Inbound Logistics | January 2022

Last-mile innovation will have a positive impact on sustainability as well as on consumers and the bottom line for merchants. Look for partnerships, even among competitors. Trucks that might be only partially lled or even empty on a return trip can be full if businesses are willing to collaborate. This is not only more efcient for brands, LASTMILE LAYDOWN

Same-day delivery is coming—and the gig economy is making it a reality. The pandemic furthered the online delivery moment. More consumers showed an interest in two-day and same-delivery, spurring a flurry of last- mile delivery options to make this a reality. In 2022, same-day delivery interest will continue, with more carriers exploring shared driver and gig economy options to make this a reality. As carriers explore and test these new options, transparency and communication will be essential to long-term success. Mark Robinson President, UPS Capital Continuing intermodal collaboration will drive interoperability. Since the first days of intermodalism, collaboration, cooperation, and communication have been at its core. No one can operate within a silo; each intermodal stakeholder needs to work together to do its job. Over these past two years, the supply chain has relied on the collaborative relationship of the intermodal community to move freight like never before.

and moves goods more quickly, it lowers the carbon footprint for last-mile delivery. I expect to see more electric vehicles on the road as companies look to update their eets and try to meet their own carbon emission goals. I predict more innovation on returns, especially for apparel brands. Look for 360 videos at the purchase stage, AI wardrobe tting, and other innovations so customers are more likely to order the correct item on the rst try, eliminating the need for returns.

Laura Lough Fulllment and Logistics Partnership Director, Digital River

Today, intermodal shipment movement milestones are captured in disparate systems and subsequently, the data is not of the same quality throughout the journey. For example, the port system captures data about the shipment’s movement THE INTERMODALPLAY

within the port, the transporters capture and manage the milestones about which airline, vessel, or truck the shipment is in, and the customer creates and tracks the purchase order (PO). A signicant amount of data captured through these multiple systems could have manual inputs that are prone to error. This results in a broken visibility trail or delayed updates, increasing risk. Shipment milestone data of the future will be democratized through a common, high-quality data lake powered by product-level sensors. This will drive automated updates, accuracy, and timely capture of milestones for any shipment without relying on the supply chain actors.

Throughout the pandemic, it became increasingly common for competitors to become collaborators to keep the supply chain moving. We gained a new respect for the importance of sharing equipment and space, but most importantly, we learned the value of sharing information and data. Keeping our partners informed with updated and accurate information was the only way we could forecast and optimize our equipment, making sure it was at the right place at the right time. This planning was critical to keeping the cargo moving. Looking to 2022, this trend of building partnerships and putting supply chain fluidity ahead of personal goals will become more commonplace. Mike Wilson Chief Executive Officer Consolidated Chassis Management, LLC (CCM)

Sanjay Sharma CEO, Roambee

Carriers limiting their IPI (inland point intermodal) rail services was a big challenge for importers throughout 2021. It’s driving a resurgence in demand for transload and cross- dock services along the West Coast, and now on the East Coast—in places like Savannah and Norfolk. We expect this trend to accelerate through 2022 and into 2023. For many importers in the Midwest, transloading may simply be the only way to move international cargo to inland distribution centers. More importers are eyeing the East Coast for 2022. One driver is the fear of a West Coast labor strike. With vessel delays in southern California reaching record highs, any labor disruption could further erode conditions. Transit times from Asia to the East Coast may prove faster in 2022. We see importers, especially larger retailers, quickly increasing their East Coast distribution footprint. However, shippers need to act fast: Drayage and warehouse capacity in New York, Norfolk and Savannah is limited, so any plan to increase your East Coast footprint needs to be in place by the end of Q1 2022 before it is too late.

Michael Van Hagen Sr. Vice President, Supply Chain, World Distribution Services

158 Inbound Logistics • January 2022

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