Peace is best attained by preparing for war – not a maxim that’s limited to the political-military context. Logistics, which as a concept originates precisely from the military field, has no choice but to function according to the same principle – at least since the permanent congestion of global supply chains has become something of a reality of late. The availability of capacities, people and materials, which used to be taken for granted has, since mid-2020, been subject to shortages unknown for a long time.
More rupture than change, this economic experience actually has what it takes to be called a ’new era’ one day – once enough time has elapsed. Supply chain security has recently taken precedence over cost optimisation in industry and commerce. Now it would be psychologically as understandable as it would be reckless to exploit this temporary market situation for one’s own advantage. To banish shippers, trying to deal with their own price and deadline pressure, from the high table – a move that they tried to impose on logistics for too long themselves – won’t do long-term customer relationships any good.
Even the power of oligopolies knows its limits, however, as the oil companies are currently learning from the regulatory measures applied by some countries – after the former passed suppliers’ price surcharges on directly to consumers, but generally found it more it difficult to adjust their prices when their procurement prices fell. Anticipatory goodwill has rarely failed to have a positive effect on overall customer loyalty.
The search for alternative solutions for freight affected by congestion is another priority. Many concerned eyes have focused on a transport route that could relieve the overheated maritime route between China and Europe. The Group of European TransEurasia Operators and Forwarders (Geto), based in Basel since 1978, recently expressed its fear that the war in Ukraine could endanger the Eurasian overland transit corridor. It has called for caution lest “the years of building the Eurasian corridor are irrevocably undone.”
At this point it’s important to stay focused on ‘one world’. Transport routes are first and foremost supply routes for people – just like P.I. Tchaikovsky’s music is a contribution to universal human culture. Let us keep the damage caused by conflicts as small as possible in both the short and long term by retaining a sense of proportion and prudence.
You can read all about this in our Baltic, Eastern & Central Europe Special too, which also contains edifying information – despite the war. Yours,