Logistics and warehousing industry trends that impacted 2021

Logistics and warehousing industry trends that impacted 2021

Through over 30 years of experience in delivering first-class supply chain solutions, IFC Global Logistics and Warehousing have developed an in-depth knowledge of industry trends. As we enter the New Year, IFC has taken the time to reflect on some of the movements that impacted 2021 and how the team responded.

Increased parcel movements

2021 saw an increased number of parcel movements, primarily due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, which saw Australian states enter and exit periodic lockdowns, forcing retail stores to close. Australia Post reported more than a 20% increase in online shopping compared to the previous year, with 9.2 million households purchasing goods online in the last 12 months.

Such an increase was well received by IFC, who offered consistent e-commerce deliveries to customers thanks to innovative models such as Same Day Delivery, which supports FMCG businesses in offering accelerated delivery for metropolitan areas. The success of such models is largely thanks to IFC’s expertly implemented Business Continuity Plan, which helped the brand successfully navigate the pandemic through extensive research, meticulous planning, and proactive activation.

Demand for cold chain logistics

In 2021, an increased demand was demonstrated for cold chain logistics due to requests for Australian agricultural products from other countries, including China, Japan and New Zealand. In fact, a reported 75% of Australian beef and veal is exported, along with 73% of mutton and lamb.

IFC understands that the food and beverage industry requires strict attention to detail and an understanding of food safety standards throughout the entire supply chain. In 2021, the business expanded on its offering of advanced climate control equipment to monitor and maintain perishable, fragile, and sensitive products and continued to provide HACCP accredited warehousing and distribution facilities to handle food and beverage products safely.

Container prices rise

2021 saw dramatic increases in container prices on ocean freight services. The Australian Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission reported that 40-foot shipping containers between Australia and China alone saw a 300% rise. This increase has been attributed to the rise in goods being imported and exported to both countries due to the pandemic.

As a result, IFC was required to continue negotiating with their wide range of partners and carriers to ensure that customers received the best rates possible. Similarly, the team offered air freight services as an alternative, with complete management of the process to ensure that customers were aware of any changes.

IFC looks forward to continuing to provide expert international supply chain solutions into 2022, with a complete service offering of freight forwarding, global 3PL logistics, warehousing, distribution and technology solutions. Contact the team to learn how we could assist you with a custom solution today.

The IFC Supply Chain Approach

The IFC Supply Chain Approach

IFC Global Logistics & Warehousing has delivered first-class supply chain solutions to Australian businesses for over 30 years. Throughout this time, the IFC team have developed a unique approach to supply chain management that aims to provide customers with services that reflect today’s complex international business environment. Both consultative and customisable, this approach assists in minimising costs and overall time to market.

  1. Consultation

The first important step in the IFC Supply Chain Approach is to discuss your logistics objectives to customise a supply chain solution. As IFC is qualified to manage our customer’s entire supply chain, initial discussions ensure a seamless process without time-consuming cooperation between varying service providers throughout the supply chain journey. The operational and strategic advantage of this full-service offering for our customers is the transparency of information, which IFC establishes from the very first conversation.

  1. Technology integration

After a thorough discussion, the implementation of the chosen supply chain process begins. To assist in the easy transfer of information and tracking, each client’s system is integrated into IFC’s in-house, multi-award-winning IT platform from Cloud Logistics Solutions. This platform ensures complete supply chain visibility across the whole

spectrum of logistics partners using collaborative online tools.

  1. Importing

After the IT integration is complete, the IFC logistics division will begin the supply chain process by importing inventory from our client’s suppliers to our national 3PL warehouses. Throughout this phase, IFC’s responsibility is to negotiate with carriers to provide the best route via sea, land, or air freight through price, speed, and reliability considerations.

  1. Warehousing

Once arriving at our network of dedicated and shared warehousing facilities, the IFC team will begin to provide the clients chosen value-added services to ensure that goods are prepared for delivery. These services may include FIFO/FEFE control, picking and packing or quality assurance and management, alongside the standard offering of WMS/TMS integration and AQIS inspections.

  1. Distribution

The final step in the IFC Supply Chain Approach is for the distribution team to take care of seamless national delivery. IFC has options suitable for eCommerce retailers who ship directly to customers or retailers requiring stock delivered to stores, with multi-carrier integration and end-to-end track and traceability. What’s more, clients can also benefit from expert reverse logistics services to minimise waiting times for both the manufacturer and customer.

