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I’ve worked as both an employee and a business owner in global logistics. I’ve seen a lot and I’ve learned a lot. When people ask me the secret to my success in global logistics, I always give the same answer: patience.
Honestly, there are lots of people who don’t like this answer, and it’s not because they think it’s not true. They know it’s true. But they think patience is something that’s really hard to develop. They’re wrong. You can cultivate patience by changing how you see your job.Let’s take a step back, though, and look at why patience is so crucial to success in the first place. The reason we need patience is simple: no matter….
The reason we need patience is simple: No matter how hard we prepare and how much we scrutinize each step in the process, problems still pop up. And the really crazy thing about the problems is that every time they seem to be ones we’ve never seen before.
You might be asking yourself why are there so many problems and why preventing them is impossible. But the big difference between logistics and other industries is the number of companies involved.
A basic list of companies involved in any single shipment is daunting. There’s:
- forwarding company in departing country
- forwarding company in receiving country
- trucking companies in both countries
- maybe rail, depending on where it’s going
- customs agents in both countries
- shipping line
To make matters even more confusing, these companies are spread out over multiple countries, cultures, languages, and time zones.
When I first started 4C Global Logistics, I was losing my mind over all of the small problems that occurred, and it seemed like new problems were occurring every day. Eventually I figured out that I didn’t need a way to avoid problems. I needed a way to deal with them. There was never going to be a foolproof method for getting shipments done.
What’s the key to success in global logistics?
So, what was my new insight into dealing with problems? In the end, I found it’s best to look at logistics as if it’s a game. If each new shipment is a new life in the game, each completed shipment gets you to the next level. By thinking of logistics as a game, problems become challenges. And what about patience? It develops naturally from this new way of seeing logistics.
The moment I made the decision to start looking at each problem as a challenge, things started to improve. And not only that, but my life got a lot less stressful, too. I no longer thought about giving up and selling the business every other week. I wanted to keep growing and expanding, finding new and exciting challenges and their solutions.
I want to be clear: I don’t mean you should take things lightly. Global logistics is a serious business, and our clients’ needs are of extreme importance to us. I do mean you can’t avoid problems in logistics just like you can’t avoid monsters or zombies or alien spaceships in a game. And worrying about when the next bad guy is going to pop up on the screen is no help at all. You win by staying ready, with your finger on the FIRE button.