The Only Thing That is Constant is Change
  • February 12, 2023
  • News

Logistics, which is an integral part of world trade, was known by the public as house-to-house transportation until yesterday, but today it has become a separate field of activity and science. This discipline, which was perhaps only the area of interest for industrial engineers until recently, started to become more lively after it started to produce its own graduates with the departments opened in universities as of 1996. Logistics activities, which are considered a part of the supply chain in a wider scope, started to be pronounced as the “value chain” in the 2020s. Along with the acceleration of globalization, the chain also paved the way for the formation of an ecosystem called logistics geography. When we turn our face from the global to the local, the stereotypical “Turkey’s geopolitical advantage” discourse seems to be on its way to becoming a vision for logistics activities.

While companies with international capital operating in Turkey turn this cliché into a real competitive advantage, relatively national companies continue to follow them within the bounds of possibility. To absorb the reality that logistics means everything, society had to witness the pandemic and then, the regional war (Russia-Ukraine), unfortunately. On the other hand, the fact that everything can be done online but the final delivery point must be physically realized made the importance of logistics clear. From this point of view, motivations began to increase in various subjects.

Some of these were:

  • More international logistics companies coming to our country,
  • More outsourcing of logistics services (leaving the work to the specialist by outsourcing),
  • The increase in logistics management departments opened in universities, and the increase in student demand and
  • Accelerating the Sector-Academy collaborations in logistics.

Geography is the Fate of Logistics

The question of “Is geography the fate of a country?” is debatable, but it is certain that it is the fate of logistics. World trade realized the disadvantages of making most of the production from a single center (Far East) during the pandemic. Therefore, to find more flexible solutions in trade, relations with our country began to be strengthened, especially to establish transfer centers close to the European continent. Unfortunately, since this motivation cannot be realized within a certain master plan, it cannot be measured whether it creates an advantage or a disadvantage. For example, when the Belt-Road Project first started to be discussed, it caused great excitement in our country, but as time passed, the discourses that China might have a tendency to impose its own economic system and even its culture began to be talked about more. While assessment and evaluation are carried out by independent and Professional organizations in developed countries, it is difficult to see examples of this in our country.

After making this entry, it comes to mind where the concentration should be concentrated first or predominantly. When we look at the international evaluations, we see that the logistics companies of Turkish origin are becoming more and more international. The spread of competition all over the world through the Internet necessarily internationalizes companies. Well, do the human resources working in these companies increase their international qualifications to the same extent? Not at the same speed. Until yesterday, it was mostly the reality that the academy advised the industry. However, at this point, it is felt more that the industry is consulting the academy. It is debatable which one should be preferred more, but the good thing is that logistics companies have been in closer contact with the logistics departments o0f universities, especially in the last period.

In fact, today, brand logistics companies are competing in the academy to create courses that bear their own names. These names have already begun to appear when you look at the syllabuses on the web pages of the logistics management departments of wellknown universities. On the other hand, in all environments where digitalization is frequently mentioned, logistics students are worried about the increasing digitalization of logistics activities and the idea that the subject is starting to evoke Engineering more. Realities in business life force professors to change their syllabus, resulting in an increase in digital content. This exceeds the capacity of the student who prefers the logistics management department with an equal weight score type. People can only understand the necessity of mastering legal legislation when they are on the field.

Another problem is foreign languages. I hope that one day Turkish will become the world language, but unfortunately, we cannot escape the fact that until that day, a logistics graduate who speaks a foreign language is more preferred to meet the sector’s needs. Instant translation apps are unfortunately distracting young people from the necessity of learning a foreign language. At the point where artificial intelligence applications will come in the near future, it is also claimed that there will be no foreign language in the future. Logistics students, who have little understanding of business life through internships, unfortunately, need to spend 2-3 years in the industry, as in the novel “From Here to Eternity” written by James Jones, in order to comprehend the truth with all its nakedness.

Let’s Get Back to the Saying “Everything is Logistics”

The flow of world trade, which caught a cold in the pandemic, continued although it had the flu in the logistics activities. Couriers who brought home the foodstuffs we needed in order to survive did not have the luxury of catching COVID. I can’t think of anything that doesn’t affect logistics. The customer, who cannot see where his order is when the internet is interrupted, walks around as if his eyes were covered with black tape. In the recent period, when the importance of information flow and information systems for logistics activities is increasing day by day, investing in this field requires great costs if it is to be sustainable. When the fact that 90-95% of the companies in our country are composed of SMEs comes to mind, it does not seem easy to make sustainable investments in this field. With the increasing share of information systems in the supply chain, students tend to do minors, while industry employees try to fill this gap with various trainings or special interests. The fact that a large part of life will consist of software does not bother anyone anymore, but the number of volunteers who want to force themselves on a micro/individual level and enter this field is not many.

Faced with a problem again in its hinterland due to the tension between Russia and Ukraine and the transformation of this tension into war, Turkey was caught in the middle of the problem in the world grain supply chain. In this respect, as I have mentioned above, we live together with the fact that geography is the fate of the country. Our country, which is directly or indirectly on the transition line, has succeeded in overcoming this problem by using its organizational skills and the fact that it has a say in the region and has increased the prestige of the country. The convention regarding the regime of the straits signed by the great leader Atatürk, considering these days, had a great share in this success. On this occasion, many Russian companies contributed to the gross product by establishing transfer centers and even their own companies in Turkey. Moreover, with more than 15 million tons of grain transported, people in many poor countries that are on the edge of starvation have been saved from death in a way, and a humanitarian mission has been fulfilled. The whole world has painfully understood the regional importance of Turkey, which is needed for the continuation of sustainability, which is one of the most used words recently.

The Facts Affecting the Supply Chain

Before talking about the money flow in the supply chain after the information and material flow, it should be noted that the chain is directly and indirectly affected by currency markets. In the last months, when everyone has been following the US Federal Reserve, we have seen how a 1-point change in the developed country currency market affects the financial flow in the supply chain. Let’s look at the positive side, in our country, where inflation has not been accepted but interest rates have not been increased and the wheels continue to turn, the widely criticized monetary policy has perhaps mostly benefited the supply chains. The economy, which did not slow down with the increasing interest, prevented the chain from rusting. Yes, profitability has decreased, purchasing power has decreased, but the people and the labor market, who are accustomed to living with crises, did not lose hope as they saw that the operation continued.

Functioning supply chains continued our country’s hope of becoming a good alternative to the Far East. There is another phenomenon that supports this hope, which is the tendency to turn from globalization towards centralization. Yes, companies and countries cannot be expected to become localized all of a sudden in the globalized world, but at least it was felt that the supply sources need to be pulled closer even if the cost increased a little. In our country, the saying “We were once a self-sufficient country.” Has started to be remembered. The desire to return to localization seems to increase as cyclical fluctuations (pandemic, war, etc.) continue.

Artificial intelligence applications along the supply chain and the number of websites that offer solutions with this method have started to increase. Websites that offer what you can do, such as an interactive company website or a friend, have advanced enough to prepare the code of the desired software immediately and offer it for free within a few minutes. People will soon be able to give whatever they want in the form of voice commands. It’s hard to believe and maybe dangerous, but we have to be prepared for it.


Globelink Ünimar Receives Great Place to Work Certificate for the Second Time
February 17, 2023

Globelink Ünimar Receives Great Place to Work Certificate for the Second Time

Great Place to Work, one of the world’s leading

Gender Inequality is a Big Problem in the World
February 7, 2023

Gender Inequality is a Big Problem in the World

Emphasizing that the rate of women in employment is