Supply chains are under intense pressure as a result of the pandemic, according to the 2022 Third-Party Logistics Study published by NTT DATA, Penske Logistics and The Pennsylvania State University.
“As the world has rapidly shifted, investments in technology, infrastructure, transportation and recruiting are all key to the success of improving the supply chain of the future,” said Sylvie Thompson, vice president, consulting and supply chain practice for NTT DATA.
The study found the pandemic puts supply chain center stage. It highlighted “the downsides of just-in-time inventory, and the frustrations felt when raw materials and finished goods failed to arrive on time,” the authors reported.
Supply chains face intense pressure, including ongoing labor challenges. Shippers, for instance, reported they struggle with international transportation and logistics (43%); sourcing and procurement (30%); and manufacturing (24%).
Other areas of concern include labor and workforce management, manufacturing, and international transportation and logistics.
Environmental, social and governance has become a growing priority. Among corporations surveyed, 59% had a formal ESG program. Of those, 51% of their supply chains used an ESG program.
Technology and robotics are driving smarter, more agile supply chains, driven by 5G, real-time data transmission, Internet of Things and data analytics. For example, more than half of shippers and logistics providers stated that 5G technology is either moderately or critically important.
“Machines are uncovering large volumes of data that are very difficult for the human eye to catch, capture and distill,” said Andy Moses, senior vice president of sales and solutions for Penske Logistics. “Technology also allows for more visibility into the supply chain, which directly leads to better and more timely decision making.”