2023 supply chain trends– what we expect in the coming year

3 Minutes Read

Over the past few years, the demands on supply chains have changed dramatically. This is opening up a whole new world of possibilities and requirements. The traditional roles and methods of supply chains are shifting and we see these 2023 supply chain trends as critical for leaders to keep an eye on.

So let’s take a look at the top supply chain trends that we expect to see in the coming year:


Everything as a service

The trend toward servicification of everything will likely continue in 2023. E expect that selling outcomes instead of products will be the next big focus in terms of customer-centricity. It will also be an enabler for SMEs to better compete with bigger organisations by providing reliable, predictable, all-inclusive pricing. The likely categories to see this approach thrive? EV Trucking, fulfilment, and Procurement-as-a-Service. 


Quick-commerce and Mobility-as-a-Service

Increasing quick-commerce (Q-commerce) means that more brands will be leveraging delivery times of 10-20 minutes through new business models. These new models include micro fulfilment, urban micro-mobility, carrier and inventory control. Urban logistics and micro-mobilities offer new investment themes and frontiers within supply chain.  

This new facet of logistics is inherently tied to the future of cities. Whether that is positive or negative has yet to be seen. If they can prove sustainable and become the dominant B2C business architecture they could be critical parts of thriving cities of the future.


Super apps, ecosystems and platforms

As with many areas of life these days, we see a future of all-encompassing super apps, ecosystems and platforms. More technology will begin to fall under a single software, simplifying the tech stack for supply chain teams. These will make logistics an enabler or feature for eCommerce and sourcing ecosystems. And it will extend the capability of digital freight forwarders to become trade platforms.


Market normalisation

We anticipate that global logistics markets will continue to be volatile in the coming 12-18 months as inventory levels and disruption normalises. But that normalisation will come. 

In the meantime, supply chains with the agility to respond to shifting demand patterns will come out as winners in the next year. Adaptability is going to be key for avoiding lost sales and unwanted inventory build-up. At the same time, companies need to prepare for the coming paradigm shifts in global trade and logistics supply chains.


Changing and shortening networks

This change, part of the coming paradigm shifts, will be driven by a greater need for resilience, by the sustainability imperative and by technology (AI & automation). The shortening of networks is going to be inevitable as consumers demand and expect more. Getting closer to them will be both a competitive advantage and an operational necessity.

As we head towards 2030, re-shoring, diversification and regionalisation will all play an important role in the supply landscape. We will see shorter and less fragmented value chains, a wider distribution of economic activities and an overall shift from global to regional and sub-regional value chains.

While moving from globalisation to localisation doesn’t reduce risk, instead changing the risk profile, many companies will see the risks inherent in localisation to be more palatable. This means being able to respond to risk flexibly is the best path to resilience this year.


Circularity on the rise

On the grand scale, we fully expect to see an increase in the popularity of circular supply chains. They offer manufacturers and retailers a chance to reclaim materials for re-use or repurposing and so reduce both waste and raw material extraction. 

To help make true circularity possible, a combination of physical and digital assets that provide visibility into product and material whereabouts is necessary. 


Smarter supply chains

Future-proofing supply chains means reinventing the way we think about them. These other trends all hint toward a different way of doing things. A smarter way. Supply chains need to be powered by data and driven by their major outcomes. 

Beyond the usual cost focus, the smarter supply chains approach takes a holistic view and layers sustainability, resilience, security and human-centricity on top. These considerations working in harmony are where smarter supply chains shine and are why they’ll be crucial over the coming year.

All in all, 2023 has the potential to be an invigorating year of reinvention for supply chains. After the disruption of the last few years, we have an opportunity to shift conventional thinking about supply chains and make them more effective and better for everyone. 

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