Manufacturing, Logistics, Technology These are trying times as the current healthcare crisis affects us in ways never imagined. This is certainly the case in the supply chain, logistics and transportation sectors.What hasn’t changed, however, is the importance of strong, agile, creative leaders. These are the ones able to pivot their companies in response to anticipated lower volumes of cargo coming into our ports which will, for the short term, lower demand for truckers and rail movement of products to market.A recent report from Port Everglades in Broward County indicates that 42% of shipping/freight companies will change their supply chain strategies with 62% seeing investment in technology as a way to change in the post-pandemic world. These same leaders also anticipate the need for supply chains to be more flexible in a wide range of areas. One technology investment will likely be in drone transportation, a sector that is expected to grow by $29.2 billion in the coming years. Leaders in manufacturing companies have also learned the value of pivoting product lines to meet immediate needs of the market. For example, Kimberly-Clark is loading up on toilet paper. Its sales in the four-week period ending in mid-April is up 65%. Likewise, auto manufacturers are using their facilities to manufacturer ventilators, protective masks and other healthcare products.These products will fill the supply chain for the short-term until a semblance of normalcy returns. But the landscape will change. Creative leaders will seek innovative strategies to accommodate newer delivery options such as drones, tighter delivery schedules, more efficient routing, and more streamlined and safe loading/unloading protocols.They will also have to deal with a changing trucking industry. For example, The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the trucking industry could very well be decimated since smaller companies will likely fail. Companies with six or fewer trucks make up more than 90% of the carriers in the United States’ $800 billion fragmented sector.
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