Management logistics of Industrial Container Cargo for Import Export business.

Contributed By AFFLINK

A new survey by GlobalTranx, which provides logistic technologies for shipping companies, and Edelman, a data and communications firm, found that most U.S. supply chain organizations are optimistic about their business performance and that of the industry in 2021.

The survey, published in April 2021, involved more than 200 supply chain leaders and managers. 

The study noted that last year, many supply chains were "overburdened" due to COVID-19 and had difficulty meeting product demand. However, 91 percent of those surveyed believe those problems are behind them and that they can better meet their customers' needs in 2021.

As to the reasons for their confidence, the survey uncovered the following:

- Seven in 10 respondents believe the COVID-19 vaccine rollout will enable them to attract new business.

- Related to this, 94 percent believe there will be a robust economic recovery in 2021 due to the vaccine rollout.

- Sixty percent believe the recently passed stimulus package will have a long-term positive impact on the economy, supply chain operations, and business revenue.

- More than half anticipate that regulatory policy coming out of the Biden administration will positively impact supply chain operations, especially if the infrastructure bill being discussed is passed.

Closer to home, Michael Wilson, vice president of AFFLINK, says many of the company's 350 plus member distributors -- most of whom market jan/san, paper, food service, and packaging materials -- also sound much more upbeat than they were a year ago.

"Last year, many of our members grappled with changing buying behaviors, inventory management issues, and fluctuating customer demand," he said "However, our distributors made necessary changes, including boosting their e-commerce capabilities. This has helped them become much more resilient."

As to the critical challenges in 2021, the survey reported there were concerns about rising transportation costs; finding enough workers; and having sufficient warehouse space to meet customer demand.

"Overall, it was a very positive report," said Wilson. "COVID makes things a bit iffy, so let's keep our fingers crossed."