Kaan Aydın, Batı Innovative Logistics Business Development Manager, noted that the logistics sector entered 2021 with optimistic goals. Companies that keep up with the digitalization hastened by the pandemic will rise in logistics, as well as in every other industry, according to Aydın, who added that the share of e-commerce transports in the sector will also increase. Aydın shared tips on the future of the sector. Accordingly, in the long term, different transportation models such as alternative drone transportation to airline and maritime, hyperloop technologies, autonomous container ships and vehicles will emerge. Announcing that they have closed 2020 above their targets and that they will make the biggest investment in technology and digitalization in 2021, Aydın made important statements about the future of the company and the sector. How was the last year of the logistics industry? What were the effects of the pandemic on the sector?
2020 started with a great uncertainty and imbalance for the logistics sector as well as for all sectors. However, in retrospect, we can say that we had a good year as a sector. The pandemic had a great impact on personal habits and our life routine. 2020 was a year in which the demand for logistics increased, especially with the increase in pharmaceutical transports and the sectors open to growth caused by the new habits brought by the pandemic. Decreasing passenger plane flights have created a change in airline transportation since the first quarter of 2020. Despite the decrease in flights, the increase in airline cargo demands caused an increase in airline freight by 500-1000 percent. For this reason, the logistics costs of the cargoes that need to be transported by airline have increased significantly. Likewise, the supply-demand imbalance experienced in the maritime caused the problem of space in the ship lines. Due to the slowing port operations and closed factories due to the pandemic, many ports have accumulated full containers. For this reason, delays occurred in the positioning of the containers and there was a shortage of equipment that had an effect all over the world. When ship lines were able to reduce their costs by reducing the number of voyages under these conditions, maritime freight started to cost much higher than market prices. As the factories in China were opened before the rest of the world and many manufacturers started to produce in China, the stacking of containers in the Far East ports has become an even bigger problem. When ports in all countries return to their normal order and regain their old speed, ship lines will return to their previous voyages and equipment positioning will be planned more efficiently. However, container and place problems are expected to be solved from the second quarter of 2021. Only then can a downward trend be expected in freight. With what goals did the sector enter 2021? What do you expect for the end of the year? The logistics sector entered 2021 with optimistic goals. Starting in the first quarter, maritime and airline transportation are likely to recover to pre-pandemic levels. With the pandemic, the digitizing process that was projected to take ten years to complete progressed considerably more swiftly. I think that this digitalization process will continue in 2021 and the logistics companies that have managed to keep up with this process will rise. My expectation for 2021 is that investments in digitalization and technology will increase and current trends will change rapidly. I think that fast and small transports such as e-commerce transports will be consolidated and developed.“Different transport modules will be born, new players will enter the market”What will be the growth dynamics of the sector in the new period? What are your expectations? In 2020, we realized that airline and maritime transportation modules were never ready for a possible crisis. Maybe many sectors were not ready for this change, but many of them acted faster than the logistics sector to keep up with the change. The logistics sector and the technological infrastructure of most of its components are not suitable for the state of the technology and therefore there are many problems. In the short term, it seems that we will start to see technology companies more in the logistics sector. At this point, logistics companies that keep up with the age and new trends will survive and grow. From now on, companies with a strong technological structure will stand out rather than companies with a high number of employees. At this point, alternatives other than aircraft and ships are required for the logistics sector. In the long run, drone transport, hyperloop technologies, autonomous container ships and vehicles will significantly change the sector and drive development. In the future, different transport modules will be born and new players will enter the market. How is it possible to improve performance in the global logistics ranking? Do you work on this field? In order to rise in the global logistics ranking, foreign investments must be made correctly and on time. With electronic commerce and the changing world order, supply chain needs evolved from B2B to B2B2C. It will also be possible to catch this trend with digitalization. Today, when transportation trends have changed and electronic commerce has come to the fore, door-to-door transportation has become one of the most important services. The logistics needs of the customers should be closely monitored and the necessary transports should be carried out in a timely manner based on the stock status. At this point, foreign agencies may not always be sufficient, and globalization is necessary. For this reason, we opened an office in Germany in 2018, which is one of the routes we carry the most. Our Germany office, which we established in Berlin, moved us to global logistics companies. We would like to take the success of our Germany office as an example and open new offices in other countries in 2021. Our targets include the America and Asia where our exports are high.“We have closed 2020 well above our targets."How did you spend 2020 as a company? As Batı Innovative Logistics, we are happy to spend 2020 in a very good way. Since January, with the crisis in the world, we have stepped into an unknown and could not foresee how our sector would be affected. Therefore, we made the necessary decisions dynamically and consciously by analyzing all the effects of the pandemic. In 2020, we made predictions about the problems we may experience by prioritizing crisis management and directed our investments within this framework. Of course, our high priority was to protect our existing jobs and to keep our service at the highest level. At the same time, we have found alternative solutions for our customers based on the developments. By renting aircraft, we have carried out regular charter flights to various routes and thus improved the increasing airline freight. Therefore, in line with our strategic decisions, we started well in 2020 with the pandemic in airline transportation. We continued our growth in airline transportation with the European and Chinese loadings opened in the middle of 2020. At the end of 2020, we started carrying vaccines and medicines. On the sea route, we experienced a container shortage and a great problem in ships in 2020. Many shipowners had to reduce or close the destinations they served due to lack of equipment. We faced voyage cancellations in 2020. At this stage, we established our own private container fleet and achieved growth in maritime transportation. To sum up, we closed 2020 by growing well above our targets.“We will continue our growth in digitalization”What were the effects of the pandemic on your company? The biggest impact of the pandemic on our company was that it showed that our technological infrastructure was ready and we could start using it quickly. The pandemic caused a 10-year digitalization process to take place in 6 months. With the announcement of the first corona case in Turkey, we took the necessary steps to protect the health of our employees and customers. Before the pandemic, the working from home system was not far from us. Therefore, our technological infrastructure was already ready for all our employees to work from home. So, we took the necessary steps as quickly as possible and organized 90 percent of our staff to work at home-office. In addition, our Human Resources department is working to create a different and sustainable post-pandemic working order. What is on your agenda as a company this year? What will your investments be? Our biggest investment in 2021 will be related to technology and digitalization. The logistics sector entered 2021 with optimistic goals. In addition to our digital goals, our biggest and unchanging goal in 2021 as the BATI is to continue our growth and development in digitalization. Along with our technology investments for the last five years, we want to continue our development in 2021 and prove that we are the industry leader with the adaptation and customer satisfaction we have provided to the changes. At the same time, we are working to continue our foreign investments. It is among our goals to continue our globalization steps, which we started to take in 2018, in the United States and the Far East after Germany.