Skip to main content

Study: Supply chain execs turn to AI

AI concept
Virtually all supply chains are employing some type of AI.

North American supply chain executives are deploying artificial intelligence (AI) at a high rate of frequency.

According to the 2024 edition of the annual Trade in Transition study from logistics company DP World and Economist Impact, 97% of surveyed North American supply chain executives are using AI to revolutionize at least one aspect of their supply chain operations, such as inventory management or trade expenses.

In addition, one-third of North American respondents said technologies that improve supply chain efficacy and resilience make them optimistic. In the coming year, they plan to incorporate advanced technologies including automation (28%), augmented or virtual reality (27%), 3D printing (26%), and blockchain technology (25%).  

Other interesting findings from North American respondents include:

  • More than 25% said their companies are reconfiguring their supply chain by working with fewer suppliers, marking a 160% increase from the previous year’s study According to DP World analysis, this trend towards consolidation is driven by a desire to reduce supply disruptions, even as businesses deal with the trade-offs between diversification and control, and risk management.
  • Respondents face multiple challenges in exporting and importing due to transport expenses (26%), shortages of vital production inputs (22%), and concerns about rising inflation and economic unpredictability (27%). Uncertainties surrounding tariffs also remain a substantial concern, with 21% expressing apprehension regarding imports and 20% concerning exports.   

[Read more: Supply chain issues threaten holiday sales and profits]

“Businesses are inherently cautious amidst ongoing economic pressures, especially given heightened geopolitical tensions,” said Brian Enright, CEO & managing director, DP World Americas“The intricate dynamics of globalization and the broader landscape are reshaping global trade. There is a growing conviction that technology integration, coupled with agile supply chain strategies, has the potential to revolutionize the efficiency and resilience of supply chains, enabling businesses to adapt more quickly and seamlessly. Our commitment to innovation will enhance the vital connectivity, efficiency, and adaptability needed by businesses."  

The Trade in Transition report is commissioned by DP World and led by Economist Impact. It is a global survey that retrieves data from over 3,500 executives, examining private sector sentiment on international trade and supply chains.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds