At The Delivery Conference this week, we sat down with Sahil Jaggi, District Marketing Director for UPS, to discuss the carrier and supply chain industry and how he predicts 2024 will play out.
Covid saw freight capacity drop dramatically as passenger flights ceased to operate but UPS Parcels and Freight global network were able to flex to carry on says Sahil, but post Covid, pressures haven’t let up with new normals including macro economic pressures and reduced consumer spend.
Sahil sees 2024 as bringing a shift back to a more normal world with some positives such as the Brexit pressures starting to wane as retailers switch back to selling to the EU. Buyers are also expanding their horizons with the US market adopting digital platforms. In some ways, the difficult past few years have helped better prepare the industry for global selling. Indeed, for UPS themselves the transportation of vaccines have opened the door to shipping more healthcare products today than at any time in the past.
Now is the time for small and mid-sized retailers to sell to the US, Australia and the EU with cost effective products available from shippers, and although there is some caution to the macro economics, doubling down on what businesses do well will give dividends.
Supply chains are proving more fragile than ever, with the grounding of planes during Covid, a blockage of the Suez canal and more recently troubles in the Red Sea. UPS, with their combination of Freight and Small Package solutions believe they are well placed to help retailers and brands navigate the uncertainties.
Sustainability will also be key in 2024, with retailers wishing to demonstrate sustainable supply chain practice as well as environmental credentials for their products. Slower is normally more CO2 efficient and what actually matters is time in transit. This could be a balance between a slower supply chain but quicker final mile delivery.
Sahil also shared the three territories where he sees the biggest opportunity for UK retailers in 2022
- Europe, it’s time for retailers to embrace our continental cousins again.
- The USA, with a high de minimis, selling into the US is attractive from a tax perspective
- India, with the UK negotiating a Free Trade Agreement, new opportunities will open up
Speaking specifically to UPS services, Sahil says that they way the company is organised is aligned to the needs of customers now and in the future:
- UPS give the ability to flex between Small Packages and Freight with regulatory support for cross border shipping
- UPS have made investments in tech with the ability to orchestrate your end-to-end supply chain with the UPS Supply Chain Symphony portal
- There is a vast amount of knowledge within the UPS organisation to assist different industries
- UPS are aligned with the needs of small businesses and midsize etailers.