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Report: Innovation, tech crucial for robust supply chain

Report: Innovation, tech crucial for robust supply chain
Report: Innovation, tech crucial for robust supply chain
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The supply chain is important for the world’s economy. It is in everything we see – from cars to food stores, and the ships that carry cargo worldwide. A new report by Economist Impact and DP World titled ‘Trade in Transition 2024’ has revealed that innovation and technology is key to a strong supply chain. 

We see how vital the supply chain is in recent weeks with the Red Sea crisis. 

Game changer: AI and data analysis

AI (artificial intelligence) and big-data analytics are perceived as game-changers in supply-chain management,” reads the report. A survey conducted shows 45.1% of respondents report integrating AI and data analysis into their supply chains in 2023, while 26.7% report they already use these. 

When we mention the words ‘supply chain’, we think of the flow of goods and services. The flow of goods and services is important for any economy. If goods cannot reach customers, this leads to disruptions and shortages. 

World-leading freight forwarding company Kuehne+Nagal is teaming up with tech-inspired company Capgemini for a first-of-its-kind project. The partners will create an end-to-end orchestration service. It is evident that companies are taking note of having a strong supply chain. 

Benefits to AI integration 

The report reveals that there are benefits to integrating AI. Businesses reported a 33.5% reduction in their overall trade operation costs. “The scale of these optimisations indicates that the impact of AI on existing supply-chain operations has already been transformative for certain businesses,” reads the report. 

AI has changed the supply chain tremendously. Businesses are now using this technology to better their business operations and improve efficiencies. 

Locate2uNews has reported one trend that is still prevalent – automation. The e-commerce sector is on the upswing. Companies such as DHL, DHL Supply Chain, and shipping company Maersk are investing in automation to meet high e-commerce volumes. 

Even the healthcare sector is benefitting from AI with “advanced machine learning significantly improved the platelet supply chain, achieving a 54% reduction in expired platelets and eliminating ad hoc transport costs, while maintaining high delivery reliability.” 

3D printing in the supply chain 

The practice of 3D printing is gaining momentum around the globe and companies are noticing that the application of 3D printing in their processes is assisting their business. The report reveals that 3D printing is the way to go for several businesses. A combined 58.5% of businesses say they use this technology already or will start using it. 

Logistics giant DHL says the increase in the adoption of 3D printing brings more opportunities for logistics providers such as growth in the scale and complexity of regional logistics networks capable of supporting print production and of business-to-business (B2B) printing services and delivery. 

“While a world of widespread 3D printing is still in its early stages, there is already a need to supply polymers and raw materials, and here logistics providers must adapt their services,” the company says in a statement. 

The ‘Trade in Transition 2024’ report sums up technology in doing business well: “To optimally realize this potential, businesses need to harness technological advancements and strategically reorganize their supply chains, balancing their internal considerations with the diverse and evolving landscape of global trade.” 

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About the author

Sharl is a qualified journalist. He has over 10 years’ experience in the media industry, including positions as an editor of a magazine and Business Editor of a daily newspaper. Sharl also has experience in logistics specifically operations, where he worked with global food aid organisations distributing food into Africa. Sharl enjoys writing business stories and human interest pieces.

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