supply chain is a web of companies and suppliers that create a cycle that enhances the operations through mutual connections, helping provide services such as production, merchants, warehousing, transportation, and retail outlets. 


So, now that we know about supply chain and logistics let’s discuss PLs. PL is a supply chain method used by logistic professionals. it stands for “Party-Logistics Provider.” There are 5 main PLs, namely 1PL, 2PL, 3PL, P4L, and 5PL. PLs are measured through numbers, and different levels are based upon those numbers. This article will analyze each of them and see their characteristics. 



The term “1PL” or “First-party logistics service provider” refers to a company or an individual that requires the services to ship cargo, goods, or freight from point A to B. It is used for both the parties, the one sending the goods and the other party who receives them. Manufacturers, wholesalers, traders, and companies or individuals working in similar directions mostly use 1PL. In other words, anyone moving their goods from one place to another falls into the First-party logistics provider.       


For 2nd Party logistics, an outside agent or a company has to be involved. Whether your product is shipped through a boat, truck, or plane, it doesn’t matter; as long as an external agent ships it, it’s 2PL. 

It is usually used to ship products internationally, all the cargo you see on planes, and trains is considered 2PL. All the huge logistic companies moving cargo can be c0onsidered a part of 2PL. 


Third-party logistics is not just about picking up the cargo from A and dropping it at point B. It’s an intricate procedure, involving multiple parties and companies forming a network, where roles are defined for everyone. 3PL operations require multiple workers and operators. Their job is not only to pick orders, they also carry out warehouse tasks such as inventory update, arrangement of orders, as well as packaging and transportation. It is entirely different from the first two. It’s a whole new world of logistics, offering diverse services with an organized workflow. 


After the 3PL provider, we enter into new territory and the 4PL provider is one step further. 4PL includes a whole supply chain, focused on providing customers with the best services. 4PL is when a company outsources its logistics to someone else. 4PL includes overseeing the operations and management of the entire supply chain. 

From keeping inventory tracking to managing warehouses and reviewing the insights from retail stores, 4PL manages all of it. Along with managing the procedures, experts that are a part of 4PL also recommend the manufacturers and retailers what to do next, based on the data and information they have gathered and processed.  

It’s an advanced level of logistics, so it includes all the high-technology services such as tracking the orders, updating inventory promptly, maintaining the production and sales ratio to ensure seamless delivery of products to the customers, the safety of the product and many others. 


5 PL provider offers advanced logistics solutions and creates a supply chain network that is consistent and seamless. It combines all of the Party-logistic providers and is also known as a “logistic aggregator.”       

Utilizing all the latest technology such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and specifically machine learning expedites the whole supply chain. It is the latest logistic provider method and is gaining popularity around the globe at a rapid pace.


Each party-Logistics provider is significant and has something unique to offer, and all hold their importance in the global supply chain. Different PLs are suitable for different situations, considering the magnitude of your business operations. 

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Supply chain control tower: its types and things you must know

what is a control tower in supply chain

Wondering what is a supply chain control tower and its importance in the logistics industry? Well, you have come to the right place. This article discusses everything you need to know, so read it through. Now, without further ado, let’s begin! 

A supply chain is a network of multiple companies and parties with their suppliers. The system aims to find the quickest way to deliver products to its customers. A supply chain consists of a vast network that has multiple parties involved. All of them share each other’s resources to minimize the downtime and produce as well as deliver products at a faster rate. It is a complete process, from the collection of raw material to the final delivery, and all the procedures in between are a part of the supply chain. 

People working in the supply chain know the pressure companies put on managers to provide customers with the fastest and most accurate services. Along with these heavy responsibilities, the demand for keeping and the prices as low as possible proves to be a quite tough challenge for supply chain managers. It is impossible to create a system with no loopholes, because of the uneven nature of all the units involved in the chain. 

The essential job of a smart control tower is to offer prominence to each part of the supply chain. What matters the most in supply chain towers is their ability to forecast and evaluate events affecting them from the outside. Technological advancements such as Artificial Intelligence and specifically its sub-part machine learning helps in calculating data, and providing vital information, along with that, it helps in minimizing the workforce through robots and other automated machines and networks, as well as providing real-time insights that assists in margining operations and making changes a lot better.     