Learn more about IFC’s full-service logistics and warehousing solutions on our website, or contact the team to learn how we could assist you in developing a customised solution.

IFC’s commitment to sustainability

IFC’s commitment to sustainability

IFC Global Logistics and Warehousing (IFC) is Australia’s trusted global supply chain solutions provider. As an Australian owned and operated leading international freight logistics and warehousing company, IFC has delivered first-class supply chain solutions for over 30 years.

Our team recognises that corporate social responsibility is a company’s ongoing commitment to act ethically and contribute to the community’s economic development while improving the workforce and communities’ quality of life. As a corporate citizen, IFC is committed to operating as an industry leader in this area, with various environment and community support programmes in the works.

IFC understands the value of the natural environment and our obligation to reduce its impact. We are committed to following all applicable regulatory standards and, where possible, utilising techniques that minimise resource use.

One of IFC’s key objectives is a waste management system, which includes a recycling programme focused on reusing paper, cardboard, and plastics. This procedure comprises sorting waste on-site to identify recyclable material and reduce waste sent to landfills, thanks to a relationship with a local service provider. This approach helps IFC meet its annual waste-reduction goals and reduce the statistic that 95% of plastic packaging, or the equivalent of $120 billion annually, is wasted after the first use.

Similarly, IFC has opted to reduce our electricity usage at our Melbourne and Sydney warehouses through the installation of solar panels. In Melbourne alone, a system of 320 panels have been installed to produce 99.8 kWh of energy, covering approximately 50% of the daily business usage. Moreover, IFC has replaced all warehouse, and office lighting with energy-saving LED devices which decrease overall use and further reduce our overall carbon footprint, which otherwise contributes to nine out of ten people worldwide breathing polluted air.

Transparency is essential to achieving true sustainability. As such, IFC plans to continue to communicate with our customers and the public about the current and future initiatives that relate to the environment in which we operate. We aim to lead with sustainable practices not to achieve a competitive advantage but because we believe in proactive actions that make a difference.

A Rapid Supply Chain Solution for a National eCommerce Client 

A Rapid Supply Chain Solution for a National eCommerce Client 

IFC Global Logistics and Warehousing (IFC) is Australia’s trusted provider of global supply chain solutions. With experience in delivering first-class supply chain solutions for over 30 years, IFC was a well-known eCommerce retailers trusted choice for third party logistics services.

The Challenge

The significant challenge our client faced in their endeavour to deliver orders within a four-hour time frame was sourcing a reliable third-party logistics provider who could help them deliver their ambitious goal. The approach required the experience of a freight logistics and warehousing company to be capable of scaling at speed, in the face of ever-increasing demand. IFC stepped up to the challenge and offered a customised solution which significantly reduced delivery time to market for the retailer by implementing processes that meet the key performance expectations in productivity, costs, and service.

The Solution

 IFC were able to directly integrate with the client’s own ERP System and website, resulting in delivering a complex national distribution system with ease. Hundreds of orders flow daily from the client’s ERP system into IFC’s Manhattan Scale Warehouse Management System across five distribution centres across the country, made possible by IFC’s extensive storage capabilities domestically.

The orders are immediately picked and prepared for drivers to collect within the hour and then delivered according to the online customers’ preferred delivery times (anytime between 10am and 8pm).

As part of IFC’s full solution approach, integrated value-added services are also provided, including a live WMS access and reporting, SSCC and EDI management, batch and expiry management, reverse logistics, and quality control to ensure the most effective full-service distribution solution. To ensure consistency in maintaining high service levels, weekly operation meetings are held with key account managers and stakeholders to ensure the effective planning, visibility, and execution of logistical requirements – especially for sales and marketing events.

The Results

 In partnership with IFC, our client gained a partner that shared its vision to grow and enhance customer experience and understood the prominent role that supply chain logistics would play in achieving this vision. Through best-in-class design tools, processes, and systems, IFC helped the retailer achieve their ambitious goal of four-hour delivery across Australia with a consistent 99+% on-time in-full success rate. This success has seen our client be positioned as an industry leader in the eCommerce space.

Download Case Study

A guide to value-added warehousing and distribution services

A guide to value-added warehousing and distribution services

IFC Global Logistics and Warehousing (IFC) is Australia’s trusted provider of international supply chain solutions. As an Australian-owned and operated leading international freight logistics and warehousing company, the business has been delivering first-class supply chain solutions for over 30 years and is uniquely positioned to offer a customised, end-to-end solutions.

