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Resilience is key to surviving Christmas says CH Robinson

[ November 9, 2021   //   ]

Chris Mills, director of account management at freight forwarder CH Robinson, says the UK should build as much resilience as possible into its supply chain to sustain business and reduce the risk of shortages in the run up to Christmas.

In recent months the combination of the Covid pandemic, ongoing Brexit issues and driver shortages have led to significant disruption.

Chris Mills said: “Supply chain resilience is always key but arguably it has never been so crucial for business sustainability. We’re about to enter a critical phase of the pandemic and a perfect storm is forming with the ongoing and interrelated challenges of driver shortages, Brexit and Covid-19 alongside the significant spike in demand for goods during the festive period.”

Customer research by CH Robinson found that shippers believe increased supply chain resilience will be one of the top three factors for their success throughout the remainder of 2021. In addition, Business Continuity Institute’s Supply Chain Resilience 2021 report highlights that 83% of professionals involved in continuity, risk and resilience report that management commitment to supply chain risk is now medium to high. The same report also found that more than half of organisations are now using technology to analyse and report on supply chain disruptions.

Mills added: “Companies can no longer rely on historical data to predict demand and therefore supply. The current challenges highlight more than ever the need for investment in AI technologies that enable real time data insights throughout the shipping lifecycle of products, thereby taking supply chain visibility and resilience to new levels and enabling the ability to predict the unpredictable. Supply chain directors also need to keep an open mind about modes of transport, and the combination of different modes, as supply chain capacity is squeezed even more this Christmas.”

Last year, CH Robinson integrated its Navisphere multi-modal transportation management platform with Microsoft’s Azure Cloud platform, incorporating machine learning and artificial intelligence to support predictive analytics, device monitoring for greater intelligence on products whilst in transit, premier data security and increased application speed. According to Mills, the development has proved a significant success in responding to customers’ increasingly challenging supply chain requirements during the disruption of the last year.