Kevin Jones is the editorial director for Endeavor Business Media’s Commercial Vehicle group, which includes FleetOwner, Bulk Transporter, Refrigerated Transporter, American Trucker, and Fleet Maintenance magazines and websites. Tyler Fussner is the managing editor/community manager at Supply Chain Connect and is also the chief editor of the Market Moves Supply Chain newsletter. Adrian Selko is the senior editor for Material Handling & Logistics where she covers a range of topics, including workforce, leadership and technology. Anna Smith is the news editor for IndustryWeek who has investigated supply chain disruptions happening across the world. These knowledgeable editors recently spoke with IndustryWeek editor in chief Robert Schoenberger about the current state of supply chains and predictions for 2024.
Below is an excerpt from the podcast:
IW: Tyler, you’ve been in the supply chain world with a lot of these issues right now. What’s your take on what was 2023 like? How did it compare to previous years?
TF: Sure. So, I think 2023 can be seen as shifting to recovery, maybe out of the survival mode, that was the last few years with COVID. Preceding that, the supply chain was given the biggest spotlight it’s had in recent memory due to COVID and because of that, I think 2023 also brought in a lot of digital transformation for businesses and that trend is going to continue well into 2024 and beyond. A lot of the lessons learned before 2023, I think, really came down to supply chain visibility and data availability. So, everyone realized how much more insight was needed throughout their supply chain top to bottom from sourcing raw materials all the way to getting end product on the shelves. So, a lot of investments were made into supply chain visibility, software and technology to help these. Businesses manage their supply chains you have.
A major trend was geographic diversification. A lot more onshoring announcements were made regardless of industry, and there was a big attempt to seek various sourcing partners. I think again, lessons learned from COVID were you don’t want to be tied into one or two sources. There was a big need for diversification. If you want to take the electronic component and semiconductor industry, for example, just last month Samsung announced an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in new facility in Japan to focus on like advanced chip packaging. And this is following the United States, urging their allies to work together and help counter China’s technological prowess of and reliance for a lot of market avenues.