Through this holistic approach, IFC can minimise costs and reduce time to market for its customers.

IFC offers a full range of supply chain management services, including freight forwarding, customs brokerage, warehousing and consulting services, supported by award winning logistics technology. Our comprehensive range of solutions provide value and drive efficiency to streamline the supply chain process.

With strategically located 3PL facilities across Australia, IFC is fully equipped to provide solutions that can be completely customised with a range of value-added services covering consolidation, storage, and distribution.

Specifically, these include:

  • Live WMS dashboard access and reporting
    Clear, real-time information regarding the progress of all operational activities – at any given time via a dashboard – is a tool that is much valued by our clients.
  • ERP, Website and WMS/TMS integration
    We can offer our clients a complete end-to-end integration from their websites and ERP systems to our warehouse and transport management systems. We currently integrate with web-based platforms such as Shopify, as well as ERP systems such as SAP and Netsuite, for a seamless flow of information crucial for any efficient supply chain operation.
  • Batch and serial number management and FEFO/FIFO control
    Our HACCP, Organic and ISO accredited sites are well experience in managing the needs of clients within the food, pharma, and homeware sectors. We customise our picking logic via our WMS to suit our client’s needs – especially for all the grocery and retail channels.
  • National e-parcel services
    For businesses that operate in the e-commerce space, shipping direct from the warehouse to the customer must follow a speedy and efficient process, with instant end-to-end track and traceability.
  • Re-packaging, labelling, kitting
    Upon receiving shipments, customers may wish us to re-package, assemble, label or rework their goods before sending them to their destination.
  • Quality inspections
    Quality management is essential in ensuring that customers receive goods that are up to the set standard. In the warehouse, both quality control and quality assurance processes are crucial.
  • Reverse logistics and returns management
    When a business or customer needs to return a good to the supplier, an efficient reverse logistics process minimises waiting times for both parties.
  • SSCC scanning
    Serial Shipping Container Codes are used on all units within the import and export process, from pallets to parcels. This code is essential in the simple identification and location of goods and enables features such as customer tracking.

Get in touch for more information on IFC’s value added services or to discuss a tailored supply chain solution.

The benefits of implementing a cloud logistics solution

The benefits of implementing a cloud logistics solution

Implementing a cloud-based logistics tool is an essential process that IFC Global Logistics & Warehousing (IFC) encourages any business that operates under an import or exported goods model to use. IFC’s in-house, multi award winning software division, Cloud Logistics Solutions (CLS), is leading the way in cloud-based logistics solutions enabling IFC with a new collaborative and innovative online software called Cloud Supply Chain (CSC) offering complete visibility across the supply chain management process.

CSC is a sophisticated IT software system designed for logistics management that IFC have implemented to deliver on the essential need from clients for real-time logistics information, and value-added services that provide and strengthen global competitiveness. Removing the need for operators to determine what is essential and allowing a system to present critical action data is the fundamental approach CLS has employed. Key features of the CSC system include real-time data transparency of logistics moments, KPI and performance metrics, and logistics data management for end-to-end supply chain visability.

The benefits of implementing a cloud-based logistics solution using CSC include:

Information sharing
Enable the free flow of information from your ERP, eCommerce platform, purchasing and inventory or other key systems through integrations. Having disparate systems often challenges the most efficient firms in ensuring the right team members can see the right data. CSC aggregates data, presenting live information dashboards aligned with logistics stages and functional roles serving your team members with actionable insights and data to make more effective decisions.

User-centric design

Implementing new systems and tools does not mean you need months of training. CSC has been designed with logistics users in mind by using international logistics standards, and supply chain insights for customer centric decision making. Accessible in your web browser, live tiles with trending data identify what needs action, while providing executive team members with a complete logistics snapshot without needing to generate a report.

Improve your customers experience

With customer expectations ever increasing, the challenge is to stay ahead of the pack.The real time architecture of CSC allows you to see the details of an eCommerce order fulfilment process. Integrate moments, or allow your Customer Service team to view via CSC, if an order has been received, picked, packed, dispatched, and even delivered.

Need something customised?

We understand that sometimes, one size does not fit all. To address this, the CLS team activate a consultative engagement with you and IFC to understand the uniqueness of the problem you are trying to solve. Using this knowledge, customisations can be developed and deployed to our platform that you can access.

High availability by design.

