International and domestic markets focused on flexibility throughout 2021 to combat the tumult in production, transportation, energy prices, and international tensions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. For 2022, one core concept that companies should prioritize in order to handle supply chain headaches and uncertain quarterly forecasts is a focus on supply chain logistics and how a company can evolve to stay competitive.
Recap of 2021 Supply Chain Trends
In 2021, the biggest issue within the supply chain was unpredictability as it related to:
- Constantly changing mandates and demand trends
- Ongoing port congestion
- Staffing shortages in warehouses and distribution centers
- Weather- and natural disaster-related shutdowns
- Unavailability and delays of raw materials causing downstream implications
Uncertainty of this kind can change product and service costs and jeopardize your business. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, ocean freight prices moved over 72% from early 2020 through the third quarter of 2021 for international shipping. The Jan. 24, 2022, Thomas Index Report noted, “That 72 point shift in ocean freight pricing is notably higher than the 41 percentage point swing observed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.” Thomasnet.com saw a surge in demand, up by an average of 111% from the previous quarter, for ocean freight shipping.
Forecast for 2022 Supply Chain Trends
COVID-19 spurred an increased adoption of an already-booming eCommerce sector. Both demand and delay risks are high in 2022, which impacts every company’s relationship with its customers—whether the company is B2C or B2B. It’s impossible to predict all of the events that will affect your bottom line, but keeping an eye on current trends will help your company navigate logistics and customer expectations for the rest of the year and into the future. For 2022, expect an increased focus on:
- Speedy technological optimizations
- Network adaptability
Better logistics management will be all about closing any supply chain gaps so companies can plan, produce, finish, and ship product to end-users as quickly as possible. One partial solution is to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) tools. Automating processes can reduce turn times and free up human labor. The smart manufacturing advancements of Industry 4.0 are a collaborative approach across your supply chain to collect and analyze data and optimize processes based on real-time information. Turning to machine learning and smart software that can identify inefficiencies and trends will be central to your company’s success.
Proactive companies will utilize these findings to make changes that accelerate procedures within its supply chain. One way to do this is by forming comprehensive, streamlined distribution and transportation networks. Third- and fourth-party logistics will become even more vital to transportation networks so that companies can deliver products nationwide. This also emphasizes the importance of better middle- and last-mile management, or driver and route management plans, for those times when supply chain disruptions do occur.
Efficient shipping routes and fuel management will also help your company address sustainability concerns, a long-term focus that needs to be a part of your organization’s planning now. Government regulations, consumer demands for environmentally conscious services, rising energy costs, and climate change all weigh heavily on how industries generate and transport raw materials and finished goods throughout the market. Overall, evolutions in technology, networking, and sustainability with an emphasis on agility will help your company thrive in 2022.
Reliability of Technicon Acoustics, Inc.
At Technicon Acoustics, we pride ourselves on our innovation and adaptability. When the pandemic hit, rather than halt purchasing, we expanded our raw materials inventory. This allowed us to continue meeting customer needs for high-quality products, such as our shields, shield sleeves, damping foam, absorbers, barriers, and adhesive accessories for superior acoustic and thermal insulation.
For over four decades, we have worked with OEM organizations in North America to design, manufacture, test, and deliver American-based solutions for our customers. Our company is committed to 100% customer satisfaction, so we incorporate the latest logistics strategies. We supply domestic production for quick fulfillment times and customized options so we can meet the demands of our clients even during logistical delays and periods of supply chain instability.