Supply Chain Disruptions
January 11, 2024

Happy New Year! Expect Continued Supply Chain Disruptions in 2024


We’re way past expecting supply chain disruptions to magically disappear with time. Shippers and others in the supply chain landscape are starting to get accustomed to this new reality, and they are taking action to deal with disruptions (rather than hoping they go away) so that they can maintain a high level of operational efficiency.

Below, we explore 2024 supply chain predictions, the latest on the New Year’s supply chain disruptions, plus solutions that many organizations are exploring for disruptions — real-time visibility included.

A 3-Pronged Solution to Supply Chain Disruptions

We’ve been living with regular, consistent disruptions for years now. The crisis in the Red Sea was just the latest in a long series of challenges that have included a global pandemic, labor stoppages, drought, hurricanes, clogged canals, and myriad others. As the calendar flips from 2023 to 2024, Chain Store Age makes five supply chain-related predictions. One of those predictions focuses on ongoing disruptions across the global supply chain.

We’re nearly four years beyond the start of the pandemic at this point. What are the solutions to these disruptions, now that we have so many months of experience dealing with them? This article suggests that businesses are focused on “resilience, agility, and enhanced visibility.”

The Supply Chain Disruption You Might Have Missed

Speaking of disruptions, the closing of a key rail border crossing between Mexico and the United States was overshadowed by the maritime issues in the Red Sea last month. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection closed two railroad bridges in Texas in mid-December, leaving shippers and freight brokerages in a tight spot.

This is where responsiveness powered by supply visibility can be invaluable. Those same shippers and freight brokerages, with real-time visibility in place, can anticipate and respond to emerging issues in a way that keeps their shipments moving forward.

The Red Sea Crisis: Disruptive AND Expensive

The issues in the Red Sea were disruptive, naturally, but they were also expensive. Freight rates went skyrocketing as the crisis unfolded, leaving shippers who have gotten used to low rates scrambling to find a way to save money.

Supply chain visibility is essential because it helps overcome disruptions, but many don’t realize the many ways in which visibility can help save money. Visibility empowers money-saving decision-making, and it can also help shippers, forwarders, and others avoid costly demurrage fees. Establishing this visibility right now is important, because it’s too late to achieve real-time visibility as a crisis (like that in the Red Sea) starts emerging.

Geopolitical Crises and Neverending Supply Chain Disruptions

The Wall Street Journal wrote early this year about disruptions and geopolitics hanging like a dark cloud over the supply chain in 2024. The war between Ukraine and Russia has caused supply chain issues in recent years. China-U.S. relations are a constant driver of volatility affecting some of the most trafficked maritime lanes. And missile attacks in the Red Sea are just the latest geopolitical issue to create a serious supply chain disruption.

Companies, according to the story, are taking action to rebuild their supply chains to respond to the realities of the modern era. That could mean redrawing trade maps, emphasizing clean energy, and focusing on flexibility and resilience. For companies to achieve supply chain resilience, real-time supply chain visibility is essential.

Visibility: The Solution to Modern Supply Chain Issues

Visibility is important across any industry that relies on complex, global supply chains. But there’s perhaps no industry where visibility is more important than retail. Total Retail wrote recently about five reasons why “visibility will rule in 2024,” including effective inventory management and better customer service.

Of all industries, retailers have much to gain in terms of enhancing customer experience and satisfaction when they establish real-time visibility to increase operational efficiency.

Where Do AI and Sustainability Fit In?

The importance of artificial intelligence and sustainability across the supply chain is almost as prominent in headlines as visibility. Forbes has published 2024 supply chain predictions from SAP’s Richard Howells, including how AI and sustainability will be top of mind.

Sustainability is another objective that is difficult to achieve without real-time visibility. The task ahead for shippers will be tracking their emissions, and then taking action to offset those emissions. Tracking emissions is impossible without accurate, real-time visibility into where containers and products are located throughout their journeys from Point A to Point B. The Forbes story even mentions that improved collaboration and an increase in visibility with suppliers are vital for risk mitigation.

Establish the Visibility You Need in 2024

The themes of disruptions as the main problem and visibility as the primary solution will go hand in hand in 2024 and beyond, both for BCOs and the LSPs that serve them. The sooner that these supply chain stakeholders take action to establish real-time visibility, the sooner they will move beyond their operations ebbing and flowing with the state of the global supply chain (and the disruptions affecting it).

At Cargologik, we specialize in delivering a supply chain orchestration platform that makes real-time visibility possible. Rather than cobbling together a fragmented solution with many different vendors, our technology can be your single solution for everything from document management to track and trace.

Interested in learning more about real-time supply chain visibility and orchestration through Cargologik? Get started now.

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