Logistics and supply chain professionals had their hands full in 2021, and that certainly holds true for freight procurement. As the year comes to a close and we look forward to 2022, let’s look back at the year one last time, and what we learned:
The Supply Chain Was a Hot Topic, for All the Wrong Reasons
The supply chain received a huge share of headlines this year, but unfortunately, it was for mostly all the wrong reasons. The supply chain crisis dominated headlines, especially heading into the holiday season, as a lack of freight capacity and a labor shortage meant empty shelves nationwide. This caused shippers to develop new strategies to secure carriers on such short notice, including the use of AI to find the ideal compliant carrier, as they tried to mitigate rising transportation costs and non-transparent brokers. Look for such trends to continue into 2022 as the world still continues to wriggle out of this historic supply chain snarl-up.
The Impact of the Infrastructure Bill
After months of discussions and false dawns, the Biden administration’s infrastructure bill was passed in November, and there is a strong sense of optimism among the logistics industry that it will have positive impacts moving forward. Whether it’s roads and bridges or utilities in general, shippers and carriers are likely to see a much different infrastructure environment by the end of the next 10 years. That said, freight procurement teams should be bracing for short-term disruptions due to road construction and a labor shift from truck driving to construction.
Nearly Two Years Later, COVID Still Wreaks Havoc
The entire business world was hopeful that we would see a return to normal by the end of 2021, but unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. And now with the Omicron variant rapidly spreading, it appears as if it will still be a big issue in 2022 for both shippers and carriers, who have been on the frontlines of the pandemic since it started nearly 24 months ago. With no end in sight, shippers are actively seeking innovative ways to optimize or overhaul outdated supply chain processes so they stay afloat and persevere.