What Supply Chain Trends Will We See in 2017?

What Supply Chain Trends Will We See in 2017?

As we look ahead to 2017, logistics and supply chain expert Steve Banker has outlined the trends he believes will be most relevant. Writing in Forbes, he predicts that the changing political atmosphere and improvements in automation will be two key points to keep an eye on moving forward.

2016 held a lot of surprises, and some of the biggest were in the political arena – namely the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit vote. Banker believes trade with China will likely drop quite a bit by the end of the year under the Trump administration, and he also thinks trade with Mexico will take a hit. The effects of Brexit will take longer to set in, however. He thinks that trade between Europe and the UK won’t feel an impact just yet. Big multinationals will likely focus on the locations of their warehouses and factories as well as product flow.

Automation Setting In

Banker also foresees the logistics workforce slimming down as a result of automation. While driverless vehicles will never eliminate the need for truck drivers entirely and their jobs are largely safe for 2017, there will be fewer of them as the technology takes hold. Companies will continue to invest in these vehicles, and their technology is developing quite rapidly.

Truck drivers can breathe a sigh of relief for now, but warehouse workers are right to be a little wary. An ARC survey found that 15 percent of warehouse execs are making the procurement of autonomous mobile robots a priority in the next three years. Warehouse jobs might be declining only slightly now, but the technology for humanlike robots with arms that can take items off of shelves is right around the corner.

Banker also believes that retailers will continue to invest in making the ecommerce experience as smooth as possible for customers, particularly when it comes to omnichannel projects, and large 3PLs will continue to explore alternative avenues to meet this demand.

This blog post was based off of an article from Forbes. View the original here.