As we enter 2023, leaders in the supply chain industry are reflecting on the successes and failures of the past year and preparing for the new year that lies ahead. In today’s fast-paced economy, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of the current trends and use present data to make predictions for 2023.
Whether you’re a business owner working with a 3PL or just interested in staying up-to-date on the latest trends, you’re in the right place. WSI has put together a list of trends that we anticipate seeing in 2023.
1. Inflation-Driven Cost Increases
Inflation has been rising due to a variety of factors, but one thing is certain: prices will continue to rise.
For 3PL providers, higher costs of goods and services can affect their profits. Providers will try to absorb these costs however they can, but unfortunately, inflation means that customers will have to expect prices to change in the coming year. For example, if the cost of inputs that 3PL providers use goes up, like fuel for transportation, they might have to charge their customers more to make up for it.
Keeping an eye on inflation rates can help you anticipate price hikes, no matter the industry you’re in!
2. Continued Sustainability Efforts
Sustainability has remained top-of-mind for customers through 2022 and we expect that sentiment to carry into 2023. Clients expect their business partners to do what they can to minimize their impact on the environment. The logistics industry is said to be responsible for 11% of the world’s carbon emissions – That’s a LOT.
To remain a responsible steward of our environment, WSI pursues sustainability initiatives in all of our facilities nationwide and throughout our transportation network. Our workforce is dedicated to discovering and implementing new ways to conserve resources, limit emissions, and reduce waste.
3. Higher Service Standards
Another thing we know about the services industry is that consumer expectations are always rising. That’s fine with us – we like to rise to the challenge! But it’s important to note that there are several reasons why consumers are expecting better and better service from their 3PL providers. Some of these factors include:
- Competition: Increased competition in the logistics market means that consumers have more options to choose from. Your business needs to provide superior service in order to stay top-of-mind.
- Technology: As new technology becomes available in the logistics industry, consumers expect their 3PL providers to utilize advanced systems and tools to ensure maximum efficiency and accuracy.
- More Knowledgeable Consumers: Don’t underestimate them – consumers are researching the supply chain process and expect greater transparency from their 3PL providers. This includes visibility into their order status and information about handling and transportation of their products.
Make sure your 3PL can meet your standards; it will be critical for your business’ success in 2023. If they can’t (or charge you a fortune to get it done), you may need to consider making a switch.
4. Cross-Training Employees Will Be a Necessity
Cross-training is the process of teaching employees the skills necessary to perform in another role. We anticipate cross-training to become critical in the supply chain industry in 2023 as 3PLs face pressure to become more efficient, flexible, and reliable.
A few of the benefits of cross-training employees on multiple areas of the logistics process include the following:
- Improved efficiency: By having multiple employees trained in multiple tasks, a 3PL company can be more flexible and efficient in how it handles incoming orders and assignments. This can help to reduce bottlenecks and improve overall productivity.
- Increased reliability: Cross-training ensures there are always backup employees available to handle tasks in an emergency or disruption. This can help ensure that orders stay on track and your customers receive their orders on time!
- Enhanced customer service: By having a team of employees who are knowledgeable about various aspects of the business, a 3PL company can better meet the needs and expectations of its customers.
That wraps up our predictions for supply chain trends in 2023!
The world of supply chain and logistics is fast-paced and ever-evolving. As we’ve seen, there are many trends shaping the industry today, from rising costs to the benefits off cross-training. It’s important to stay up-to-date on these trends in order to stay competitive and adapt to the changing business landscape.
Thinking about partnering with a 3PL in the new year? Connect with WSI to learn about our vast array of services and completely customized pricing.