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The Supply Chain Dive Outlook on 2021

Adeline Kon/Supply Chain Dive

Note from the editor

The early weeks of 2021 reveal a continuation of many supply chain trends from 2020. 

Lockdowns and consumers staying home put e-commerce into overdrive, and the momentum shows no signs of slowing. Personal protective equipment emerged as a procurement category, and N95 masks and nitrile gloves continue to be difficult to find. 

Imports upon imports stacked up at West Coast ports, and the congestion could endure past the Lunar New Year. 

It's clear the pandemic will affect the supply chain ecosystem long term. The question is, how? Will carrier-shipper dynamics change? Are parcel logistics set for a revamp? Will procurement leaders' roles take on new significance?

The stories below offer a look ahead at supply chains in 2021 and beyond.

Shefali Kapadia Lead Editor

What does shipper of choice mean in 2021?

A history of short dwell times and consistent tendering behavior will be important as carriers prioritize freight in a tight market.

Humanity drives these 4 procurement trends for 2021

We are fundamentally professionally and personally transformed because of our COVID-19 pandemic experiences.

The evolving role of the chief procurement officer

The need for more — and more critically thinking — CPOs is accelerating.

Damco is gone. Where do Maersk, freight forwarders and shippers go from here?

Shippers face a choice as they plan their freight strategies: the simplicity of a single end-to-end provider or the reduced risk of a diversified carrier network.

Pandemic parcel dynamics drive a new shipper hierarchy

In a world where parcel carriers choose which volume they carry, some shippers will win capacity and some will lose. Skill and investment will determine the winners.

4 elements of the next phase of last-mile delivery

The technologies to move retail delivery forward already exist. The next step is fully weaving last-mile services into the retail landscape.

The Supply Chain Dive Outlook on 2021

The early parts of 2021 reveal a continuation of 2020's trends, making it clear the pandemic will affect the supply chain ecosystem long term.

included in this trendline
  • The evolving role of the chief procurement officer
  • What it means to be a shipper of choice in 2021
  • 4 elements of the next phase of last-mile delivery
Note: Trendlines are a premium product, available to subscribers of our free newsletters. Access this Trendline by signing up for the Supply Chain Dive newsletter or enter your information if you're already subscribed.
Produced by our team of award-winning journalists, these Outlooks can help businesses navigate the uncertain road ahead in 2021.
Davide Savenije Editor-in-Chief at Industry Dive.