Supply Chain Trends 2022: How to start a successful new year

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The year 2021 demanded a lot from both the logistics sector and manufacturing companies. Delivery times of bicycles amounted to months, the chip shortage ensured that cars and electrical devices could not be produced in the usual volume and many Christmas presents were sold out before the festive season had even begun. Thus, COVID19 and its consequences, the blockade of the Suez Canal and temporarily closed ports in China had a massive impact on global supply chains.

Supply Chain Trends 2022: How to start a successful new year
Photo: Wallpaper Flare

Hopefully, the situation will ease in springtime, but either way, companies can expect 2022 to hold more hurdles in store. Innovative solutions are therefore all the more necessary in order to successfully meet these challenges. The focus lies on sustainability, intelligent transport concepts, strong partner networks, transparency and the use of big data and AI. To keep you on track, we have gathered the most important supply chain trends for 2022:

1. Sustainability

With a share of more than 25 percent of global CO2 emissions, supply chain management is a crucial factor in the fight against climate change. On average, supply chain emissions are 5.5 times higher than a company’s direct emissions. This makes it even more important for companies to re-evaluate their supply chains and have a close look at traditional partners, methods and technologies to make their contribution to a greener future. This includes optimizing CO2 and energy consumption regarding transport processes and warehousing, taking delivery resources into account, especially for inner-city or last-mile orders, and optimizing route and load planning to use less congested routes and avoid empty runs.

In this way, companies not only contribute to climate protection, but can also score in terms of sales and customer loyalty. After all, more than 60 percent of customers are willing to pay an additional amount for sustainability, as the willingness to consume in a more environmental friendly way continues to grow.

2. Intelligent transport concepts

With the focus on sustainability, intelligent transport concepts such as combined transport are coming into play. According to the consultancy firm D-Fine, this can save between 63 and 90 percent of the CO2 emissions of a road transport with a Euro VI truck between locations. Rail is recommended for long cross-border transport routes, whereas the last mile is covered by truck. This requires efficient and strategically located transshipment terminals where containers or entire trailers can be reloaded. It is also important to simplify cross-border rail freight transport in order to shift more freight transports to rail.

Shipping is undergoing a transformation, too – decarbonisation is playing an increasingly important role. 150 companies, including global players such as BP and Maersk, have called on world leaders to work closely with the industry to drive decarbonisation.

3. Strong partner networks

Supply chains are complex, global and intermodal – each of these characteristics can lead to serious threats. Every single change in modality increases the risk for potential disruptions and delays that not only affect the company itself, but also all downstream sections of the supply chain. Companies should therefore intensify collaboration and ensure that all company departments and partners understand supply chain weak points and work together to counteract this scenario.

The approach of connecting all supply chain parties is equally crucial for the shipper and recipient of the goods as well as for the consignor and all contracted carriers in order to ensure an efficient exchange of information. This is where Synfioo’s solutions provide support and enable real-time monitoring of the entire supply chain for each individual transport modality. This facilitates the communication of all parties and ensures a flexible scope of action.

4. Transparency ensures resilience

A future-oriented supply chain acts as a dynamic loop that constantly re-adjusts based on generated data, and thus focuses on maximum transparency and data exchange. This ensures transparency for all supply chain parties as well as end customers. Therefore, companies must break down the silo mentality because the more communication and data exchange take place, the better decisions can be made. By having as much information as possible at an early stage, the consequences can be better assessed, and alternatives prepared. This is the only way to create more resilience in your own supply chain in the long term.

5. Big Data and AI

In order to achieve more transparency and thus resilience, the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning is crucial. For all levels of supply chains, a large amount of structured and unstructured data is generated, which goes far beyond the data volumes of classic ERP systems. Machine learning algorithms are predestined to process, analyze and forecast these amounts. At Synfioo, we combine transport-based data with location information as well as over 70 external sources of disruption and calculate precise Estimated-Time-of-Arrival forecasts. Hence, companies can monitor all transport movements on one platform, which is designed for all common end devices. With this considerable knowledge boost, they optimally coordinate transport and planning processes and avoid major financial losses due to delayed transports.

With these five trends and the corresponding measures, companies and logistics service providers alike will successfully start into the new year.

Photo: Wallpaper Flare

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