Inbound Logistics | January 2024

appetite-suppressants tripled between 2020 to 2022. However, investors will still expect to see top performance from retailers. I expect to see continued innovation in the supply chain as retailers identify ways to introduce healthier options and maintain smaller stocking levels. Even if a company is known for a food product that constitutes most of their sales, you may also have consumers looking for healthier alternatives and smaller portions, and these must get to shelves as quickly. This may involve shipping smaller quantities of products not to a distribution center, but directly to a store. –Je” Pepperworth, President and CEO, iGPS Logistics As raw material costs and inflation soar, supply chain leaders will need to grow market responsiveness and competitive advantage with powerful workflows and best practices, strengthening every link in the retail supply chain. –Christophe Vanackère, CEO, Trace One Sraegc uply cai d si n With the dust settling from the challenges of recent years, companies are now ready to delve into strategic assessments to focus on long-term resilience and eciency. 2024 is the year of strategic supply chain design. The age of unlimited cheap suppliers has come to an end: Companies are recognizing the need to diversify and reevaluate their sourcing strategies. This shift prompts a critical examination of supply chain design technologies. –Donald Hicks, Founder, Optilogic

The era of smart, data-driven supply chains is here, reshaping the industry landscape. Digitization forms the bedrock of a digital supply chain, enabling technologies like IoT, AI, blockchain, smart contracts, and cloud-based solutions. The focus is on creating more connected, intelligent, scalable, customizable, and nimble digital supply networks, allowing organizations to adapt to dynamic market demands and reinforce supply chain resilience. –Douglas Kent, Executive Vice President, Corporate and Strategic Alliances, ASCM Bck o jst-i-tme We’re going back to just-in-the- nick-of-time. The narrative around a sustained paradigm shift in global supply chain strategy from just-in- time to just-in-case supply chains will prove to have been short-lived. Despite encouraging signs of progress in nearshoring, evidenced by Mexico surpassing China as the United States’ primary trading partner in 2023, the recalibration of global supply chains is a time-consuming and notably expensive process. Unless your competitors are making the same long-term investments in building resiliency, they can be dicult to justify even in the best of times, let alone the challenging competitive environment that has characterized most markets over the past two years. Therefore, don’t expect the global supply chain to be any more resilient to major shocks in 2024 than it was in the pre-COVID years. Hopefully we’ll just have fewer disruptions to contend with. – Chris Pickett, COO, Flock Freight

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and make informed decisions—leading to a more ecient, responsive, and adaptive supply chain. AIoT represents a paradigm shift, transforming planning, operations, and adaptability.

–Ranjay Kumar, VP, Data and AI Engineering, Powerfleet

Charge anxiety “Range anxiety” has transitioned to charge anxiety for many potential electric vehicle (EV) owners. The range for many EVs now exceeds 300 miles—more than adequate for most American drivers for more than one week— and several models can top 500 miles. But alas, at some point vehicles must be recharged. One study estimates the need for charging stations in the United States by 2030 to be more than 1.2 million units. And the existing network is notorious for a large percentage being out of order. The availability and uptime of public charging must be addressed in order to impact public perception and the pace of EV adoption. –Je” Smiley, Automotive and Industrial Products Industry Lead, North Highland GRI Most parcel shippers are familiar with the term GRI . While it stands for the innocuous- sounding, annual “general rate increase,” in reality, it’s an annual call for shippers to cough up more cash as carriers give themselves a GRI of their own—a “generous revenue increase.” All joking aside, prudent shippers should take a keen eye to parcel GRIs. The published, top-line annual figure can be misleading, as the true impact to shippers is often higher depending on their exact profile. And while the GRI figure published each year is 4.9%, 5.9%, or 6.9%, the compounding e”ect over 5 years means that from 2019 - 2024, list rates are up 31.9%. With UPS facing significantly higher labor costs following high-visibility negotiations with the Teamsters in 2023, shippers must stay vigilant and critically evaluate what lurks beneath the surface of parcel GRIs. –Micheal McDonagh, President of Parcel, AFS Logistics



January 2024 • Inbound Logistics 119

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