Supply Chain Industry Lessons for Shippers from December 2021

Blog3 Minute Read

Not only has the pandemic forever changed the way consumers shop, but it has also magnified inefficiencies and increased strain on shippers and retailers. As a result, the supply chain industry has been forced to re-examine how it goes to market and positions its products, as well as its GTM pricing.

Shipping containers lay in a shipyard. Shippers have blind spots across their supply chain connections, meaning they can’t accurately predict when product will arrive at its next destination

Not only has the pandemic forever changed the way consumers shop, but it has also magnified inefficiencies, and increased strain on shippers and retailers. As a result, the supply chain industry has been forced to re-examine how it goes to market and positions its products, as well as its GTM pricing.

The urgency of availability and cost.

Two impact areas often slide under the radar in the GTM discussion: marketing and promotions. While these play a major part in the sales cycle for virtually every retailer year-round, their impact on the supply chain tends to get overlooked.

Marketing is a long game, and promotional campaigns are usually planned weeks, if not months, in advance to accommodate the need to build web pages, send emails, adapt mobile apps, and get all other moving blocks in place for the consumer to know where and when to get the deals.

Now, considering soaring shipping costs caused by the coronavirus pandemic’s disruption of supply chains and trade channels, retailers are faced with two increasingly urgent issues: 1) the availability of, and 2) the cost of products.

Reducing supply chain inefficiency for shippers.

Shippers have blind spots across their supply chain connections, meaning they can’t accurately predict when product will arrive at its next destination. Because of the disjointed and disconnected nature of the supply chain, the entire process of, say, shipping cargo with a freight forwarder such as Maersk from a port in China to Long Beach, processing the shipment through customs, and finally getting it to its end destination in the US via air, rail, or truck, is highly inefficient. And this inefficiency has already had a negative impact on potential returns on investments made into marketing and promotional campaigns, as early earning calls and forecasts from some major retailers like Bed, Bath & Beyond, Lowes [A1,] and Macy’s & Kohl’s have already alluded to.

Considered against the backdrop of the massive shipping cost increase of the past 24 months, reducing supply chain inefficiency is of paramount importance for the success of enterprise retail shippers and businesses alike.

For businesses to have the confidence to invest time and effort into their marketing and promotions, they need to be confident that their promotional products will be available for consumers to buy in the right place and at the right time. And for shippers to deliver on the expectations of these businesses, solutions and integrations are needed that covers their blind spots over the supply chain.

Shippers taking a look at their containers. For shippers to deliver on the expectations of the businesses, a solution is needed that covers their blind spots over the supply chain.

How shippers can stay ahead in 2022 and beyond.

2022 supply chain trends show continued pressure on shippers and retailers. And shippers, be they retailers, restaurants, or CPG manufacturers will have to be more adaptive to the needs of businesses driven by consumer revenue where promotional campaigns are integral to their bottom line.

Shippers that can provide the businesses they serve with quick connectivity of and visibility into the supply chain, will have a major advantage in the coming years. However, these capabilities must run across systems and tiers. For instance, for manufacturers and CPG firms, visibility into their 2nd and even 3rd tier suppliers for key products and components will be fundamental in 2022. Take the success of Toyota in 2021 as an example where this approach helped them to unseat GM as the largest car manufacturer in the world.

At Chain.io, we partner with shippers to conquer the supply chain. Let us help you keep your supply chain out of your company’s earnings call (unless it’s about increasing their bottom-line revenue).

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By Dan Boutin
written on January 26, 2022

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