Crisis Chronicle - Logistics in the face of re-confinement #4

The health crisis is also an opportunity for the logistics sector


Since the beginning of the re-confinement, we have been making a weekly update on the consequences of the health crisis on the logistics market in France.

Crisis Chronicle #4 - 2020, a pivotal year for logisticians

Following the announcement by the President of the Republic of a reduction in containment as of November 28, we take stock of this episode and its impact on the logistics sector. 

In this article, you will find the conclusions of our national and weekly surveys on the storage sector among our 3,000 logistics partners. In addition, in order to give you a global view of the market, we also wanted to interview Maxime Legardez, the managing director of Everoad by sennder. sennder is the European leader in digital goods transport and is in daily contact with several thousand carriers throughout Europe.

Relive the impact of containment on the storage market

Quelques jours après l’annonce du re-confinement, l'activité tient bon

As a result of the lessons learned from the first containment and several months of preparation, most logistics providers have been able to maintain a normal level of service over the past four weeks. 

Within our network, 97% of the warehouses remained open during containment thanks to adaptation measures such as space planning or team rotation. 

This is in stark contrast to the first containment, during which many warehouses were closed and many logistics staff were put on short-time work due to a lack of adequate health measures. 

Behind the maintenance of the activity, a wide variety of situations

Reconfinement has not affected all parts of the economy in the same way. Some sectors have been able to perform well, while others have suffered a decline in activity.

Transport, catering and textiles have been the most negatively impacted by containment.

In line with what is happening more generally in the economy, some logistics service providers specialising in food or pharmaceuticals have fared better than others. To find out more, read our first re-confinement chronicle.

A boiling storage market

In a way, the storage sector is improving at the expense of the transport sector. With the closure of shops, stocks are running low and warehouses are filling up. 

The activity was mainly concentrated around large cities such as Paris, Lille and Lyon. 

The map of applications received by Spacefill during the month of November :

Map of applications received by SpaceFill in November 2020

To access detailed statistics by sector, we invite you to consult our second re-confinement column.

A Christmas like no other

Containment is bringing its share of upheavals in a particularly key period for logisticians and the economy. With some traditional distribution channels such as Christmas markets or restaurants closed, many companies are turning to e-commerce, putting great pressure on urban logistics networks. 

Compared to the first containment, we are seeing a shift in consumer preferences from home delivery to drives and relay points. To find out more about the cross-impact of Christmas and the health crisis on the storage market, see our third re-containment chronicle.

Digital at the service of performance

Beyond e-commerce, the coronavirus has put digital on the front of the stage. Indeed, new technologies allow better access to information and greater speed of execution, which are fundamental during the crisis.

SpaceFill allows for example a real time management of the flows and a centralization of all the administrative steps for the storage operations. This ensures that shippers can find space and use it in record time, which is crucial when logistics becomes more uncertain. To go further, send us a storage request. ‍

What is the impact of the crisis on the transport market?

To give you a complete picture of the logistics industry, we interviewed Maxime Legardez, General Manager of Everoad by sennder. He shares with us the lessons of the crisis on the transport sector and his vision of the post-Covid world.

Maxime Legardez, directeur général d'Everoad by sennder

Can you quickly introduce Everoad by sennder?

Everoad by sennder is the result of the merger between the French(Everoad) and the German(sennder) No. 1 in digital freight forwarding.

We help companies, from SMEs to large groups, to organise their road haulage by working with several thousand partner hauliers throughout Europe. Our clients, such as Casino, Unilever, P&G, Henkel, etc., also have access to a digital platform to manage their transport flows.

sennder est aujourd’hui présent dans 7 pays en Europe, dont la France et l’Allemagne, et nous avons récemment fait l’acquisition des activités de fret européen d'Uber pour consolider notre position de leader sur le continent.

What impact has the crisis had on Everoad / sennder's business?

At Everoad by sennder, we saw this crisis as an opportunity to help our clients in the face of an uncertain situation.

Freight transport is the backbone of the economy, so our activity did not stop during containment and it was a particularly busy time for us.

That said, our situation is privileged. The negative impact of the crisis on many of our clients and partners should not be underestimated. Some of them have been strongly affected by the crisis, or even had to cease their activity.

On the other hand, I think the logistics world gained 5-10 years with the coronavirus crisis. Traditionally uncomfortable with technology, logisticians saw the benefits that digital tools could bring in a climate of uncertainty in the market.

In this context, our technology proves to be an immense asset for shippers, it is a source of flexibility and traceability. As a result, we have not only been able to support our customers remotely, but we have also gained new ones. Conversely, traditional freight forwarders found it more difficult to adapt to the situation.

Y a-t-il des différences marquantes entre la France et l'Allemagne dans le secteur de la logistique ?

Germany is a good pupil when it comes to logistics. It has many more great champions, such as DHL or DB Schenker, than France. Germany also has many more logistics jobs than France (+30% more jobs in Germany).

From a strategic point of view, the German government has always considered logistics as a major area of differentiation, whereas in France logistics is rather perceived as an operational subject, a cost centre. Fortunately, this is changing. Over the last 2 years, we have noticed that the Directorates General have become more and more involved in discussions on transport. Exchanges no longer revolve solely around prices, but more globally on the optimization of Supply Chains. This will accelerate in the coming years.

On a sennder level, I didn't see any fundamental difference between the French and German teams. We are faced with the same problems, namely the opacity of the transport market, the fragmentation of European carriers, and the low level of digitalisation which weighs on the efficiency of working methods. Much remains to be done.

Everoad by sennder

What conclusions can be drawn from the impact of the coronavirus on transport activity?

It is still too early to talk about a balance sheet, but for us the health crisis has had a rather positive impact on the sector. We have taken a good cold shower, and this has forced all players to adapt, both in the field and at headquarters. It is said that it is in times of crisis that men are best able to question themselves and make progress. I think that's what's happening right now in the logistics sector.

Today, technology is no longer seen as a gadget but has shown that it can be a particularly useful tool for logistics professionals. Companies that started their digital transformation a few years ago are doing much better than others.

What service does Everoad / sennder provide in situations of emergency and uncertainty?

In a nutshell, we make it easier for shippers to manage their transportation at all levels.

Freight transport is already complex in normal times, it is even more so in times of crisis. Thanks to our digital platform, companies can manage their value chain from A to Z. They can plan their journeys with real-time visibility on transport capacities. They also have access to aggregated market data, as well as data on their operations (cost per line, number of delays, number of no-shows...) via a personalized dashboard.

How do you see the future of logistics in a post-Covid world?

A large part of the logistics professions will have to evolve, sometimes even disappear. For example, the chartering business will fundamentally change with the rise of matching algorithms. Repetitive and low value-added tasks will be automated, freeing up time for higher value-added tasks, such as discussions with customers or strategic thinking.

Par ailleurs, l’analyse et l’utilisation des données vont devenir de plus en plus cruciales pour mieux piloter les Supply Chains. Cette tendance va s'accélérer avec l’émergence de startups technologiques dans le secteur.

I like to see the glass half full. 2020 has been a difficult but pivotal and useful year for all logistics professionals.

To be accompanied on your logistics projects, fill in this questionnaire or call us on 01 84 80 88 82.

Find space for your goods

SpaceFill brings you the best storage solution close to your needs thanks to its network of 3000 logistic warehouses.

Problem? Question?
Contact us directly

01 88 24 12 12
pasquier logo
plg logo
postage-paid logo
ruby logo

What is your storage requirement?

Thank you. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Oops! Thank you for filling out the form

Our resources

Discover how digital is transforming logistics

Find space for your goods

SpaceFill brings you the best storage solution close to your needs thanks to its network of 3000 logistic warehouses.

Problem? Question?
Contact us directly

01 88 24 12 12
pasquier logo
plg logo
postage-paid logo
ruby logo

What is your storage requirement?

Thank you. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Oops! Thank you for filling out the form