"Flexibility comes before costs": The mood among logisticians is changing

High energy prices, strict corona lockdowns in China and the Ukraine war are putting great pressure on the logistics industry.

"Flexibility comes before costs": The mood among logisticians is changing

High energy prices, strict corona lockdowns in China and the Ukraine war are putting great pressure on the logistics industry. Business expectations for the next six months are clearly clouded over, explains the German Logistics Association. A short-term relaxation is not in sight.

German logistics is skeptical about the Ukraine war, corona lockdowns in China and general uncertainty. "In the German logistics industry, the mood turned negative," explains the Munich IFO Institute in its latest company survey for the second quarter. The German Logistics Association (BVL) reports that business expectations for the next six months have clouded over significantly. A possible separate block formation of the USA, Europe and China harbors risks in the global exchange of goods and services.

"A sharp-edged demarcation of political systems has serious consequences, especially in the case of critical dependencies in global value chains," says BVL CEO Thomas Wimmer. In the areas of purchasing, production and logistics, one hears new guiding principles such as "flexibility comes before costs" and "availability is the new currency," he explains. "What was still uneconomical yesterday is considered economically sensible today."

Accordingly, the disruptions in the supply chains are not temporary problems and phenomena. "There is no relief in sight in the short term," emphasized the logistics expert. The traffic jams and delays in container shipping have now also reached the North Sea and the ports in Germany, Holland and Belgium.

This not only leads to delays, but also to a lack of containers, which are currently just as rare as pallets and cardboard boxes. While industry and trade are waiting for raw materials and preliminary products or are finding it difficult to ship their finished goods, logistics service providers are having problems increasing their capacities. This in turn is also due to the massive shortage of staff. "These imbalances will continue for a few more months - well into 2023," Wimmer said. The Federal Ministry of Economics also expects difficulties for the German economy due to the consequences of the corona lockdowns in China.

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