What are the Top Supply Chain Trends for 2024?

Supply chain management trends have reshaped the structure of supply chain. They help in handling big data and analytics. Freight forwarders need trends supply chain for better supply chain management.‍

The supply chain may face many trends but one thing is certain. These trends can reshape the supply chain for good. The trends of supply chain management are not always temporary. They may have the ability to stay for a while longer than expected or permanently. You would feel the impacts of these trends immediately. They have improved the way you interact with your customers. Daily quick responses, higher supply chain visibility and transparency of data are some of their perks. Also, data can be easily traced utilizing these trends. For starters, you must develop an understanding of these trends. They can be either related to AI or fleet transformation. 

1-How digital supply chain trends help freight forwarders?

Knowing about supply chain management trends is one thing and implementing them is another. The freight forwarding industry has always been on the sidelines but impart a huge impact on supply chain and logistics handling. It has always adapted to innovations for the past several years. But is that the only reason of its success? When you analyze the trends supply chain, everything becomes apparent. You need these trends in almost every aspect of freight forwarding. For instance, technology has taken its roots in the industry. You do not have to wait several hours just to get a single task done. Automation of tasks was able to reduce labor costs and utility costs. Moreover, digital transformation made task management easier. You may have noticed how COVID-19 influenced the supply chain. Problems emerged on a bigger scale. But the freight industry remained rigid in such difficult times. All thanks to the present trends at that time. Development of  freight forwarding software is a huge step into the future. Software helps you to have better communication and faster service. Receiving thousands of invoices on a daily basis can be a hectic process. Software swiftly processes all your billing receipts and manages these invoices for you. Furthermore, these digital supply chain trends also play a significant role in improving your freight forwarding process.  

2-What are the supply chain management trends in 2024?

At present, there are several emerging trends in the freight industry. From the indulgence of AI technology to the critical role of data and analytics. These trends help to modify the way freight forwarders operate.

A. Generative AI

AI (Artificial intelligence) is not an unfamiliar term in this day and age. You must be aware of its benefits. Although, generative AI might seem to puzzle you. This term is a branch of AI that deals with supply chain management. Softwares operating with GenAI can process big data and analytics and analyzes difficult parameters. GenAI is known to self-teach and self-learn which is a truly remarkable trait. It learns all the mishaps happening in the supply chain system and memorizes them. This helps it to refine and improve its analysis abilities. GenAI creates a balanced workflow. It helps in procurement and connects you with regulatory bodies. It also improves the overall productivity of your business. Combining freight forwarding software with GenAI enhances customer experience. It provides virtual assistants that generate quick responses and manage daily inquires. Therefore, you must enlist all the possible areas that can be operated through AI.

B. No-touch plan

The supply chain faces many problems as the flow of sites and partners grow with time. Focusing mainly on rigidity and ESG may also disrupt supply chain planning. It is impossible to meet the needs of such complex world with the present planning abilities. Digital supply chain trends help eliminate these problems. One of the trends include AI powered S&OP and IBP. These trends have broken the barrier between supply chain planning and implementation. No-touch plan automates all the manual tasks from the process and uses advanced analytics to answer complex questions. It ensures that the chances of human intervention are reduced.  Digital transformation infused with AI creates a better analysis of data. It studies the patterns that are causing disruptions in your business and suggest their solutions. Low touch planning technology works like an airport control tower. It also has a better version called cognitive decision center. This version uses digital twins to make things more predictable. Trends supply chain help generate higher revenue and make good use of your time.

C. Data analysis

Trends of supply chain management focus primarily on improving data analysis. Everyday loads of data are generated in the supply chain via multiple systems. Introduction of several digital tools, IoT devices and tracking systems have worsened the problem. Tons of data is stuck in different parts of your company and has lost its connection. This creates a plethora of misinformation or duplication of the data which affects supply chain visibility. It is now important to have data that is easily accessible and accurate. Additionally, it must also be updated on a regular basis. People working in the supply chain must have high expertise in handling data. This contributes in smart decision-making. This also improves your work experience. 

Using software in data handling is also a plus point. Supply chain management trends work on improving the data quality. Identify the areas where good data is required. This will help you to improve the data quality gradually over time. 

D. Visibility beyond Tier 1

Inability to see all the supply chain levels can be a major problem in the freight industry. You will be unaware of the ongoing laws and persistent risks that are affecting the supply chain. How can you deal with such risks without proper research? Digital supply chain trends offer valuable insights in the ups and downs of the supply chain. Searching beyond your immediate suppliers (Tier 1) into the extended supply chain is always beneficial. This helps you to understand your relationship with other partners. Identify the root cause of the problems and analyze risks that may have been overlooked in the first line of suppliers. You can also achieve your ESG goals by accurately tracking the products and being honest about their source. Digital twins and control towers help in digital transformation of your business. You can easily analyze your relationship with the indirect suppliers. What’s more? These tools highlight the common suppliers that other companies use. They also pinpoint their factory locations and give deeper insights into the supply chain. Tools build and strengthen the supply chain. 

E. Low-code platforms

Supply chain is a vast domain that handles raw material supply, provision of resources, storage and sending goods to customers. Changing software in this phase may cause errors in the overall process. Trends supply chain like Low-code platforms partially or completely automates supply chain tasks. It uses APIs and pre-packaged integrations to combine separate systems. This reduces development time. You can quickly adapt to the change of plans and unexpected problems that may occur in the supply chain. If you have little technical knowledge, worry not. Tools like freight forwarding software are designed to test your abilities without any hassle. Low-code platforms also has other uses. Planning products and managing them throughout their life cycle becomes easy. They also help you to work efficiently with others in the supply chain. You can also manage big data and analytics without much efforts.