Supply Chain Optimization and the Future of Industry

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After March’s Suez Canal blockage and last year’s bout of empty store shelves during the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, the integrity of supply chains is on everyone’s mind. Yet even before these recent debacles, similar disruptions had begun to creep into view. In many ways, current trends merely represent the result of long-gestating issues. “I believe it’s nothing short of historic the amount of pressure that we’re dealing with. It’s everything from soaring freight rates, capacity shortages in containers, driver shortages, imbalanced carrier networks, warehouse labor and space being in short supply, and then natural disasters like COVID-19 or even environmental events,” said Jonathan Foster, principal consultant at Proxima, a procurement consultancy group. “2020 was the year of disruption. It’s coming from everywhere, and the amount of pressure we’re seeing is unprecedented.”

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