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Reshaping Freight Management with Current Logistics Trends

Arnaud Ameline, Director of supply chain and logistics, Christian Dior Couture

Arnaud Ameline, Director of supply chain and logistics, Christian Dior Couture

How long have you been in the logistics industry?

I have spent 16 years at Christian Dior, witnessing its transformation from a small company to an industry giant. During this course of time, I learned about the company’s capabilities as a prominent fashion and luxury label and was responsible for evolving its supply chain and logistics activities worldwide.

What are some of the key changes in logistics activities that you notice?

Most companies are shifting towards sustainable development, and it reflects in their freight management as well. They have started reconsidering logistics activities to reduce ecological impact by adopting minimal packaging, restraining the use of plastic covers, and disposing of waste efficiently.

Along with this, the thriving e-commerce is making it difficult for brands, even luxury brands, to get warehouses due to surging demand. We have begun building good relationships with warehouse companies and started prioritizing business continuity plans to ensure strategic use of our warehouses through re-routing of shipments and identifying alternate warehouses to tackle the storage crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also influenced many industry trends. Companies have started localizing their production to ship to every country without mobility restrictions. This has helped them cut down freight costs.

What are the technologies that can streamline freight management amid recent trends?

Currently, companies are involved in localized production and shifting to multiple suppliers for their shipping. The suppliers can be managed using transportation management systems (TMS), helping brands optimize incoming and outgoing goods, and supply chain activities on a single platform.

“Freight management is never returning to how it used to be two years ago. Companies need to equip themselves with tools, people, and services to tackle the changes and any future uncertainties.”

Successful freight management also requires companies to be agile and swift in planning and coordinating, which calls for the development of more agile applications than the existing applications.

Even though enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications are helping companies coordinate their people, processes, and goods, specialized applications that are exclusively for route optimization, task management, damage reporting, and other logistics activities are perfectly complementing the base platforms to streamline freight management.

How do you ensure sustainable logistics along with these processes?

We consider sustainable logistics a key performance indicator for efficient product flow and timely delivery. Earlier, the key concern about delivering products used to be their availability in stores and expiration dates. But now, we have begun to consider the entire process’s impact on carbon dioxide levels as well.

For instance, in a long-distance delivery, time is not the only constraint. We also consider possible ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions throughout the process.

What would be your piece of advice to the industry leaders and your peers?

Even though the pandemic has faded, the changes it caused in the industry have left a permanent mark. Freight management is never returning to how it used to be two years ago.

Companies need to equip themselves with tools, people, and services to tackle the changes and any future uncertainties. Bracing the current and upcoming changes and utilizing them to improve the organization’s efficiency is the new way of doing business.

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