Supply chains are the lifeblood of economic activity. They are the systems that bring us the things we need and want, from the raw materials used to make our products to the finished goods we purchase from retailers. The global supply chain market value is $15.85 billion, and it is expected to grow by a CAGR of 11% by 2027.
With such a large and growing industry, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest supply trends. Here are five trends that will shape the future of supply chains in 2023:
Increased Use of Blockchain Technology
As anyone who has followed the news knows, blockchain technology is having a moment. Originally developed to support cryptocurrency, blockchain is now being hailed as a potential game-changer for a wide range of industries.
So what does this mean for the future of supply chains? According to experts, we can expect to see an increased use of blockchain technology in supply chain management over the next few years.
Blockchain technologies could boost the economy by $1.7 trillion by 2030, and proponents argue that it has the potential to streamline supply chains, improve transparency and reduce costs. For example, suppliers could use blockchain to track the movement of goods throughout the chain, from manufacturing to retail.
In addition, blockchain-based smart contracts could automate many of the tasks currently performed by human workers, such as billing and invoicing. This adoption will help to improve supply chain visibility, efficiency, and security.
Automation Through IoT, AI, AR, and VR
The Internet of Things (IoT) will play a pivotal role in the future of supply chains, enabling everything from real-time inventory management to predictive maintenance. When combined with AI, the potential for IoT in the warehouse is limitless.
For example, autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) equipped with sensors and supported by AI can be used for tasks like material handling and picking. By 2030, the market for AMRs is expected to reach $22 billion.
Some companies are already using AR technology to increase warehouse productivity and accuracy. For example, workers using AR headsets can see real-time data about products as they pick them off shelves, which reduces errors. In the future, AR will become even more ubiquitous in warehouses as 5G connectivity enables richer media content, such as 3D images and videos, in 2023.
Supply chains will also utilize VR for immersive employee training on topics like safety procedures and equipment operation. In the future, VR will become an even more valuable tool for logistics operations. You see, AR can run simulations of complex scenarios before they happen in real life. This could be especially useful for disaster preparedness and emergency response planning.
Extensive Use of Drones and Robotics
Drones are already being used in various ways in supply chains, which will only become more common. For example, drones are useful in inventory management, picking and packing orders, and even delivering packages. In addition, drones can quickly and efficiently gather data about products and shipments. Businesses can use this data to improve the overall efficiency of the supply chain.
Supply chains will also integrate robotics for tasks such as warehouse management and order picking. In addition, robots are becoming increasingly adept at handling delicate and sensitive items. As robots become more sophisticated, they’ll likely play an even bigger role in supply chain and third-party logistics trends.
Sustainability and Environmental Responsibility
As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, the way we manage our supply chains has a profound impact on both the economy and the environment. In 2023 and beyond, sustainability will be the top priority for supply chain managers.
Several factors are driving this trend, including increasing public awareness of the environmental impact of supply chains, stricter regulations, and a growing preference for sustainable products amongst consumers.
To meet these challenges, supply chain managers and third-party logistics will need to implement many changes, such as sourcing from environmentally friendly suppliers, investing in green technologies, and reducing waste throughout the supply chain.
Circular Supply Chains Will Replace Linear Supply Chains
The linear supply chain model is becoming increasingly unsustainable, as it results in a lot of waste and inefficiency. Increasing awareness of the environmental impact of supply chains is leading to a shift towards more sustainable practices. One of the most promising approaches is the circular supply chain.
In a linear supply chain, materials are extracted, used to create products, and then thrown away once those products have reached the end of their useful life. A circular supply chain, on the other hand, keeps materials in use for as long as possible before they are recycled or reused. This not only reduces waste but also cuts down on the need for new resources.
Trust M&W Logistics for Your Supply Chain Needs
Looking ahead to 2023, it’s clear that the future of supply chains is both exciting and uncertain. On the one hand, new technologies and innovations are transforming the way goods are produced, transported, and delivered. This results in faster, more efficient supply chains that are better able to meet the demands of consumers. On the other hand, geopolitical uncertainties and the coronavirus pandemic have highlighted the need for greater resilience in supply chains.
At M&W Logistics, we provide customized supply chain solutions that include: public warehousing, asset-based truckload transportation, food-grade warehousing, climate-controlled warehouse, distribution, and logistics management. We’ll work with you to find the perfect solution for your business.
Ready to get started? Contact us today to learn more about our 3PL services!