To keep your data available, the CSC architecture is designed to minimise single points of failure. Hosted in an enterprise Australian datacentre on dedicated cloud infrastructure and monitored 24×7, CLS has invested in a multi-node architecture, essential service redundancy, and multi-medium backups. Our user based identification and controls keeps your data secure and accessible to those who are authorised to see it.

To learn more about how Cloud Supply Chain can provide you with competitive advantage in logistics, Contact IFC for a demonstration of how our clients are taking logistics to the next level. 

Industry Update  6th August 2021

Industry Update 6th August 2021

Download the attached PDF for full details.

Download Industry Update 6th August 2021



  • Patrick Terminals – introduction of a Weight Amendment Fee at East Swanson Dock
  • Italy Summer Holiday Season Notice
  • LCL Slot Booking Fee 
  • Empty Container parks – Melbourne
  • 2021-22 Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) seasonal measures
  • Peak Season Surcharge (PSS) from China, Hong, Taiwan, Korea & Japan to Australia and New Zealand Effective 15th August 2021
  • General Rate Increase (GRI) from China, Hong, Taiwan, Korea & Japan to Australia and New Zealand Effective 1st September 2021
  • General Rate Increase (GRI) from South East Asia, South Asia, India Sub Continent and Middle East Gulf to Australia and New Zealand Effective 8th August 2021
  • General Rate Increase (GRI) from South Africa to Australia & New Zealand Effective 8th August 2021
  • Emergency Intermodal Surcharge (EIS) – USA/Canada East Coast/Gulf Coast


An innovative Supply Chain Model for Total Tools

An innovative Supply Chain Model for Total Tools

IFC Global Logistics and Warehousing (IFC), through providing an end-to-end logistics solution to Australia’s largest independent professional tools retailer, Total Tools, identified numerous challenges impacting the overall efficiency of product delivery in the traditional Ready-to-Store international supply chain model.


This model, which comprised shipping full containers and less than full containers shipped from individual vendors in Shanghai, Taiwan, Italy, India and USA for cross docking in a single Melbourne-based warehouse before national distribution, presented several issues.

The Challenge

Shipping costs were high due to under-utilisation of containers because volume from each individual vendor was not high enough. The Total Tools network was growing rapidly across Australia, significantly increasing the need to linehaul bulky freight across Australia from the Melbourne warehouse. Pallets to stores were under-utilised because shipments from individual vendors were not able to be cross docked together. As a result, transport charges were increasing significantly as a percentage of sales. Establishment of multiple interstate distribution centres to mitigate additional linehaul cost was not justified at the time.

Leadtime to process containers in Melbourne plus cross dock bottlenecks in the Melbourne warehouse resulted in delays in speed to market. Warehouse labour costs were overspent as additional resource was allocated in an attempt to solve bottlenecks. All of the these issues necessitated immediate action to be taken to ensure sales losses were minimised and logistic expenses were brought into line.

The Solution

To overcome these issues, IFC in collaboration with Total Tools, developed an innovative new Direct-to-Store model that moved processing and consolidation to an offshore location in Shanghai. From this location, store-ready palletised orders were directly shipped to each Australian state for immediate transportation to store.

The necessity for a fast-paced efficient supply chain system was especially relevant during 2020 when the Covid19 pandemic drastically impacted Chinese production facilities. Most Australian retailers were forced to cancel or postpone orders due to closed manufacturers or limited available space on cargo ships and planes due to a sharp increase in demand for imported goods.

While those operating under the Ready-to-Store shipping model were compromised, Total Tools were able to leverage $20million of stock that was held in their offshore consolidation warehouse. As fulfilment work was considered essential across the globe, packing and shipping of orders were permitted to continue with containers directly shipped to Australian states that were best placed to quickly process orders with consideration for locked-down local areas.

The Results

The transition to this solution resulted in establishing a regular flow of stock to stores and a 25% reduction in logistic costs.

As a result of shifting from a ‘just in time’ inventory model, production lead times were vastly improved as goods are delivered to the distribution centre three months in advance. This allows for better marketing functions, with promotion and sales planning guided by instantly available stock. Likewise, the stock ordering process for stores was simplified, with an on-demand ordering system implemented through electronic data interchange.

“IFC Global Logistics and Warehousing’s innovative new supply chain model improved speed to market, reduced supply chain costs and increased Total Tools’ capability during 2020 to combat the challenges presented by Covid19.”

– Ross Matthews,GM of Supply Chain Total Tools

Download Case Study

Australian 3PL            Third Party Logistics            International Freight Supply Chain Management            Award-winning Custom IT Solutions

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons