Inbound Logistics | January 2022


Supply chain officers are not in the back row anymore. Pre-COVID, presentations from the chief supply chain officer (CSCO) to leadership may have been scheduled as a courtesy, right before lunch. Now the CSCO is a VIP at every meeting. CSCOs are changing strategies in real time, including:

Global supply chains should be strategic, a business enabler, a revenue driver and a di fferentiator. In 2022 , more organizations wi l l attain incredible value from harmonizing data across ecosystem partners and applying analytics. Data-driven insights wi l l serve as a basis for intel l igent decision making and prompt actionable management decisions. By introducing best practices and technologies from other industries l ike scenario model ing, AI/ML and digital twins, the supply chain of the future wi l l be transparent , agi le, resi l ient and responsive on a global scale.

• Dual sourcing and dual tooling • Routing container ships to other ports of entry • Off-loading container contents at the port • Just-in-time inventory has been abandoned and companies will continue to stockpile through 2022 • Move product sourcing for those with low margins but require a large amount of container space Longer-term, companies are implementing supply chain management solutions that can bring the entire supply chain into view by connecting to sourcing partners.

Clayton Nicholas Founder and CEO Vibronyx

Mark Fagan Global Leader, Manufacturing and Distribution, Moore Global Partner, Citrin Cooperman


In 2022 we’ll see more companies stockpile inventories to adjust to the overall supply chain shortage. We already see a boom with construction of new warehouses. A lot of companies were utilizing third-party warehouses to cross-dock lower levels of inventory. Now many are building their own warehouses and distribution centers across the country. The other piece of this boom is the demand for e-commerce. In the past, companies would ship to retail locations very quickly after products were manufactured. Now they ship to DCs, where they are warehoused until the consumer orders online.

Get ready for a surge in warehouse robotics in the coming year. Major supply chains have already started deploying robotics to speed and improve accuracy in retail fulfillment. Mobile and collaborative robots working alongside humans can help organizations overcome staffing complexities, latency issues, and workplace safety concerns. Order picking can account for over half of staff costs. By deploying robotics to reduce labor and fulfillment latency, warehouse operators can harness time saved to focus on other areas of improvement such as warehouse workflow enhancement. Warehouse robotics adoption will also start ramping up due to reduction in costs of robots. More robotics vendors are now adopting subscription-based models and are providing a wall-to-wall robotics- as-a-service offering that allows warehouse operators to avoid large up-front costs and enjoy streamlined implementation.

Tyler J. Wiard Director of Business Development Candor Expedite

Expect buildings to be retrofitted or designed to have the proper specifications

needed to accommodate investments in automation technologies such as robotics for package handling and driverless trucks. The average clear height for new big box warehouses has already increased by 23% to 37 feet since 2000, notes a Savills report. Assume that heights will grow as robotics advancements allow tenants to leverage vertical storage.

Gregg Healy Head, Industrial Practice Group Savills

Adhish Luitel Industry Analyst, ABI Research

156 Inbound Logistics • January 2022

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