Over the last few months, global supply chains have faced disruptions the likes of which most companies have never seen before.Coming off of a year where labor shortages, an e-commerce boom, a shrinking pool of truck drivers, and trade wars were among their biggest challenges, shippers had a whole new set of issues hurled at them in 2020.

Coming off an 11-year-long period of economic prosperity—and now re-imagining their business models for a post-COVID world—shippers are merging advanced technology tools with “lessons learned” to future-proof their supply chains. This leads to following trends taking place in today’s supply chain:

  • Global firms will diversify their supply chains in the future, instead of relying only on China. Manufacturing hubs such as Vietnam, Mexico and India are likely to benefit from that shift.
  • Decentralisation of manufacturing capacity, with companies looking to bring production home. This trend grew with the likes of automation and small batch production.
  • Traceability and serialization efforts to extend beyond pharmaceuticals and into fresh foods and other segments. For example, programs are being rolled out to match food service distributors with excess capacity food retailers and wholesalers that require additional resources.
  • Continued capacity strain on last-mile delivery services. As more people shop from home, the “last-mile” simply can’t be a black hole in the supply chain anymore. Companies are using mobility solutions to gain visibility into this critical area.
  • An accelerated push toward digital services and paperless processes. This is also opening the door for example for blockchain solutions for supply chain especially in areas that have held centralised governance models.
  • Re-imagining forecasting algorithms and the application of artificial intelligence (AI) to digitize inventory data. This trend accelerated when the global pandemic pushed the world’s supply chains and inventory stockpiles to their limits.
  • Renewed focus on frontline workers. Ensuring the health and continuity of the food supply chain has shifted focus to a new class of “essential” workers. As a result, supply chain security and workforce management are becoming ever more critical.

Interested to learn what this means for your business? Contact us!