These advancements and adjustments help in enhancing collaboration and communication between departments and teams, resulting in better decision-making and improved productivity.  

Types of control tower

There are multiple types of supply chain towers. Below we are going to discuss a few of them;

Transportation towers
Transportation towers are used to manage the advanced level of shipping and logistics operations. It is best for tracking orders, estimating delivery times, and calculating data to determine the cost, time, and resources for future operations. 

Cost-reduction control towers 

Cost-reduction or fulfillment control towers focus on accelerating the order time and decreasing downtime. They offer assistance in operations such as organizing and packaging shipments, reducing costs and increasing customer satisfaction.  

Inventory-management control towers

Inventory management control towers provide real-time insights and changes in the system. Updating the track of orders helps maintain the inventory, which means fewer mishaps in the orders and stock is never short or more than required.  

End-to-end transparency control towers

End-to-end visibility towers provide transparency to the system. They are programmed to vigilantly oversee the entire supply chain, especially factors outside the system that are negatively affecting efficiency. With better monitoring and visibility, you can resolve issues that are hindering your output, hence increasing the overall productivity.      

Advantages of supply chain towers

Forecasting and decision making

When you’re calculating data rapidly, you can process the information and utilize it when making important decisions and creating future strategies. Getting to know your customer behavior and the pattern is a powerful tool, that can boost your business exponentially.    

Real-tome changes and transparency 

Supply Chain towers provide transparency across the entire system. The real-time data and insights help you make adjustments on the go! It reduces the possibility of errors in the chain and detects the errors and loopholes much faster than traditional methods.  

Data-sharing is made easy!

Information-sharing has made it easy for multiple departments and teams to collaborate simultaneously and share data faster than ever before. The use of AI technology helps in organizing data and keeping the record of strategies. Data-sharing also helps in evaluating performances with preciseness and in real-time. 

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Maersk’s revenue: how shipping giant is sustaining its earnings in 2022

maersk group revenue

In layman’s terms, the supply chain is a network that covers the manufacture of a product from scratch till it is sold to the targeted audience. It includes all steps such as acquiring resources, organizing, utilizing technologies, and all other activities. Furthermore, it enables organizations to execute best practices such as Demand Planning. Maersk’s revenue growth is one fine example in this regard.

However, managing a highly competent supply chain while the speculations of World War-3 looming over and an ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia is more challenging along with the growing competition. This war poses the most inevitable and long-term risk for the supply chain. This issue, when first raised, had already created havoc as when the war itself happened disarrayed many organizations as they too are a part of increasingly globalized and interconnected supply chains, it is not to be questioned that this conflict will profoundly impact trade, economies, and will most likely reshape geopolitics as well as the trajectory of the supply chain for years if not decades to come.

Updates from the logistic giants
But even so in such a time a Danish shipping company active in the ocean, offering services such as supply chain management and port operations as well as inland freight transportation named A.P.Moller – Maersk A/S also commonly known as Maersk seems to have expected the earnings of 2022 to be as high as of the one earned last year. 

The company was overtaken by the Swiss-based container group MSC as the world’s biggest shipper had also announced to refrain from taking bookings for goods from Russia, suspending most deliveries with exceptions of humanitarian supplies, foodstuffs, and medical to the country. Along with France’s CMA CGM, MSC has also announced the same measures saying it would continue to accept bookings for deliveries of essential goods, while CMA CGM had stated their utmost priorities remain to protect their employees as well as ensure to sustain the supply chain. 

Maersk has joined the most significant three shipping lines worldwide and a list that continues to grow in shunning Moscow amid western sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine. That said, the freight rates soaring in supply chain distribution extend into the first half. But as we take a look at the shares of the company that had fallen first up to 2% and then up to 11% after reaching an all-time high in mid-January, to that the response the Chief Executive Soren Skou was that “The current market situation was expected to persist into the second quarter before easing later in the year”. 

