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Supply chain leaders take confident post-pandemic outlook

A new survey indicates U.S. supply chains expect to handle surging demand as the economy rebounds from COVID-19.

Third-party logistics (3PL) provider GlobalTranz recently commissioned Edelman Data & Intelligence to survey 200 U.S.-based supply chain leaders and managers about their view of the upcoming “new normal.” Confidence in logistics partnerships is high, with 91% of respondents agreeing that their 3PL partners will effectively meet their needs in 2021.

Meanwhile, only one in 10 respondents reported a pessimistic outlook of their company’s revenue three to six months or one year from now. Seven in 10 respondents believe the COVID-19 vaccine rollout will enable them to attract new customers; 94% of respondents reported confidence that there will be robust economic recovery due to vaccine distribution.

In addition, six in 10 respondents believe that the latest stimulus packages will benefit both their operations and business revenue. More than half anticipate that regulatory policy coming out of the new U.S. administration will have a positive impact on their business operations and revenue. 

At the same time, respondents took note of challenges that remain across their supply chains:
•    37% noted rising transportation costs as something they will need to continue to manage throughout 2021.
•    31% reported concerns over having enough workforce to meet the demand for consumers.
•    24% cited poor handling or service related to home deliveries as an ongoing challenge.
•    76% cited concerns over the ability of their small parcel provider to deliver on time.
•    One-third listed having enough resources (parts, materials, product, etc.) as a top concern to meet the demand of customers.

Survey data also shows that respondents largely feel that they have made appropriate adjustments to meet the heavy shift in e-commerce activity in the market, with 76% saying their company has adopted a successful omnichannel strategy.

However, 84% of respondents reported that they’re seeing greater demand for final mile delivery services, with 69% struggling to find reliable transportation partners to meet this demand.

Leading supply chain priorities for respondents in 2021 include:
•    Supply chain visibility (82%).
•    Increasing warehouse space and expanding warehouse locations (80+%).
•    Reshoring or nearshoring of supply chain operations (75+%).

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