Key Trends in the Travel, Transport and Logistics Sectors
The travel, transport and logistics sectors faced unprecedented upheaval and challenges in 2020 and early 2021. Even with the vaccination programme gathering momentum, it could still be several years before these sectors return to profitability, and radical change is needed to make better use of resources and manage demands, sometimes changing with very short notice.
So, what can we expect over the coming years? Domestic travel could take up to two years to bounce back, while business and long-haul travel may take many years to return to pre-pandemic levels. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on international supply chains, causing knock-on challenges for the transportation and logistics arena although this part of the industry has shown resilience and strong demand in some sectors.
Organisations hoping to emerge from this period with a thriving business must develop a laser focus on their customers. Recent research published by T2RL, in association with Amadeus, argues that there is a broad shift in the aviation industry from a product-oriented business model to a more customer-centric model focused on personalised experiences. This shift has also been seen across the travel industry, as noted in this article by Manuel Brachet, Head of Customer Success at Egencia.
Driving customer satisfaction and loyalty is critical to success.
Effective use of customer data is critical in building engagement, brand loyalty, ancillary sales and partner revenue. However, it is not always straightforward, especially where companies have legacy IT systems that were not necessarily built with a customer-centric strategy in mind.
Many organisations in the travel, transport and logistics sectors have massive volumes of data, but struggle to understand what data they hold, and how to use it in a complex IT infrastructure, to provide differentiation through service, while aligning with wider corporate needs around strategy, governance and privacy.
The good news is that early adopters report positive returns from investments in technology to utilise newly integrated data, from customers, suppliers and partners. AI and ML tools are transforming customer service with chatbots, personalised booking journeys and the ability to recognise and speed up transactions and troubleshooting.