The results were published on 14 January when the company had seen a fall in ocean-going container volumes up to 4%, more than offset by Frites rates improving 80% compared with a year earlier. Danish Logistics Company DSV has predicted the continued supply chain disruption would lift its earnings. But the company that handles at least one in five containers worldwide expects an underlying profit before interest, depreciation, interests, and interests at around $24 billion this year, similarly to last year, which is minimally below the $24.4 billion expected by analysts in a poll generated by the company.


Conclusively, it is safe to say that war situations erupting between two nations can have many devastating consequences. However, war-hit nations are a part of a globalized supply chain consisting of many organizations and nations. they have interconnected networks that help the entire system run smoothly and generate revenue, profit, and earnings. These networks often function similarly to those earned in the smoothest times while supporting their respective nations and maintaining healthy human behavior towards the other party. Alongside that, Maersk has easily balanced out the ups and downs in the trade, making their supply chain seamless, so there is no lack in demand planning and customer building, ensuring a substantial profit. The war will surely leave its unfortunate losses behind, but generating a well-rounded supply chain would enable us to avoid most we can.     

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FEDEX shutdown: How surprising is the news?

fedex business closed

Experts predict significant changes in the supply chain operations as FedEx Supply Chain announced to shut down four of its facilities in 3 different states across the United States. The announcement of the FedEx shutdown came on the 28th of January when a company’s representative presented a letter to the government officials who concluded that; The company could no longer continue to run its facilities due to the expiration of the customer’s contract. It means that the businesses that FedEx was relying upon are now preferring other Third-party logistics over it or they believe that their services are not as reliable in other areas. In these areas, they’re going to shift their businesses. 

A shift in supply chain 

It is noted as a huge shift in the supply chain world, as usually well-established and renowned logistic providers such as FedEx don’t have a problem retaining clients. According to the details, the four facilities will be closed in 3 states: Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and California, all within a year.  

In another statement, the company representative reflected upon how the facility in Ontario, California, is affected by shifting businesses to a different location and other Third-party logistics providers in the market. The statement on the reason for closure stated; “Due to the customer’s decision to transition the business to a new third-party logistics provider in a different market”

This leaves the currently employed 450 people at risk, FedEx has already asked the employers to find an alternative to their jobs, as there’s no other way out of this situation. On another occasion, a FedEx representative claimed that this is not something out of the ordinary, facilities do open and close quite frequently, depending on the factors such as customer responses, revenue, and growth ratio. 

Another FedEx supply chain located in Moreno Valley, California is expected to switch its operations such as; packaging and shipping procedures to Columbus, Ohio because of the customer’s demands. 

3PLs Have changed the market

In logistics, massive layoffs don’t come as much of a surprise, especially since significant clients are not renewing their contracts. It’s pretty standard among 3PLs or Third-Party Providers since the market is more saturated than ever! 

If you’re unfamiliar with what 3PL is, then let us provide you with a brief. 3PL is the logistic provider that has changed the landscape of the logistics and supply chain world in the past few years. 3PL doesn’t just supervise the transportation procedures, along with that, it also provides guidance and manages the warehouse procedures. Most 3PL offer services such as inventory updates and order preparation. It’s a small network that offers much more than just logistics services and plays a vital role in the success or failure of businesses. 

Increase in the cases of major layoffs and shutdowns

A similar case of shutting down facilities happened in 2019, in which logistics provider “XPO Logistics” closed its multiple facilities. At the time, they were dealing mostly with Amazon, as it was their primary client. Last year, CEVA logistics also released 87 of its employees from the Carrollton, Texas facility due to a merger with another company. 

The point is, that the occurrence of these shifts has been quite rapid in the past few years, which creates an unstable environment for the employees. According to a 2019 report from UC Berkley Labor Center, “Contracts between major firms and logistics providers remain intact for around three to five years”. 

How can logistic companies survive in the current market?

The Competition is fierce, so each company has to be on its toes, in terms of quality, services, pricing, and everything else. When everyone is competing over prices, the quality of services is often affected, even major clients suffer from average or poor services that lead them to switch to the service provider more often than not. 

Regardless of losing clients and shutting down facilities, FedEx has noted a prominent increase in its quarterly income. Since it’s not dependent on just a single service or a single client, it has the liberty to implement new ideas and explore different markets. For instance, FedEx also offers warehouse and distribution management, and these services are worth more than just transportation and logistics operations. 

