What’s ahead for trucking companies in 2022

Learn about the latest trends and best practices in supply chain management for 2022 and beyond.

Trucking companies, transportation managers, and their clients have many trends and growing best practices to review as they seek ways to manage their companies successfully in 2022 and beyond.

First and foremost, managing supply chain risk is at the top of everyone’s mind. Those who have discovered single points of failure within their supply chains will continue to seek options for building supply chain nodes (suppliers, production facilities, and distribution centers) and explore the best transportation modes and product and freight flow paths.

Overall, supply chain design will remain essential to reducing dependencies and understanding and assessing the tradeoffs between the costs of labor, inventory, transportation, and carbon footprint.

Supply chain leaders will continue to rely on real-time data to break down silos across the entire value chain, control cost centers, measure performance, address procedural gaps, improve decision making, and boost overall team and company performance.

Companies will continue to strive for supply chain visibility to gain valuable insights into transportation costs and overall performance and enable customers to track their orders in real-time. A stream of high-quality data is helping to improve business intelligence and lets transportation managers make smarter data-driven decisions to cut costs further.

But with all the change and disruption over the last two years, many companies will need to move from annual to more-frequent supply chain design efforts that let them quickly tackle disruptions and take advantage of opportunities. And while pivoting to shorter, smarter supply chains will help some companies with regionalization and near-shoring, the move can only be accomplished over several years and can be quite capital intensive. Companies may also opt to use supply chain design centers of excellence as a strategic tool for frequent assessments and executing on design decisions.

Data and technology like augmented intelligence continue to gain ground, helping companies prepare for various scenarios. And while digital transformation continues apace for long-term growth and profitability, some companies must start from scratch.

Meanwhile, cybersecurity and data protection remain top of mind for companies whose discerning customers question how they share their data and sensitive information. Prompted by demand for last-mile logistics and ongoing labor shortages, automation is quickly gaining ground—especially in warehouses, where robots with sufficient dexterity provide human assistance.

On the financial side–to help suppliers remain liquid and ensure business continuity–some companies are exploring supply chain finance. Organizations that make timely payments to suppliers gain loyalty and ensure supplier liquidity and business continuity, as they get prioritized allocation of resources in case of short supply. The trend towards supply chain collaboration amongst partners is also gaining ground, ensuring better supply chain integration and competitive advantage.

Many companies also decide to identify a crisis management team, document criteria to determine whether a crisis has occurred, establish a monitoring system to detect early warning of a potential crisis, and regularly test and update their crisis management plans.

With all the supply chain issues and best practices to consider, transportation managers will succeed if they can make significant changes this year. Make sure you are ready to take advantage of opportunities in 2022. Take a look at the trends that are likely to challenge you in 2022, as well as where you’ll find opportunities for increased profitability.

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