Whether you’re directly involved in day-to-day supply chain operations or even someone that has no relation in the supply chain industry, everyone is impacted by the supply chain in one way or another.

It’s no secret that 2020-2021 saw significant volatility due to the pandemic, but things began to “normalize” the last couple of years, even though there will always be ebbs and flows in the supply chain.

Take a closer look as we detail some predicted trends that could shape the supply chain industry this year.

Trends This Year

Digitalization/Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to be talked about more and more. While some of the things A.I. can do is a bit freaking, it does offer lots of benefits for those in the supply chain industry. Some of those benefits include forecasting precision, optimizing workflows, and strengthening decision-making procedures. We talked about this topic in more detail in a recent blog, if you’d like to read more you can do so here.

Digitalization in the industry is likely to be seen even more this year. The shift towards digitization in supply chains is increasing, which can enable the implementation of IoT, blockchain, smart contracts, and other emerging technologies for improved connectivity and agility.

Emissions and Sustainability

More and more organizations are starting to discuss green supply chain patterns and sustainability efforts – many of which emphasizes carbon neutrality and reducing emissions. These conversations are expected to continue this year, even though some are taking more of a “wait and see” approach, S&P Global details.

Data Management and Analytics

Data, data, data. When effectively using data and analytics in the supply chain, organizations can help identify inefficiencies, reduce costs, improve customer service, and strengthen resilience and quickness when dealing with disruption.

When implementing data and analytic solutions in the supply chain you can use freight data to deliver operational efficiencies, optimize routes and port planning; reduce emissions and costs; improve inventory management solutions and the overall customer experience; advance predictive maintenance and optimize product performance, the ASCM notes.

Geopolitical Challenges

Roughly two years ago war began between Russia and Ukraine and has since continued. Moving into late last year, more geopolitical challenges occurred with conflict in the Middle East – specifically vessels being targeted in the Red Sea – starting. This impacted shippers that had/have shipments transiting the Suez Canal, as a vast majority of ocean carriers halted transits through that canal.

While it’s hard to say when these geopolitical challenges will end, and we certainly do not have the answers for that, it is likely that these geopolitical challenges will continue throughout part of this year, as many experts speculate.

Organizations are learning how to adapt on the fly and navigate disruption through effective risk management. This involves identifying and assessing both internal and external risks, having alternative options, and effectively communicating with stakeholders/customers about the importance of risk management.

Economy/Cost of Living

This is one that everyone has an opinion on because it can directly impact them. How well or not so well the economy is doing can impact what consumers decide to spend their money on. Which in turn can have companies weigh how much inventory they need for various goods. This also relates to the cost of living and what people are able to afford. Many are forgoing the more “fun” items such as material items and more focused on purchasing groceries, food, household supplies, etc.

Additionally, labor issues, softening freight demand, increased operating costs, and more, are impacting capacity maintenance and various transportation modes.

Looking Ahead

These trends reflect a shift towards more resilient, sustainable, and technologically advanced supply chains in response to the evolving demands of the global market in 2024.

Should you have any questions regarding this and how it could impact your shipments, please reach out to our team today.

Additionally, we have our weekly market updates that can provide you with relevant freight news, updates, developments across the industry, and more.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *