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SCRC December meeting to focus on transportation strategies

One of the most important themes in our recent BVL study on global supply chain trends and issues was the emerging importance of transportation management. Transportation planning is often overlooked in enterprise and supply chain strategy, and viewed as a tactical planning activity. However, recent events and research point to the increasing importance of having transportation management become part of the strategic planning agenda. This event will explore many of the emerging transportation trends and issues on the horizon:

• Increasing challenges associated with infrastructure limitations and bottlenecks impacting working capital, supply chain disruptions, and longer planning leadtimes. The highway infrastructure is bloated, and will continue to grow. Even transportation with batteries and natural gas powered engines will still have queuing issues to deal with.
• Regulatory mandates are reducing the times when distribution and trucks can access major metropolitan centers. As a result, deliveries will need to be made during off peak hours, impacting the ability of organizations to deliver packages to consumers relying on e-commerce solutions.
• New technologies are re-shaping the transportation landscape. Some of these technologies include driverless vehicles, GPS analytics, track and trace, RFID, and others that will have a major impact on how transportation is carried out in the future.
• Concurrently, numerous challenges exist with respect to the shortage of drivers. The average driver age is 55…and some reports note that for every 10 drivers that leave the workforce, they are only being replaced at 20% of this rate. We may find that major truck rates may go up in the near future.
• The impact of transportation on CO2 emissions, and the role that better and more efficient transportation planning has on the overall carbon footprint of the enterprise.
• The role of packaging and transportation will become more important. This will require early intervention and discussions between transportation and design engineers to find ways to not only improve “cube” rates on trucks and trains, but to also find ways to improve sustainable packaging, pallet return, and network design that will minimize the carbon footprint.

In exploring these issues, I will be sharing with you insights I’ve derived through interviews with several transportation subject matter experts and SCRC student projects. Additionally, we will be joined by a number of supply chain executives from other industries who will also share their insights into these questions.

More insights to come!