So, even though the market is saturated and the competition is at its peak, companies can still survive and make a good revenue if they continue to innovate and tap into different markets and services along with their primary niche.

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Disruption in food supply chain and other essential products

disruption in food supply chain

The inflation in food prices is one of the significant issues that governments are facing around the globe. The food prices have skyrocketed like never before! All the supplies to and from Ukraine have come to a complete halt. Most of the areas in Russia are declared sensitive due to security concerns, so the disruption in food supply chain continues there as well! 

In addition to the security issues in the region, the US govt and European Union sanctions are preventing other countries from importing and exporting. It has resulted in disruption in supply chain for food supplies, raw materials and petroleum. 

Sanctios on Russian oil and its impact on european union! 

Russia is one of the three oil producers in the world, standing just behind Saudi Arabia and The United States. Lithuania, Finland, Slovakia, and Poland depend heavily upon Russian Oil. Around 50% to 80% of their Oil imports come from Russia. Russian Oil demand doesn’t stop here; it expands worldwide, especially in Europe. European Union has condemned the military action taken by Russia in Ukraine. They have put forward strict measures to stop the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and all the European Union countries and the United States have decided to stop the imports of Russian Oil. 

Two-fifth or almost 20% of the EU’s oil comes from Russia, which is a huge number. Russian oil prices are comparatively low compared to other exports in the region. So since the imports have been stopped, the prices of oil are higher than ever before! It is creating a bunch of problems for the industrial sector as now they have to bear extra expenses and raise the prices of their products.

Food industry and the oil prices

Every industry is heavily impacted by transportation and logistics operations, which are an integral part of any supply chain. Each industry requires a seamless and economical supply of petroleum, and since Russia is abundant in oil, it can provide that quite easily. But now with Russia out of the picture, industries are struggling to find a just replacement.         

Food industries have always been concerned with oil and petroleum prices as the price of their product and oil prices go up and down simultaneously. The supply chain for food products is much more deliberate as compared to other products. They have little to no margin of error, the timing of logistics and seamless transportation to preserve food is essential and must be available at all times. These industries can’t wait for the oil prices to go down to continue their operations, so they go with whatever rates are presented at the current time, which causes the prices of food products to go up. And once the food prices get high, it creates a domino effect, and everything in the region starts to go up.

Food supplies from Ukraine and Russia

Ukraine is one of the major exporters of whole foods in Europe and Africa. Ukraine is known for its export of wheat and grains, and Russia is specifically targeting the areas of fields and other natural resources. The attacks have significantly impacted the supply of food in Europe. 

The discontinuation has caused the prices of everyday items to go up, and with petroleum prices already high, the combination of both is raising a lot of eyebrows regarding the food prices in Europe and the future of the supply chain as a whole.

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difference between 3pl and 4pl

There are mainly 5 Party-Logistics providers, and all of them offer something different and are suitable for different types of logistics operations. But the most common and most successful are 3PL and 4PL. 3PL is where the shift starts from simple pick and drops to a sustainable change, and 4PL takes it further. In this article, we’ll briefly the difference between 3PL and 4PL, and talk about their advantages and disadvantages. We’ll also analyze which Provider is more useful in certain scenarios. 


3PL is the logistic provider that’s drastically changed from its predecessors 1PL and 2PL. Where 1PL and 2PL are only providing simple operations such as lifting cargo from A point and delivering it to point B, they have no say or impact on the company’s operations. On the other hand, 3PL doesn’t only oversee the transportation, it also supervises and manages the operations of the warehouse, as well as updating the inventory, and preparing orders. It’s like a small network instead of a straightforward logistic service. 

3PL is a vast model and is divided into several categories:

  • Distribution: 

Distribution or the management of warehouse operations is the major change in 3PL compared to the 1PL and 2PL. Overseeing the warehouse adds a layer to the logistics operations and forms a cohesive supply chain system. 

  • Transportation/Shipping: 

Another major 3PL focuses solely on transportation. Most huge logistic companies adopt this model, they are hired by an individual or a company as an external source to deliver products. 

