The pandemic has placed an unprecedented strain and challenge on the world’s transportation and logistics operations and infrastructure. The way companies move goods to market is changing as businesses are reviewing their supply chains and operating models. One estimated economic impact of COVID-19 on the global logistics industry is a decrease of 6.1 percent in gross value added by the logistics industry. The estimated impact of COVID-19 on logistics markets varies across countries. Unlike other industries, whilst the way the market operates is undergoing a transformation, the consumption of goods and corresponding logistics needs remain.
The Saudi Arabia Freight and Logistics Market is valued at USD 21.46 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 32.12 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 6.95% through the forecast period. Being a focal area and large economy makes the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia an important logistics hub. The size of the maritime sector alone has doubled in the past decade, bringing the number of ships operating in it to 53,000 marine vessels, registered in 150 countries, and carrying 11 billion tons of cargo annually (reported in April 2021).
“When addressing today’s communication challenges in the logistics industry, it is important to remember to avoid the quick and easy fix and prepare for the future by taking an integrated and strategic approach.” advises Abdulrahman Inayat, Director and Co-Founder W7Worldwide. “New technology, changes in regulation and policy and a fast-paced industry mean logistics and transport companies must have the right communication processes in place that will enable them to reach the right stakeholders, customers, and influencers to achieve their business goals.”
W7Worldwide produced its ‘7 COVID-19 Communication Strategies for the Transport & Logistics Sector’ to help organizations navigate and emerge from the crisis successfully. The report advises companies to revise their crisis management plan, led by the CEO, the crisis management team must include the communications, HR, IT, and legal function. A key spokesperson needs to be identified, prepared to respond to media enquiries.
Today, logistics companies are international organizations that work in interdependent, networked economies and ecosystems. This requires collaboration and effective communication with all partners in the service delivery chain. Individual countries will seek to strengthen their logistics capabilities and resilience by introducing new industry policies and sector regulations. Operators need to ensure they are part of the industry debate and government policy reshaping that sees their organization be part of the solution to the challenges of today.
The “new normal” will require innovative thinking and continuous communicating with target audiences as the sector re-evaluates the traditional supply chain dependencies and transportation operating models. Effective planning and communication are the keys to ensuring not only the management of risk but can in fact turn changing circumstances into opportunities for building new processes that become a source of sustainable, technology driven competitive advantage.
W7Worldwide’s high calibre corporate communications team currently works with national, regional and international transport and logistics companies to help deliver their COVID-19 communication programs. The ‘7 Covid-19 Communication Strategies for the Transport & Logistics Sector’ Guide distils the agency’s deep knowledge and understanding of the sector and is part of its award-winning ‘COVID-19 Resource Centre’.