Globalization has been evaluated as one of the biggest business trends affecting the transport and logistics sector. Shippers enter foreign markets and establish their presence in various geographical regions in order to stay competitive and offer customers better, more customized services.
At the same time, the opposing forces of nationalism have pushed international enterprises to achieve business goals in regional partnerships with smaller, likeminded local businesses.
For the most efficient operations, best user experiences, and optimized costs, logistics companies need to align all supply chain agents, including shippers who help logistics companies compete on global markets. According to “Eye for Transport” analysis, 60% of the top 500 European logistics companies work with at least one third party logistics provider.
AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG is a good example of a multinational transport and logistics firm that takes a global approach to doing business locally. From an operational headquarters founded in Switzerland in the late 90’s, the company now oversees 16 operational centers and 8 customs agencies in a number of locations across Europe and Asia and collaborates with shippers in more than 60 countries around the world. Over the last 24 years, AsstrA logistics managers have prospered through significant changes on many fronts: business, economic, military, legislative, technological, and geopolitical – which now include globalization and the rise of nationalism.
On one hand, globalization and the development of logistics management technologies makes new operating styles possible in the transportation business. All parties along the supply chain collaborate to increase product availability and boost customer engagement, both of which ultimately drive profits that strengthen capabilities in new markets, such as the Middle East and Central Asia in AsstrA's case.
On the other hand, fierce competition on a global playing field tends to favor bigger logistics market players with deeper pockets who can monopolize local markets and cause small and medium sized transport and logistics companies to face difficult conditions often contributing to the rise of anti-globalist economic sentiments.
Any resulting protectionist political measures typically lead to regionalization in the logistics market. The formation of blocs of countries with similar economic interests enables local companies to develop within the region with less relative investment in international marketing and human resources. Business operating only in regional markets have fewer day-to-day business risks than those operating in – and subject to – larger global markets.
Political scientists also see anti-globalization policies as potentially reducing the economic and social inequality of growth in different regions of the world (the West, emerging markets, CIS, BRICS). At the business level, however, nearly 69% of logistics managers polled in the 2017 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index say they are worried about the negative influence of anti-globalization processes on their growth in emerging markets.
Even so, nationalist policies are not likely to overcome the long-term potential of well-managed technology-powered businesses to expand across borders and generate higher profits.
AsstrA's team of logistics market experts is always ready to consult clients the data-driven pros and cons of higher-risk global business development. Denis Gural, AsstrA COO, comments the issue:
"We understand that clients doing business globally need a comprehensive, global range of services from a service provider who can adjust to changing requirements. For this reason, we strive to be a key player in the logistics services market, no matter where demand drives it next."