The Satellite Review Magazine 2021 Issue 7 - Page 15

UPPLY CHAIN EDS SOME CARDIO

HOW WAREHOUSE AUTOMATION IS THE WORKOUT TODAY S DISRUPTED SUPPLY CHAIN NEEDS

T he supply chain is a lot like the human cardiovascular system , with the heart being equally dependent on pressure and healthy veins ; without each channel doing their part , the system can ’ t function . This has become clear amid the current state of the supply chain , with these struggles expected to continue throughout 2022 and beyond . This is causing long-term warehousing and logistical challenges along with global shortages on essential goods like food and PPE . It ’ s time the supply chain gets back in shape , but first , it ’ s important to know how we got here .

A Fatigued System
There will forever be a before and after COVID , used as a stamp in time before we reach what we ’ ve deemed the “ new normal .” However , it ’ s important to note that there were supply chain issues that predated the global pandemic , including escalating trade tensions and tariffs , as well as the ever-dwindling truck driver shortage .
With the e-commerce boom , online sales have soared causing logistical nightmares to keep up with demand . Other factors , such as Brexit , furthered complications in the supply chain in 2020 , with obstacles at every turn . The entire shipping line coordinates with logistics companies to carry around 90 % of world trade . But logistical issues are just one ailment in today ’ s supply chain challenges .
Shipping containers are also in short supply . For context , pre-pandemic shipping containers cost roughly $ 5,000 . The demand is so high that as of October 2021 , they have reached a new height at $ 20,586 each — specifically impacting Asia to U . S . trade . Given this significant increase , costs in the rest of the supply chain , including retail shelf products , are rising along with it . Because of this , import shipping vessels are waiting to dock . With ships idling off the coast , fewer shipping containers are in rotation , increasing the already strenuous demand . Even rail distribution has been affected , with backups sometimes up to 25 miles long .
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