Top of mind heading into 2012 is finding ways and means to ride through an extended period of volatility. Diversification and expansion into new markets will be key as we continue to work through economic ups and downs.
We know from our experience of just three years ago that uncertainty manifests during turbulent times. So, how best to combat volatility? Ports, shipping lines and cargo owners all are working to expand their horizons. Diversifying target markets and tapping into emerging markets and niche markets is increasingly important. This requires careful and prudent financial management, as well as well-defined business goals to enable organizations to carry forward with strategic initiatives when extra dollars are hard to come by.
It’s also important to prepare one’s organization to handle constant change, particularly in an environment in which there is considerable doom and gloom. Similarly, managing stakeholder expectations takes on an even higher priority through periods of uncertainty, because it’s critical for stakeholders to understand what is happening and what the plan is to work together to get through the rough spots. I think the expression is something like “keep calm and carry on.”
While the state of the economy will be an ongoing issue through 2012, we need to roll with the ups and downs. This is the new norm. Continually investing in infrastructure, diversifying our target markets and thinking ahead are the keys to maintaining stability in this temperamental industry.