The Top 7 Supply Chain Trends for 2022 | Watch out!

8 min read

At the end of the year, professionals trawl the net to find which trends or changes they should expect for the upcoming year. 

supply chain trends 2022


If you are engaged in supply chain management, you can skip that daunting task for this year, as we have already researched for you. 


Read below the supply chain trends that are very likely to knock on your door in 2022. 


#1 Cloud technology will become more accessible


The usage of cloud technology, or the availability to store and access data via the internet instead of a hard drive, is not a new supply chain trend. However, its wider availability and better accessibility for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are. 


Why is that the case? Because cloud technology is no more an expensive thing that only large corporations can afford. The pricing of cloud technology keeps decreasing, allowing more companies with limited budgets to access it. 


#2 More companies will outsource supply chain management


There is a new abbreviation that comes along your way: SCaaS. It’s a shortened way for Supply Chain as a Service and shows the inclination of more modern companies to outsource a part or all of their supply chain management activities. 


The reason behind this trend is that there have become more virtual supply chain management companies, which offer virtual management services due to cloud technology. So, instead of managing specific operations like production control, manufacturing, inventory rotation, etc., companies outsource those parts to specialized companies.


Instead, company managers free time to better focus on strategic and innovative decisions. 


#3 The need for supply chain resiliency is higher than ever before


Being resilient is one of the most significant supply chain trends for the upcoming year. It’s because the world has gone through the pandemic. This itself was a global master-class of adaptability and ability to respond to new reality quickly. 


Though not backed up by solid statistics yet, in 2022, more companies will stress the supply chain resiliency. This means they will invest in a more agile distribution to better respond to production and demand fluctuations. 


Moreover, companies concentrate on better diversification of partners and smarter contingency planning.


#4 Sustainability continues to be a topmost priority in supply chain trends 


Acting sustainable is more of a global trend than a specific supply chain management trend. However, certain acts in the global sustainability movement are tighter related to supply chain management companies. 


For example, the EU currently taxes non-recycled plastic packaging at 0.80 EUR per kg, Electric Vehicles (EV) market size value is projected to reach $ 1,893.1 million by 2027, and the chain goes on. 


The takeaway from this in terms of supply chain trends is that companies should invest harder in sustainable packaging, transportation, and distribution

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#5 Cooperation with more than one carrier is one of the key supply chain trends


An important factor that drives the supply chain managers’ decisions on which carrier to choose is who can deliver the product faster. However, coping up with the consistently increasing demand is not an easy task when you have only one carrier at hand.


That’s why more and more companies are switching to a so-called multi-carrier cooperation model. This means companies continuously look for more carriers to secure themselves from significant delivery delays. Paying reasonable quotes for carrier services is another critical factor, though. 


#6 There will be a more intense shift to a circular economy


In 2020, a Gartner Survey revealed that around 70% of surveyed supply chain management companies plan to invest in the circular economy. So, it’s not surprising we see a circular economy among supply chain trends of 2022 as well. 


Driven by the idea of smarter resource management, manufacturers and sellers become more concentrated on remaking discarded materials for resale. This will, in turn, contribute to global sustainability and an inclusive economy. 


#7 Companies are more inclined to choose temporary storage terminals


If you are not familiar with the term cross-docking, it’s high time to do so, as its market is projected to reach $ 342 billion by 2030. A cross-docking facility is a temporary terminal. Companies use it instead of permanently operating inventory storage for personal use. 


As you might guess, a key reason for this supply chain trend is that it saves companies money. Companies spend significantly less on inventory storage space, labor, and utilities. 


Other than that, companies usually use cross-docking for short-term storage, which decreases the risk of product spoilage. 


What do we recommend to companies that want to catch the wave of supply chain trends in 2022?


Though shifts toward sustainability and flexibility stand at the core of supply chain trends for the upcoming 2022 year, supply chain automation leads the game. The automated software allows you to cut on the financial and time resources spent on traditional supply chain management and approve accuracy. 


So, if you are not into the automation game yet, we highly encourage you to do so now. 


Not sure how to start? Start for free!


A multichannel inventory management software eSwap will help you to automate many of your  day-to-day operations. Check its features for Order Management, Warehouse Management, Catalog Management, and more.