By AYSEL YUCEL
The Association of International Forwarding and Logistics Service Providers (UTIKAD) announced the results of the “Trends and Expectations Survey in the Logistics Sector-2020” at its annual evaluation meeting. Most of the logistics companies are hopeful for 2021 and are planning new investments, according to the report. The companies are hopeful about foreign investment, the report revealed.
Conducted by UTIKAD in coordination with Dokuz Eylul University Maritime Faculty, Logistics Management Department Head Prof. Dr. Okan Tuna and his team, the survey covered 477 UTIKAD member companies. The questions asked to the sector representatives included headlines as trust environment in the sector, developments in the logistics ecosystem, companies’ views on financing and investment, human resources, digitalization and industry 4.0 developments, sustainability and public relations.
70% of the participants are planning new investments in the next six months, according to the results of the research. Technology and human resources stand out as the most important areas for investment. 74% of companies are willing to employ new staff. Three out of four businesses stated that they are considering hiring new staff over the next six months. This rate has increased by 5% compared to the previous research period. 70% percent of the companies expect an increase in foreign investment this year.
Here are the main outcomes from the survey…
Business volumes increased in 2020
• The year 2020 has been stable for the industry and businesses are hopeful for 2021.
• 46% of logistics enterprises stated that their business volume increased in 2020. The rate of those who gave negative feedback for their businesses was also 25%. The fact that none of the enterprises participating in the research makes a “very negative” assessment gives positive signals for the industry in 2021.
• The level of trust of customers in the logistics industry has increased compared to last year (2020: vonfidence level 46% medium, 41% high, 9% low, 2% very low, 2% very high.)
• In 2020, companies tried to be competitive in price levels (83%) and service speed (42%).
• Firms mostly faced problems in price-oriented competition (72%) and lack of strategic plans (57%).
• Similar to the previous year, the e-commerce / retail sector was the sector that offered the most opportunities in 2020 (68% very High, 24% high).
• Unlike last year, more than half of the participants gave importance to the strategies of expanding the service network and gaining new customers. Digitalization strategy is not on the agenda of companies.
• The budget allocated to education remained the same at 61%.
• COVID-19 had the greatest impact on the management of logistics processes (48%) and human resources management (48%). The companies tried to cope with the problems experienced in terms of technological infrastructure (76%) and strong customer relations (61%).
• Many businesses took measures such as working remotely (54%) and reducing working hours (37%).
The sector is hopeful for the first half of 2021
• Logistics sector is undecisive on the realization of Turkey’s macroeconomic targets. (Confidence level: 54% medium, 30% low, 9% high).
• The sector is more optimistic than 2019 on growth. 43% expects growth while 46% said it will remain unchanged). 31% of the companies stated that foreign capital in the sector will increase.
• 70% of the participants are planning to invest in the next six months. Technology and human resources issues stand out as the most important areas for investment.
• Sector is willing to recruit new staff (74%).
• Investing in sustainable / green projects is not on the agenda this year (57%).
• Tax regulations / financial incentives (76%) and necessary legislative changes (67%) stand out as issues that need to be addressed in terms of sustainability.
• Accordingly, the expectation from the public sector about legislative regulations (74%) continues.
• No projects are considered within the scope of university-industry cooperation (66%).
• In terms of digitalization, it is expected that robotics and automation systems (74%) and big data analysis (67%) will have the greatest impact on the sector in the next 5 years.