Trends for 2023: Shorter Supply Chains And Asset Flexibility

Logistics and Supply Chain News

Schoeller Allibert, a leading manufacturer of sustainable returnable packaging for the logistics industry, has shared its perspective on trends set to shape logistics and warehousing through 2023.

The business, which has a top-down view of the logistics supply chain through its position as a key supplier of equipment and services, believes that 2023 will see stability brought back to a more volatile sector through integrative technology. 

How effectively supply chains can embrace these trends, Schoeller Allibert says, will prove crucial to sector success through the coming year.

Jon Walkington, Schoeller Allibert UK’s Strategic Sales and Marketing Director, explains: “It’s no secret that today’s logistics supply chains are under greater pressure than ever before. We are all looking to achieve ‘more with less’, boosting volume and speed while accelerating efforts in sustainability. It’s a lot of plates for today’s logistics managers and warehouse operatives to spin, but it points towards where the future of industry lies. Crucially, supply chains are switching from a ‘survival’ mindset back to growth, and from passivity to proactivity.

“For 2023, and particularly for retailers, we expect the truncation of the supply chain. It’s clearly a matter of cost and reducing the number of touchpoints. Examples we see so far are filling at source, and shop floor-ready Point of Sale palletisation. Similarly, we are expecting a fresh surge in the area of automation, which speaks very much to the need for accomplishing ‘more with less’. Automation, combining digital and analogue processes, has been steadily on the rise through the logistics supply chain but it’s never been more vital than it is today. 

For logistics businesses, every single journey or movement of inventory is a valuable unit of data that can be captured, measured and controlled; and that data is essential to informing decisions and building a stronger, more effective supply chain. A prime example of this in action is our SmartLink® platform, which uses LPWAN wireless technology to link individual containers. This creates a network of intelligent assets that can be monitored, managed and controlled through a secure cloud-based platform.

“We are also expecting to see a rise in asset flexibility, dovetailing into the rising trend for renting equipment over outright ownership. Around the world, supply chains are tightening their costs as inflation continues to take hold, while at the same time, requiring more agility and responsiveness. Of course, renting equipment comes as an operational cost, so can be assigned to rolling OPEX rather than CAPEX, which is a very attractive proposition from a budgetary standpoint, and also ensures businesses are not wasting resources with more equipment than they need at a given time. Through 2023, we expect to see many more businesses transition from ownership of logistics assets to rental”

Operating across key sectors that include logistics, manufacturing, food processing, e-tail and retail, the Schoeller Allibert range includes foldable large containers, rigid pallet containers, handheld and stackable containers, and plastic pallets.

Through constant innovation, the business lifts transit packaging from a necessary supply chain component to an active contributor to long-term process strategy. 

Jon continued: “We have been banging the sustainability drum for a number of years now, but the pressure is on as we get another year closer to Net Zero targets. For instance, we see rapid growth in kerbside recycling, which is a clear logistical drive. Additionally for 2023, we are expecting to see a reduction in the granular and siloed approach to supply chain sustainability, in favour of taking a wider view. Low-carbon and renewable technologies are set to be centre stage as logistics firms aim to create more across-the-board changes in aid of sustainable business. 

“We have seen this first-hand with increased focus on our CircuLine® range, which provides the durability and performance of the Schoeller range, built with recycled plastic content of 30% of more, which as well as creating a strong circular plastic loop, exempts them from the UK Plastic Packaging Tax. Through the coming year, we are expecting to see rapid acceleration in the adoption of sustainable technologies, which should set us on course for a more robust logistics seector.”

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