2020 – A tale of the unexpected

This year has been one of tremendous change driven by two momentous events – one somewhat expected, the other completely unexpected – colliding in the same space and time.


We expected 2020 to be a long, tough year for Brexit negotiations, though few expected them to go down to the wire like they’ve done. What we didn’t expect was a viral pandemic, the likes of which has not been seen for a hundred years, if ever.

Image to illustrate article

The constant uncertainty over a Brexit deal and the fallout from the Covid-19 crisis drove massive change in the retail sector from a supplier/retailer and customer point of view, with both having to adapt quickly and efficiently to new sales and delivery paradigms.


The arrival and impact of Covid-19 in particular completely changed the business environment and was accompanied by an unparalleled growth in online retailing – with a concomitant cost to the consequently almost completely abandoned High Street.


So, what did we, and particularly logistics business and transport operators, learn from this year of almost total disruption to local and global supply chains?

  1. We must plan for the unexpected

  2. Resilience in communications and operational systems is key

  3. The ability to be flexible as and when circumstances demand is non-negotiable

  4. We must have the capability to be proactive in a crisis


For transport operators to deliver all of the above effectively in the future, they will need a transport management system (TMS) solution that:

  1. Plans for the unexpected; irrespective of distribution channels, their TMS will need to have omni-channel capabilities as standard

  2. Builds in resilience – full history, auditing and digitalisation of current manual procedures, supported by the most modern integration, will be the minimum to deliver this outcome from a TMS

  3. Support flexible supply chains – irrespective of how customer demand is to be delivered, order line granularity will be needed to ensure that all internal and external stakeholder requirements can be fulfilled timeously

  4. Catalyse proactive management – the TMS will need to deliver seamlessly all the necessary management reporting to ensure that as changes occur, transport and logistics managers are kept ahead of the curve through the real-time delivery of reports.

If your TMS solution cannot deliver the above as standard, please contact Bashir Khan: bashir.khan@deltion.co.uk