  • Financial Enhancement:

These specific 3PL service providers also handle the financial operations, tasks such as auditing, pricing, accounting, and freight payments. Financial 3PLs use multiple software and technologies to enhance their financial operations.  

  • Freight Forwarders: 

A freight forwarder is an agent or a company that provides complete logistic services, expanding from acquiring goods from manufacturers, providing them to the producers, getting them into marketplaces, and finally delivering them to the customers. It’s a complete and thorough cycle of logistics that provides the best delivery solutions. 


3PLs have multiple advantages, bringing creative solutions to your supply chain and improving the business. It is the most cost-effective method to sustain a supply chain. 3PL is a complete cycle, so you don’t have to worry about anything. It saves you time and money because you can outsource the operations instead of hiring new employees and providing them training. 3PLs have the capability to handle massive businesses, so even if you’re growing at a rapid pace you can rely on the supply chain. 3PL is much more than just transportation, it offers multiple services such as inventory management, auditing, warehouse management, etc.   

There’s no doubt that 3PL has several advantages and a high success rate but it also has some limitations. First of all, if you don’t have massive operations then outsourcing your logistic services may cost you a lot more than you can afford. Outsourcing your operations and involving a third party can increase the chances of misunderstandings and mishaps due to miscommunication. Since 3PL workers are not directly your employees, they may not treat your customers in an ideal way, causing damage to your brand.  


4PL is the next level of the supply chain, it is a complex system providing multiple services to the companies. It includes supervising all the procedures of the supply chain, ranging from transportation, inventory update, warehouse management, and final deliveries to the retail stores. 4PL is used by the companies that outsource the entire process. 

Managing all these procedures requires the latest technology and data analysis to ensure all the procedures remain intact and run seamlessly.


4PL services have a lot of advantages since it is considered one of the most successful logistic providers out of all five. All the logistic procedures are completely outsourced, which helps in reducing costs and saves time for the company. 4PL utilizes the latest technology and data analysis that enhances the procedures faster than ever.  Along with transportation and warehouse management, the collection of numbers and customer data helps in formulating future strategies.     

4PL services are completely outsourced services, which means that you do not have much control over the procedures. It is also quite expensive because it covers all the procedures. 


Both 3PL and 4PL are effective logistic providers, and hold significance in their rights. Depending on the magnitude of your procedures, you can break down the pros and cons written in this article and use them to determine which suits your needs better. 3PL is better for smaller businesses and start-ups and 4pl is mostly used by massive companies with large-scale logistic operations. So both are useful for diverse areas, it’s upon you to decide which one fulfils your need.

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What Is Supply Chain Security?

supply chain security

A supply chain can vary significantly from one another. A company that manufactures electronic devices has a different supply chain than one that manufactures sports goods. So, the definition of what is supply chain security can not be explained under one set of rules and recommendations. 

In general, supply chain security involves protecting a supply chain against any physical threats or risks. It also considers the regulations set by local and international governments for the integrity of supply chains.

We noticed that many companies showed little to no interest in cybersecurity in the past. Companies did all in their might to protect their supply chains from physical threats, such as sabotage, theft, and terrorism. Factories would be visited by independent auditors, regulators, and corporations who do background checks on employees. Cargo would be documented, secured, and examined before and after shipping to prevent fraud or theft.

Physical attacks are still avoided by tracing shipments and rechecking regulatory documents. Vendors are also told to obtain shipments specified by quality criteria, and a company may employ multiple vendors to ensure a nondisturbed supply of commodities.

What Are We Neglecting?

While we don’t discourage anyone from paying much heed to physical supply chain security, we do not encourage them to focus on physical security alone. The recent supply chain attacks in covid-19 are an excellent example of the need for excellent cyberdefense in today’s world. Just as the cyber pandemic began spreading in 2020, the global supply chain started feeling the strain, which will continue into 2022. Millions of people started to use internet shopping as their primary, if not sole, method of acquiring items, resulting in a surge in transportation demand.

The computer components supply chain is an excellent example of this. The computer chip deficit is one of the worst situations in the present supply chain problem due to work-at-home situations, internet games and entertainment, and public demand.

