Is your supply chain prepared for the future?

Mar 6, 2024


Right now, conference season is underway and we've attended some great educational sessions. Last week I was at the RILA conference in Dallas, this week we have people at the Journal of Commerce’s TPM Conference and the Food Shippers Conference, and in coming weeks we will be at other events.

There are a couple of important reasons why we attend these industry conferences. First, it gives us a chance to catch up with customers and other colleagues in the industry.

Second, there are great educational programs that cover new things that shippers will be dealing with. For example, right now there is a lot of focus on how AI will impact supply chains, addressing cyber security issues and elevating the degree of transparency in supply chains. We are also hearing a lot about how reshoring and near shoring campaigns are going to cause a restructuring of supply chains.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, when we attend these conferences, I value the insights I glean from the “off the record" conversations with friends who lead some of the largest transportation companies in North America. When you hear these senior executives address some of the undercurrents and trends that affect their businesses you get a much better understanding of the things that shippers will be hearing about and dealing with for the rest of the year.

One item on that list which is critically important for carriers is the issue of nuclear verdicts. For example, Werner recently lost a case they were appealing that involved a $100 million judgement. A pickup truck lost control, crossed a median and hit the Werner truck; yet somehow Werner was found liable. I spoke with a senior insurance executive, and he highlighted how annual insurance rates have risen from around $3k per truck four years ago to $9k per truck today. These cost increases will lead to higher rates for shippers.
Here are some other issues we’ve heard about at the conferences that should be on your radar screen:

•    Will proposed changes in the independent contractor rule materialize and impact trucking companies? 
•    How likely is a strike by the ILA at the East Coast ports as they negotiate a new contract this year? 
•    What should we expect ahead for the Red Sea situation? 

Add it all up and there's no shortage of issues that could potentially impact your supply chains. And since no one likes to be surprised - especially your CEO, COO and CFOs - it is important to evaluate your supply chain and plan for the future by engaging in supply chain scenario planning exercises and periodically  stress testing your supply chains.


Where do you start?

A great place to start is to get in touch with us about our Rapid Assessment, a consultative review of your logistics and supply chain processes. We bring our subject matter expertise as well as a comprehensive ability to look at your supply chain, so that together we can make sure your supply chain is ready for the future. If you’re interested in learning more about how these capabilities can help you, simply give us a call at 630-833-0890, send us an email, or schedule a time to meet.


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