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Five trends in logistics, supply chain industry forecast for 2014

Jan. 3, 2014
In preparation for 2014, Freightgate announced five trends in the logistics and supply chain industry that will make companies more competitive and affect how they manage their supply chains.

In preparation for 2014, Freightgate announced five trends in the logistics and supply chain industry that will make companies more competitive and affect how they manage their supply chains.
Trend #1: Compliance continues to be a key issue in supply chain management—As businesses continue to expand internationally, organizations are increasingly putting their global supply chains and their reputations in the hands of neutral IT oversight spanning 3PLs, carriers, customs brokers, and suppliers. Supply chain compliance is now a vital component of logistics transactions and supplier relationships. In 2014, access to visibility and execution data will advance both supply chain conformity and transparency to help minimize and mitigate environmental, performance, process, and intellectual property risks.
Trend #2: Transportation management systems (TMS) will become more hyper-connected and analytical as global trade expands—TMS usage and sophistication have been increasing over the past couple of years, becoming more responsive and agile. Global TMS growth will continue to evolve to harness and encompass more business processes to provide both execution and analytical efficacy. Business planning and predictive analytics are now being integrated to allow both shippers and carriers to more efficiently monitor supply demand cycles with synchronization in their transportation planning and supply chain events. A more collaborative approach in capacity management with aligned financial rewards will materialize in 2014.
Trend #3: “Big data” improves global supply chain performance while quantifying risk—The ability to capture and analyze huge amounts of data regarding shipment and transportation events, as goods travel through supply chains worldwide, will continue to improve goal-setting and ascend in importance. Predictive analytics and business intelligence are becoming a decisive essential in developing supply chain strategies to improve effectiveness and efficiency of processes, and support innovation to enhanced logistics planning. The management of big data in 2014 will be the avant-garde underpinning for cost containment, capacity control, and risk management.
Trend #4: Centralized transportation management delivers improved spend control, decision-making, and bottom-line results—Reductions in transportation spend management in 2014 will be achieved by optimizing all aspects of business planning, vendor collaboration, carrier selection, and shipment logistics to centralized supply chain collaboration and decision-making. Transportation departments that once considered success as negotiating greater discounts from carriers will shift focus to a more comprehensive, synchronized spend strategy concentrating on smaller incremental reductions and performance opportunities as goods move between suppliers, factories, warehouses, distribution centers, and retailers across the entire logistics lifecycle. By breaking down silos and enabling a centralized holistic view to transportation management, overall net savings will be measured through reducing routing delays, improper documentation, poor collaboration, and greater in-transit inventory flexibility to changing retail trends.
Trend #5: Cloud-based embedded analytics will transform supply chain departments—World-class companies and service providers are forming interdepartmental steering groups to manage their logistics development and supply chain expansion. In 2014, increased demand for supply chain analysts will drive efficiency improvements of shipping processes and reallocating supply chain department resources to identify and focus on critical supply chain risk hotspots. Daily monitoring, sharing, linking, and interpreting supply chain analytics will be crucial. Logistics companies will continue to help shippers and carriers weed through terabytes of daily information to select the most useful components, and then use that information to formulate the best possible transportation decisions. Supply chain analytics will allow businesses to create useful key performance indicators (KPI) and incubate innovative ideas to successfully manage service levels and integrated relationships with their suppliers and customers.
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