Inbound Logistics | January 2022



APPLY THE FREIGHT CONTAINER MODEL TO E-COMMERCE PACKAGING. The pressure to combat climate change is speeding the

UPSKILL YOUR WORKERS. The high turnover among truck drivers and warehouse workers will continue to strain supply chains in 2022. To ll the gaps left by the shortage and ensure your company is able to continue growing, focus on technology implementation, upskilling, and training. Warehouses and trucks are becoming more modern and automated, helping companies streamline operations and meet quotas despite high employee turnover. However, new technologies also require companies to focus on training existing employees and upskilling workers across the supply chain to efciently utilize various solutions. The focus on upskilling, and how technology like the cloud and automation can streamline distribution and manufacturing, will be huge in 2022. Companies would be smart to start talking about it today.

development of reusable packaging, and expanding it to new types of supply chains. Optimizing shipping routes to minimize carbon footprints will become common practice. Sustainable supply chains will build in ways to pick up corrugated material such as cardboard boxes and packing fillers like peanuts, and reuse them as many times as possible. There’s huge untapped potential in applying the freight container model to consumer packaging, where each unit is used countless times, maintained, and packed with products in highly optimized ways. Another model worth looking at is the thermobox that food delivery services use, which could be used as a modular industry standard across verticals. As public opinion accepts the need to cut emissions, even last-mile consumer deliveries will adopt recycled and reused packing materials, find ways to use less plastic, and match packing boxes more closely to the size of the item. Circular supply chains will also replace traditional linear operations. It will become accepted practice to offer pickup for items that have reached the end of their lifecycle, invite customers to return empty items for refill, and/or remove as much friction as possible from the process in cases where refill/reuse already exists.

15 Nike Polvinen CEO, Logmore

Joe Scioscia VP of Sales, VAI

CONSIDER RECURRING BUSINESS MODELS TO MITIGATE SUPPLY CHAIN ISSUES. The supply chain crisis is here to stay, and in order for businesses to survive long enough to see the light at the end of the tunnel, leaders must find ways to be creative and differentiate themselves from the competition. Companies, especially small businesses, that can expand beyond their core offerings and offer services, which by nature are not supply chain-reliant, will have the upper hand. Additionally, those who look to transform their business to a recurring model, offering subscription-based services and products, will be more resilient to supply chain disruptions with planned purchases and also capture market share left on the table from businesses that folded during the pandemic. Companies that are able to bill monthly or annually, and become less dependent on day-to-day sales of products and services, will win the supply chain game. Ultimately, businesses that are able to get creative with their offerings and figure out a recurring billing model will be less reliant on a volatile supply chain for cash flow in 2022.


DIVERSIFY SOURCING. Supply chain shortages will continue into 2022 and it will be crucial for companies to find ways to make their supply chains more resilient to keep up with consumer demand. Success and profit will come for companies taking new approaches. As ports try to keep up with international sourcing challenges, market participants will be expected to put more of an effort into supplier diversification and consider buying elsewhere from companies with greater capabilities. Providing multiple channels from which global companies can access goods and services is how we will see success in supporting rising consumer needs. Sean Elliott Chief Technology Officer/Chief Digital Officer Körber Supply Chain

Terence Cummings Vice President, Small Segment and Business Operations, Sage


INCREASE MODES AND SAFETY STOCK. Nearshoring may not be a long-term solution for many shippers who also have to consider the cost of opening new factories, retooling existing manufacturing sites, and nding a workforce ready to take on

the challenge. Given the difculty of executing this and the potential for further bottlenecks in the future, completely redesigning the supply chain takes more time and adds more complexity than many shippers are able to handle. A more productive approach in the long term is to take more control over the logistics process, look to alternative transportation modes, and hold more inventory.

Paul Pessutti—EVP & CRO,

232 Inbound Logistics • January 2022

Powered by