Dear friends and valued partners,
What a year 2020 has been. As I collect my thoughts, I can’t help but think about how much our world has changed over the course of the last year. The COVID-19 pandemic has very quickly changed the way in which our world operates and has thrust the global supply chain into a new spotlight. Many of the same trends that I spoke to last year continue to impact the industry and how we operate moving forward. This year, the pandemic has spotlighted the need for nearshoring in the pharmaceutical industry. We continue to see innovations in technology and changing consumer shopping preferences have placed demands on supply chains like never before. As the industry around us continues to change and evolve, one thought rings true. The need to embrace industry change and the ability to respond quickly to the needs of our customers has never been more relevant than 2020 has shown it to be. If we at MD Logistics are going to continue to enjoy the success and growth we have come to expect, we must continue to embrace and evolve with the demands of the industry.
The majority of 2020 was consumed with responding to our ‘new normal’ as the COVID-19 global pandemic changed the way the world conducts business and was the driver behind many of the trends we are seeing moving forward. Much of the change that the pandemic brought was a fast-tracking of trends which were already being introduced into the industry. The shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and critical medical supplies in the early days of the pandemic led logistics professionals to take a closer look at inventory levels and contingencies, revealing a longer term need for nearshoring in supply chains. This provides an opportunity for our team to respond with the services and storage options necessary to facilitate this change in the industry. In turn, providing another avenue for growth within the supply chain space.
The healthcare industry has also seen drastic change in the past year and will continue to into the future. As the world moves forward with a COVID vaccine, we are seeing an additional need for a variety of cold storage options, including refrigerated and ultra-frozen. This is a huge opportunity for us as a 3PL provider, to expand our capacity and expertise to further entrench ourselves into the life sciences and pharmaceuticals industries, to be able to offer these storage options for our customers.
Technology continues to drive innovation. Amid stay at home orders in the very early days of the pandemic, we all saw a migration of jobs transition from an office setting to a new remote work reality. Teleconferencing and video sharing services allowed teams to stay connected despite being away from the office. I think this is a trend that is here to stay, long after the pandemic comes to an end. Technology also enabled consumers to easily shop from the safety of their own homes. As a result, the retail industry saw an accelerated shift to ecommerce and had to quickly respond by enabling additional delivery methods to get items in the hand of the consumer via their preferred shopping channel. The added shift to ecommerce has placed a greater demand on 3PL warehouses as opposed to a traditional brick and mortar. This will be the new normal.
Last and most importantly, this year reaffirmed for me that the people who make up our team continue to be our greatest asset. Throughout the pandemic, our team members have been here, learning with us as we adapt and make changes to our business practices in response to state and local health and safety orders. Our essential workers, have showed up day in and day out throughout the pandemic to make sure our customers supply chains continue to move forward uninterrupted. They are the people behind the scenes, unseen and sometimes unappreciated, but are critical to not only the success of our business but critical to keeping the economy going. I am so grateful for their tireless work this past year and thank them for their commitment both this year and moving forward as we navigate increased volumes and opportunities from both the life sciences and pharmaceuticals and retail and consumer goods industries.
2020 was a year of reaction and evolution for MD Logistics. The challenges the pandemic brought are very real for us. We are essential. The one most important asset is our people, their safety and wellness continue to remain our top concern. We wrote the playbook as we went and I am pleased with our team’s response. We worked every day, safely, despite the challenges the pandemic brought. For that I am thankful! We are proud that we continue to maintain a quality of service our customers have come to expect from us, despite all the change 2020 has brought our way.
Perhaps the highlight of our year, was the acquisition of MD Logistics and MD Express by Nippon Express USA. The Nippon global network allows us to not only expand our geographical footprint to enhance our domestic reach, but also introduce our customers to global solutions through the Nippon Express network. Having the ability to tap into a global freight forwarding and warehousing network with strategically located gateways and GDP facilities worldwide, allows us to further enhance and react to the growing needs of both our customers and the industries we service. This partnership allows us to expand our services and has our team well positioned to evolve, as we continue to meet the challenges of the new normal.
I remain confident and optimistic that 2021 will bring unbounding opportunities for our economy in general, but especially for MD Logistics. As we turn the corner, we have great things to look forward to in 2021 as we rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. I am optimistic that medical innovations and technologies around the COVID 19 vaccine will allow us to finally overcome the challenges that we faced throughout 2020. We are thankful for all the opportunities our customers have provided us and we look forward to the coming new year.
All the best,