The market forces for specific components were never higher for both manufacturers and buyers. Computer lovers are now enrolling in year-long waiting lists for graphics chips, while automakers report losses in millions owing to chip scarcity. 

5 Ways How You Can Ensure Better Cybersecurity

Risk Assessment:

It’s critical to understand where your new suppliers stand on cybersecurity before entering into supplier partnerships. What kind of safeguards do you and they have in place? What procedures and policies are in place to maintain data security? You want to know that sensitive client information will be kept safe in any data you share with your suppliers. You should secure all your partners, but those who play a critical role in your supply chain will be at higher risk and require greater caution.

Train Your Staff:

The most common cause of cyber attacks is still human error. As a result, it’s one of the most critical issues to address. While you should constantly strive to create a cyber security-aware culture inside your organization, this practice should also be supported throughout the supply chain. A good method to do so is sharing resources with vendors to educate their personnel about cyber threats.

Take Necessary Security Steps:

A supplier policy can effectively encourage an open relationship with your suppliers and set clear expectations between you. You can devote parts to cybersecurity and data protection in such a document, laying out what level of security your vendors should be able to demonstrate. Asking your suppliers to align themselves with an existing set of cybersecurity standards and certifications is one of the simplest ways to do this.

Be Cautious:

Small firms must evaluate the security of their suppliers and maintain a high level of cybersecurity to persuade more significant partners that they are not a security concern. Many firms, particularly in the public sector, are now demanding their suppliers meet specific security criteria before gaining contracts with them.

Transfer Data Safely:

Data must be transferred through secure channels and kept secure at all times in the supply chain. Because hackers are most likely to intercept data as it moves from one location to another, maintaining adequate security during this process is critical. Encrypting data before it is transferred is an excellent approach to reduce this risk.

Companies should also ensure that they have a thorough picture of the various types of data in their supply chain and where it all resides. Internal data (together with backup systems) and data that your suppliers have access to are included.


Managing cyber threats in the supply chain doesn’t have to be difficult, but it is critical to accept responsibility for your own risk and adhere to standardized cybersecurity standards. Understanding all partners’ security processes, rules, and solutions is in everyone’s best interest. These actions lower risk throughout the supply chain and show clients, partners, and stakeholders that their secrets are secure with you.

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What is breakbulk cargo?

blue white orange and brown container van

Breakbulk is a type of shipping process that is used frequently in the transport sector of the services industry. It is used for transporting goods that can’t be shipped into the average containers, breakbulk usually contains drums, barrels, bags, boxes, various kinds of instruments and devices, as well as crates and uneven containers. This means that the items in a breakbulk cargo are easy to handle and are loaded on the ship with ease.

Breakbulk covers a vast array of goods, items such as steel beams, paper reels, steel slabs, manufacturing machinery, construction material, vehicles, and all the heavy materials are considered breakbulk. For a long time, the traditional process of shipping that is; simply put, the cargo into containers and boxes that’ll make it easy to ship, has been quite successful. But regardless of its success, it still has numerous limitations, that provides breakbulk a breakthrough, especially in recent years in which, this process is being used more often.

A huge reason for its rise is the shift in the manufacturing, construction, and transportation industry. With industry revolutionization at its peak, it makes the shipment of heavy machinery and diverse equipment (that is difficult to put into containers or boxes), will be more than ever.

In terms of volume, almost half of the world’s cargo is shipped and received as breakbulk. And it is expected to maintain these numbers, as the experts don’t foresee any drastic changes in the industry, anytime soon.


Now that we’ve grasped the concept of breakbulk, let’s move toward its significance and benefits in the shipping industry;


One of the biggest advantages of breakbulk is that the cargo is moved on wheels rather than boats and ships. This saves a lot of resources and revenue; goods are shipped as a whole which is much easier as compared to small containers and boxes which requires a lot of time and meticulous planning. 


The most significant feature is that we can easily load, unload and ship the items that are problematic and complex to break down. Shipping big products or goods that are uneasy to divide into smaller parts has always been an issue, so the only way to solve it is to find a way to the shipped item as it is.

Strong barges are used to roll on and roll off most of the shipments. Other than that, the vessel carrying breakbulk has the capability and the tools (such as high-strength cranes) to load and unload all the items that are either too heavy to lift for containerized shipping or goods that are unusual and can only be shipped in their original state without any altercations. 



