Many supply chains will become increasingly port-focused as operational and political pressure encourages a shift away from traditional thinking, according to leading industry analysts.
“The need for many shippers to prove their sustainability credentials to stakeholders will see the rise of a number of new supply chain models, including those focused on reducing reliance on road and air by making more use of port areas,” said Wolfgang Lehmacher, MD for Greater China & India at consultancy CVA and former CEO of GeoPost Intercontinental.
David Baker, partner at Baker Rose Consulting, said multimodal supply chains that reduce primary and secondary supply chain moves will become more important due to rising fuel costs and political pressure on the transportation industry — particularly in the EU — to reduce carbon emissions.
This will increasingly encourage the location of distribution centers close to ports rather than in central locations to reduce trucking distances, he said.
The shift toward port-centric models will create new opportunities for smart port managers able to provide shippers and 3PLs with the services and facilities they require, according to Lehmacher.
“This could, for example, mean creating more trade zones and bonded hub facilities near ports, or it could mean offering specialist cold chain facilities or better intermodal options,” he said. “Equally, it could mean working with local and national transportation planners more closely, or working with nearby airports and customs to provide sea-air options.”
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