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Tags: technology | innovation | supply chain crisis

Technology and Innovation Solve Supply Chain Crisis

tooth wheel mechanism with supply chain management, product logistics, system, profit, plan and network
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Mark Vargas By Wednesday, 15 December 2021 02:56 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Flying over the Port of Long Beach, you can't help but notice the thirty or more container ships crowded along the coast — anchored with nothing to do but wait. It's a scene that plays out at ports throughout the country.

Crowded ports, empty store shelves — an unwelcome scene as we prepare for a busy holiday season.

The demand for goods that come from overseas and small, outdated ports here in the U.S.  have created a perfect storm during this global supply chain crisis. Not to mention a shortage of workers, truck drivers and shipping containers.

But thanks to logistics companies like Mercer, Roadmaster, Magellan, Tri-State and CDL1000, goods and products are making their way to stores near you — and just in time for the holidays!

In the last few months, Amazon Air, the air carrier for Amazon, increased its fleet of aircraft from 73 in August to 81 in December — allowing it to quickly expand its inventory and deliver goods on time throughout the U.S.

But there's more.

In a recent opinion piece in The Maritime Executive, the key takeaway is that technology is the solution to the current supply chain crisis. A system that relies on a labor force is doomed to fail. Factor in a pandemic and staffing shortages are made worse. The result is crowded ports, empty shelves and angry consumers.

By introducing Artificial Intelligence into supply chain functions, the need for a large labor force is eliminated. If we can use GPS technology to detect traffic congestion on the roads, why can't we use the same technology to monitor ship traffic, estimated arrival and departure times at ports and automate cranes to remove shipping containers once those ships are docked?

CDL 1000, a Chicago-based transportation and logistics company, understands the advantage of implementing AI within its business operations. In fact, it reinvests a significant portion of its net revenue each year into technology enhancements.

Customers can see live tracking of their shipments, analytics predict maintenance issues before they become breakdowns, performance score cards are automated and live, real-time tracking of deliveries allows them to boast of a 97 percent on-time record — a data point that's critical for their customers.

CDL 1000 technology also predicts trucker capacity at any individual port, allowing them to either send more trucks to meet the demand, or relocate trucks to another area. These capabilities are critical during this supply chain crisis where time literally is money.

But the bigger issue is even if the ports were cleared of container ships, warehouses are not open 24/7, and staffing shortages at those warehouses will only move the problems from the water to land.

"It's time for Americans to get back to work if we are serious about solving the supply chain crisis that we now face," said CDL 1000 CEO Andrew Sobko.

In 2017, Home Depot announced that it would invest over $1 billion to improve its supply chain and build 150 logistics facilities across the country. It also recently partnered with FreightTech startups to further its corporate culture of innovation.

By partnering with these technology-focused early-stage companies, Home Depot can quickly get its products to store locations quicker utilizing a drop trailer strategy that allows carriers to get in and out quicker without having to wait for hours on end for its  trailers to be unloaded.

Amazon Air, CDL 1000 and Home Depot represent just a few companies that have made technology and innovation part of their corporate culture — and we can only hope that more companies follow their lead. Where there's a crisis, there's an opportunity. And as these companies have proven, the sky's the limit.

And to the companies that refuse to innovate, your future is not so bright. "The trends are pretty clear — either innovate and adapt to new technologies or cease to exist," Mr. Sobko warned.

The choice is yours.

Mark Vargas currently hosts a radio show, "Mark My Words with Mark Vargas" on AM 560 The Answer. Follow Mark on Twitter: @markavargas. Read Mark Vargas' Reports — Click Here Now

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MarkVargas
If we can use GPS technology to detect traffic congestion on the roads, why can't we use the same technology to monitor ship traffic, estimated arrival and departure times at ports and automate cranes to remove shipping containers once those ships are docked?
technology, innovation, supply chain crisis
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2021-56-15
Wednesday, 15 December 2021 02:56 PM
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