Tips for managing chaos in 2023

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by Emily Atkins

Over the last year, shippers and logistic service providers have experienced a perfect storm of chaos. From workforce strikes to labor shortages, economic instability to an erratic supply and demand flow of goods, 2022’s global supply chain was exhausted by disruptions.

While the industry continues to grapple to stay ahead of these types of disruptions, the pressure is on for shippers and logistics service providers to properly plan for the unexpected in 2023, or they could lose customers – but how?

According to Chris Jones, EVP of Industry and Services at Descartes, leaders need to understand that uncertainty in the upcoming year will remain constant. With that, they need to focus on controlling the controllable, by staying ahead of specific trends and themes in 2023.

Jones expects that cost containment will become easier. “Given the softening demand for all modes of transportation, shippers and logistics service providers will have the opportunity to take advantage of excess market capacity that did not exist for the past several years,” he said.

From strategic sourcing and tracking automation to rate shopping and alternate mode selection, shippers and logistics service providers will need to reset their strategies and supporting technologies to take advantage of rapidly evolving transportation market conditions.

Jones also cited the need to maintain and differentiate service in a down-cycle. “When we are in times with limited resources, getting back to the basics of meeting core requirements, like tracking compliance, becomes critical,” he noted.

Selecting technology and tactics that move the needle on service levels, differentiation and efficiency should be top of mind for logistics professionals.

Finally, he said labor shortage woes will continue. As the labor shortage challenges extend into 2023, organizations need to focus on reducing stress of their staff with better technology, reducing time-to-value of new hires, or replicating siloed success with automation, Jones suggested.