Breakbulk is a cheap way of moving goods, other than saving shipping costs, it also saves the time of loading and unloading, as most of the items are rolled off and don’t need to be detached or broken down into parts. 


It can be easily loaded and unloaded on ports that are underdeveloped because it doesn’t require the latest technology advancements. The tools required to unload products are already mounted on the ships.  


Breakbulk is simple, it doesn’t need the items to be separated, and shipped in different containers. All the hefty and difficult items are simply lifted by cranes and loaded and unloaded from ships, making the process less hectic.  


Although Breakbulk has many advantages and benefits, it also has some downsides, rolling down containers and items can require a lot of manpower, but other than that; using old methods can sometimes risk the safety of items, as it doesn’t have the standard packaging. 

But despite ups and downs, the breakbulk method is here to stay, at least, for a while. It’ll remain in use unless all the ports around the world are equipped with the latest technology and machinery and it’s not happening any time soon. So, the combination of both containerization and breakbulk will remain in effect!

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What is a customer-centric supply chain?

birds eye view photo of freight containers

A customer centric supply chain is quite self-explanatory. As the name suggests, it focuses on the customer’s feedback, reviews, and suggestions. Customer-centric supply chains make constant changes to enhance the customer experience, the products and services provided by the company are altered and redesigned to fit the customer’s criteria as accurately as possible. This assists the company in reaching a higher satisfaction rate as they continue to innovate the products, and offer customers what they are looking for!  


The crucial point in running successful customer-centric operations is data analysis. Understanding your product or service’s market is vital, data analysis provides you a firm base for making a decision and shaping the product’s direction. Along with data analysis, general customer reviews and social opinions are also brought into the discussion, the idea is to exceed customer expectations by providing them with the product they want before they even ask for it.  



In a traditional supply chain, the customer is placed at the end of the cycle. It starts with the collection of raw materials, then its delivery to the supplier, followed by its transfer to the manufacturing department, and then finally distribution to the customer. Notice how this cycle involves customers only at the end? And they have no say in the entire process, they only get to see the final product. Then they make their decision of purchase based upon that.  


A report shows that:

  • More than 90% of customers actively track their orders online  
  • 81% of customers aren’t willing to pay a fee of $5 for same-day delivery 
  • 27% of customers have canceled their order because the same-day delivery was unavailable 

These are some of the recurring issues faced by the traditional supply chain. However, in a customer-centric supply chain, the customer’s input is put forward and taken into consideration at each step.  


Customer data and background, buying patterns, purchasing conditions, and required changes, all are a central part of this supply chain. Bringing change from a very early stage of raw material and manufacturing, as per the customer requirements only required and a limited amount of material is bought. Stocks for manufacturing are divided based upon customer demand in multiple locations rather than equal distribution and maintenance of inventory at all warehouses. This reduces the risk of losing unwanted material and expedites the manufacturing process. 


Once the product is ready, it is distributed through quick routes and multiple channels to ensure that customers acquire delivers in no time, and through the nearest pick-up points. In the case of shipping and delivery, customers are provided with the access to track their orders, which builds a sense of security that assists in building the trust of the customer.  


This strategy has done exceptionally well, the number of recurring customers has increased significantly, and the customer satisfaction rate has improved as well. Factors that matter the most in the customer-centric supply chain are; 


  • Customization  
  • Agility  
  • Building Trust for your brand  
  • Innovation  

Customization allows you to separate your brand from others, and form a unique identity. Brands such as apple have formed their fan base of users that are sold on the idea of customization.  Along with customization and tailored products, agility is very crucial.  Availability of your product in the market at a convenient time provides you with an edge over your competition. All things go in vain if you fail to build trust with your customers, Trust is the most important factor in customer-centric supply chains. Business often doesn’t make huge profits in the early stages and they rely on building a long-term relationship with their customers which prove to be more lucrative in the long run. And last but not the least, innovation! No one can sell the same product again and again and again! Innovation is necessary for brand building and customer retention. Companies that innovate their products at the right time are always successful in the market.