Weathering the Supply Chain Storm: Insights from Industry Leaders & Tech Innovators

With shippers entering the second year of extreme supply chain volatility and economic recovery on the horizon, project44 assembled a panel of industry veterans and technology specialists for a webinar titled, Weathering the Supply Chain Storm: Port Congestion, Disruption, and a Resurging Global Economy.

By combining the insights of industry leaders and technology innovators, the session provides critical insights for supply chain stakeholders, from shippers to carriers and everyone in between.

The webinar featured Gene Seroka Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, Edward Aldridge, Global Head of Ocean Freight at Agility, Robin Jaacks SVP, International Growth for project44, and Nick Ruggiero Product Manager-Ocean, Air, and Rail Visibility at project44.

What led to the current supply chain disruptions?

With global supply chains still stuck in the unflattering spotlight of the global economy, the panel discussed the perfect storm of a health crisis, politics, and economics that has created some of the worst supply chain disturbances and port congestion ever recorded.

How are organizations responding?

The conversation touched upon what organizations are doing to weather disruption while discussing current and future strategies for remaining agile as further roadblocks inevitably occur.

What other factors played a role?

The global supply chain breakdown didn’t occur overnight, nor was this disaster caused by the 2020 pandemic alone. According to the panel, the roots of these supply chain difficulties lie in government policies and shifting consumer behavior that COVID-19 expedited.

How did trade tensions and COVID-19 impact the supply chain?

Port of LA’s Gene Seroka focused on two main causes that led to the current situation — the trade tension between the US and China in 2019, and last year’s Covid-19 pandemic, with the latter compounding the former. Seroka detailed how these conditions created a massive glut of empty containers stranded in rural and semi-rural regions across the US.

How has the increase of consumer spending impacted the supply chain?

Project44’s Nick Ruggiero noted that a rapid shift in consumer spending exacerbated the maritime imbalance. As homebound consumers scrambled to spend their stimulus checks in the US on consumer goods, retailers were caught off guard, without time to respond.

How are companies preparing to match demand?

Agility’s Edward Aldridge told the panel that his company was looking for methods of managing capacity as demand, for the first time in many years, outstripped capacity, taking everyone by surprise. He went on to say Agility customers are looking for “contingency plans, they’re asking for alternatives essentially.”

Missed the webinar or registered but couldn’t attend? Catch up on demand to hear more about how industry leaders are preparing for the global recovery and further shifts in supply and demand for supply chain services.