How would you summarize the supply chain in 2021 in five words?

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Tags: Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing, Logistics

A never-ending game of whack-a-mole.

—Brian Higgins

Principal, Supply Chain & Operations Leader

KPMG


CHAOS: Challenging Hectic Absurd Obscure Somber

—Jeff Pepperworth

President & CEO

iGPS Logistics


Scale matters for everything shortages.

Home Depot, Walmart, and Costco are among those who can charter entire vessels to ensure capacity. Companies from Nike to Amazon increased air freight, despite costs of up to $2 million a charter.

Large fast-moving consumer goods firms can procure more of everything from raw materials to packaging and transport. Large retailers can purchase “panic pallets” and absorb the inventory costs. They have the means to lessen exposure as compared to the markets overall.

—Susan Beardslee

Principal Analyst, Supply Chain Management and Logistics

ABI Research


Biggest dumpster fire ever.

—Chris Peckham

VP, Operations

FreightPlus



Buckle up for the ride.

—Darlene Wolf

SVP, Strategic Partners

Arrive Logistics


One down, two to go.

Supply chains have weathered the first phase of the pandemic—with immediate impacts like manufacturing disruptions and demand swings. We are now in phase 2; we are seeing the non-intuitive impacts resulting from a complex ecosystem, for example, container capacity and raw material supplies. In phase 3, we will understand the new normal and demand will have been adjusted for the abnormal swings experienced in phases 1 and 2.

—Allen Jacques

Industry Leader

Kinaxis


Everybody’s rethinking their supply chain.

—Mark Robinson

President

UPS Capital


Antiquated processes unearthed significant disruption.

—Michael Hung

CEO

CBX Software


Strained, unreliable, and under supported.

—Allen Polk

VP, Sales

Kenco


Unprecedented, volatile, dysfunctional, but hopeful.

—Neil Wheeldon

Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer

BDP International


Evolving at an accelerated pace.

—Greg White

SVP, Corporate Development

TrueCommerce


Opportunity to improve business strategies.

—Greg Forbis

EVP, Strategy & Business Development

RJW Logistics Group


Bottlenecks, bullwhips lead to resiliency.

—Christina Vali

Director, Client Solutions

Tecsys


A massive broken unpredictable mess.

—Kevin Ledversis

Sales Director

Newcastle Systems


Global, volatile, long, expensive, recovering.

—Arjun Chandar

Founder & CEO

IndustrialML


Opportunity to excel and evolve.

—Bruce Lancaster

CEO

Wilson Electronics


Unbridled consumerism causing record delays.

—David Bowers

VP, Warehouse Operations

TA Services


A digital revolution is happening. Massive disruption, wild unpredictability, and sky-high customer expectations have combined to produce a perfect storm for global supply chains. Shippers have no choice but to abandon outdated ways of working and get on board with the digital revolution at hand.

—Virgil Ferreira

COO Rate Management

Magaya


A slow moving goat rodeo.

—Dale Young

VP, Warehousing & Distribution

World Distribution Services LLC


Necessity = mother of invention.

—Tom Martucci

Vice President & Chief Technology Officer

Consolidated Chassis Management


More capacity starts with labor.

—Gregory W. Tuthill

Chief Commercial Officer

SeaCube Containers


Congested. Essential. Gritty. Painful. Heroic.

How people are overcoming the influx of shipments and pain points to fulfill orders is heroic.

—Dustin Hansen

CEO

InXpress


Disruption, uncertainty, watershed, risk-managed, digital.

Over the past 20 months, supply chains have been faced with unpredictability and disruptions on a global scale. 2021 has shown supply chains need to become more resilient and adapt digitally.

—Mick Jones

Strategic Supply Chain Advisor

Zencargo


Pushing limits and prioritizing people.

—Sean Elliott

Chief Technology Officer/Chief Digital Officer

Körber Supply Chain


Congestion, volatility, complexity meet perseverance.

—Patrick Campbell

U.S. Chief Operating Officer

Coyote Logistics


Challenging, underinvested, ripe for disruption.

—Gonzalo Galindo

Head

CEMEX Ventures


Small bottlenecks create major disruptions.

—Nathan Strang

Director, Ocean Trade Lane Management

Flexport


Ripe for digital disruption.

Particularly for retailers, 2021 revealed the urgent need for innovative supply chain strategies and disruptive technologies.

—Guy Bloch

CEO

Bringg


We need operational resilience now.

—Jennifer Bisceglie

CEO & Founder

Interos


High demand, over stressed, lacking.

—Lonny Holston

Export Operations Coordinator

Mickey


Broken, opportunity, opaque, unsustainable, inflationary.

—Scott Evans

Co-founder

Waybridge


Drinking from a fire hose.

—Patrick J. Allen, CSCP

Client Solutions Director

Transportation Insight


Chance favors the prepared mind.

—Lior Elazary

CEO

inVia Robotics


SMBs face threat and opportunity.

—Dennis Oates

Chief Logistics Officer

Sendle


Much Ado About Nothing Delivered.

—Eric Allais

President & CEO

PathGuide Technologies


Adapt and innovate to survive.

—Alex Wakefield

CEO

Longbow Advantage


Crisis exposed need for visibility.

—Sam Lurye

CEO & Founder

Kargo


Unpredictable, undersupplied, untimely, underappreciated, understaffed.

Jonathan Parks

Senior Vice President, Supply Chain

iGPS Logistics


Delayed shipments requiring urgent delivery.

Adam Whelpley

Transportation Logistics Manager

Mickey


CHAIN: Cautiously Hopeful Against Increasing Neglect.

It is pretty clear that supply chains for decades have been viewed by finance and hordes of MBAs as cost centers to squeeze out inefficiencies and expenses. A continual neglect in regular investment has come home to roost in 2021. Yet, I’m cautiously optimistic about the role of modern technology to, when applied, fix several of the systematic problems we now face.

Jason Murray

CEO

Shipium


Disrupted, optimized, but still broken.

It needs more attention from IT and logistics professionals to get it fixed.

Dmitri Fedorchenko

CEO and Co-Founder

Doft


Inflexible, foreseeable, resiliency, fixable, responsible.

Let me explain. We have experienced the perfect global storm of COVID-induced closure of demand followed by almost overnight exponential increase as restrictions lifted, combined with economic and political trade barriers, years of under-investment in modern transportation innovation, and a few accidents (eg. Evergreen’s Ever Given) thrown in for good measure.

While these specific issues were perhaps not envisaged, issues do happen and should therefore be foreseeable. What it has done is thrown into dramatic spotlight the inflexibility of our global supply chains, and if we have learned anything it is that we must build in better resilience. We have come to accept that redundancy in supply chains must be eliminated for the cost it incurs; we now need to rethink that logic.

The challenges we currently face are fixable, but longer-term it requires a different approach; one that really understands where the weak points are, what might fail before it does, and to be prepared to fix when it does. It will also require a more responsible circular model that has less reliance on sourcing new materials into the supply chain and more focus on retaining materials within it.

Oliver Lemanski

CEO

OnProcess


Bring ALL solutions to customers.

Tyler Scogin

Senior Account Manager

Leeds, AL

TA Services


Have a great answer to a good question?

Be sure to participate next month. We want to know:

What is the biggest supply chain lesson you learned over the past two years?

We’ll publish some answers. Tell us at editorial@inboundlogistics.com or tweet us @ILMagazine #ILgoodquestion.

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