It’s no secret that the supply chain has been affected over the past few years, and this year hasn’t started any differently. New predictions show that many industries, especially those in technology, are among the top affected in the world.
But what is the future of the supply chain climate, and what can you expect for your business? Read on to learn about the supply chain issues, the predicted trends, and how to set yourself up for success in the coming years.
The Future of Supply Chain Issues
Due to the global pandemic and the effects on production worldwide, companies have been affected by this supply chain disruption. Manufacturers and distributors haven’t been able to produce as many products as they did pre-pandemic because of common industry-wide issues like worker shortages and a lack of materials.
The supply industry has felt this issue particularly hard due to a shortage of truckers and significant backlogs in ports. But as the global economy struggles to regulate, it’s becoming evident that these disruptions to the supply chain aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Because of border controls, mobility restrictions, and increased consumer demand, supply chain management has faced the perfect storm of balancing delivery times, increases in products and gas for their vehicles, and frustrated customers who want pre-pandemic timelines met. It’s like playing a game of catch-up, trying to avoid costly bottlenecks and congestion with competitors while also streamlining processes and pathways by land and sea.
It’s important to note that one thing that has not slowed down is the demand consumers have for deliverable goods. However, many of these goods are in short supply, and the freight costs of these items have skyrocketed. When you add this issue to reduced drivers and increased gas prices, the result is higher prices on store shelves and frustrated shoppers.
Are Current Freight Trends the New Normal?
For a few years now, supply chain disruptions, cross-dock concerns, port entry congestion, and product shortages have been ongoing. It can be hard to imagine if these trends will continue, worsen, or finally get back to normal when you look forward to the rest of the year.
Experts stated at the end of 2021 that things would continue in a downward spiral and that there were no signs of relief to the supply chain. Experts predicted disrupted logistics, delayed production, companies doubling down on technology, and the prices of essential commodities would increase.
Unfortunately, for now, it doesn’t look like anything will be changing anytime soon. But there are some excellent steps the industry is taking to help adjust to these current trends and help pave a new pathway towards success.
Supply Chain and Shipping Freight Trends for 2022
The supply chain is central to the survival of businesses but also plays a significant role in their success and affects their costs. These are the top trends you can expect regarding the future of the supply chain.
As supply chain issues continue to change, it is becoming increasingly evident how adaptable everyone involved is each step of the way. With disruptions expected to continue with cargo ships, driver and labor shortages, and an imbalance of supply and demand, this adaptability is crucial to success.
Supply chain companies need to balance local and off-shore strategies to encourage more of this resilience. It’s beneficial to continue identifying the best options to reduce dependency on suppliers overseas and invest instead in local warehouse opportunities.
When inventory optimization strategies are in place, supply chain management will make decisions more effectively that will benefit their organization. For example, collaborating and increasing business with local suppliers, implementing domestic drayage, and boosting logistics will help not only your business but your customers as well.
Over the past few years, topics like climate change, economic struggles, and finding ways to create a more sustainable supply chain have all been significant business priorities. However, the center of this topic is the supply chain and how it is both a contributor to the problem and a great place to take action to fix it.
But there is some grey area regarding making freight more sustainable, mainly because the mission statement and the follow-through didn’t always match up. To avoid this, it’s vital to maintain visibility on how you’re sourcing your products and the process in how they get from start to finish.
If you can’t identify all the steps in your current supply chain process, you won’t be able to measure if it’s performing poorly. To better your business and meet your goals, you need to understand the whole process and why things have taken a turn for the worse.
One of your primary business goals for 2022 should be to improve your process’s transparency, collect reviews, and comprehend what is happening at each step of the supply chain process. In today’s online business platform, you have access to immense amounts of data. Use that data to determine how to best move forward to improve your business performance and create a better user experience.
Every industry is ramping up technology and web presence to understand people, products, and assets better, and each step of the supply chain is no different. Improving your technology can help you automate certain decisions and processes to save you time and money.
Smart and top-performing businesses utilize predictive analytics to make more informed decisions in real-time and create business models that can easily adjust to industry fluctuations. Implementing technology can also alleviate any potential workforce shortages and even increase the retention of current employees by lessening their workload.
The Future of Supply Chain
While things may look a little bleak currently, there is a silver lining to all the disruptions to the supply chain over the past few years. Because of these issues, businesses have started coming up with new, revolutionary ideas that are helping to improve the supply chain at every turn, and staying up to date with current industry news can help you stay on top of the future of the supply chain.
It’s easy to be discouraged when things don’t go according to plan. Still, the most successful business will take these challenges as an opportunity to better their shipping processes and improve how they do business. Contact us for more information about our local services.