There are certain trends that are set to occur or continue into 2022 which will either create positive opportunities for supply chains or could cause problems that will need to be dealt with. Advances in technology, developments in staffing, and consequences of the climate crisis and pandemic will all affect international freight forwarding in 2022. By being ahead of the curve and preparing appropriately for challenges, businesses will be able to capitalise from these trends and prevent any disruption to the supply chain.
Increase in Automation
The pandemic has highlighted many issues with the supply chain, one of which being how staff shortages can cause huge delays. With demand growing every day, companies are struggling to meet the gap to ensure shipments are fulfilled. As technology advances, we’ll see the gap in staffing being filled with automated processes.
It’s estimated that by 2030, most logistic operations could be automated, relieving humans from simple and repetitive tasks. This year, we’ll see that technology become more common, with warehouses becoming more automated, and humans and robots working together to fulfil tasks.
Requirement for Specialised Staff
As a result of this automation and advances in technology, we’ll also see an increased demand for specialised staff in 2022. The workforce will need to be aware of and able to work with these new technologies, with skills in process automation, AI, and big data being the most sought after. Companies would do well to offer training to current staff so they can keep with the advances, and this will also help the companies who may be unable or unwilling to acquire new staff. When the workforce is equipped with the right skills, processes will become more efficient and streamlined.
We’re also likely to see a globalisation of the workforce, with more manufacturers working across multiple countries. Many countries are currently facing a labour shortage and its thought this will be picked up by outsourcing logistic jobs overseas.
There have been further developments in transforming shipping into an eco-friendly industry. We’re set to see many more companies implementing green logistics into their supply chain processes this year. This includes eco-friendly warehouses, with more sustainable energy management to reduce electricity and gas waste. We’ll also see an increase in electric and other sustainable fuel vehicles, powered by solar power and bio-fuels.
The climate crisis will have a direct effect on the supply chain, as resources and materials become more scarce. So, companies will need to employ more sustainable supply chain planning to adjust what they use and how they use it. Other, more eco-friendly and readily available materials may be needed instead, like biodegradable packaging.
Delays Caused by Extreme and Unpredictable Weather
The climate crisis looks to affect freight forwarding in other ways too, with the increase in severe and unpredictable weather causing multiple delays to supply chains. These tend to be problems that only affect certain areas and countries, so businesses should plan as much as possible, by coming up with contingencies and alternative methods should the weather cause disruption.
As long as companies have planned for every eventually, interruption should be kept to a minimum if extreme weather begins to loom.
Delays Caused by the Container Crisis
The container crisis looks set to continue into 2022. Whilst many have seen the crisis looming for years, the pandemic caused a huge increase in freight forwarding, which just exacerbated the issue. More time is needed for capacity to meet demand and in the meantime, freight forwarders will need to properly manage their shipments and prioritise appropriately.
All involved parties will need to commit to working together to overcome the container crisis as we enter the new year. There has yet to be an industry-wide solution, and the crisis has affected costs, product needs, and demand. However, we have seen how the industry has been able to come together to overcome issues in the past, and the same can be done again with this problem.
PBS International is an expert in international freight. We take a unique approach to our services and customer care, always going the extra mile to be professional and efficient in everything we do. Contact us to speak to our team about how we can help with your international freight forwarding.