EXPERT CORNER Tyler Franta / Unsplash others, the goal is to support governments in reshaping processes and infrastructure to ensure that policymakers can fulfil societal missions such as ensuring a safe supply of food, medicine, and other important goods. Strategise and identify M&A opportunities. As in the period following the financial crisis of 2008-09, there is likely to be a shake-out among LSPs globally and in the region, with a significant number of good assets and businesses for sale at distressed valuations. For strong, often cash-rich GCC players, this is the time to identify attractive acquisition targets to build up skills and capabilities, enter attractive target markets and trade lanes, increase volumes and scale, and create value. Heavily invest in technology. GCC LSPs have a notoriously low level of automation and technology. It is high time for them to leap-frog and strategically defend their regional position, or risk becoming even more marginalised and commoditised. Successful technology-based firms, such Transporeon and FreightHub, have proven recently how to bring innovative approaches to the industry. Now is the time for GCC LSPs to apply such technology strategies and learn from such firms. LSPs in the GCC region must focus their efforts on a set of measures to improve their market position, during and after the Covid-19 crisis. Strong LSPs that remain resolute and disciplined in their response will be best positioned to survive and thrive on the strong consumption fundamentals of the GCC. build capabilities to handle the entire process for global inbound transport, from departure to destination. Seamless, best-in-class supply chain services internationally. Cross-border processes in the GCC often are still cumbersome and slow. LSPs, with their local knowledge and access, can differentiate themselves by how efficiently they can navigate these processes — and, consequently, how much they can reduce transit times. A key aspect of offering superlative service is building deep relationships with administrations in the GCC and ports of entry, to become the most trusted and renowned cross-border specialist actively requested by the shipping clientele. Identify the most promising trade lanes and markets. LSPs should analyze shipping volumes to ensure they are operating in the trade lanes and origination markets that will diversify and increase the resilience of GCC supply chains. More specifically, LSPs need to become relevant players on these trade lanes to generate the best rates, up-front and retroactive discounts from carriers. This will be challenging given the scale of the AsiaEurope trade lane on which the GCC sits. To succeed, LSPs will need to build their presence at both ends of the trade lane. Work with governments to improve supply chain resilience. During and after the crisis, LSPs should approach GCC governments proactively and offer their expertise in making supply chains significantly more resilient. In some cases, that applies to governments procuring their own critical supplies. In 13 LOGISTICS MIDDLE EAST | JULY-AUGUST 2020 www.logisticsmiddleeast.com
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