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What's Trending in the Trends
A comparison of trusted supply chain industry sources used to identify the trends to follow throughout the year.
What's Trending in the Trends
A comparison of trusted supply chain industry sources used to identify the trends to follow throughout the year.
March 27, 2019
ith a nod toward Punxsutawney Phil – and Bill Murray, for that matter – I consulted some of my trusted supply chain industry sources to see what they predicted would be of significance in 2019. I wanted to see if there were any predictions that emerged across multiple sources or any crossover that would help me identify the trends I wanted to follow throughout the year. I wanted to see who could really say, “I told you so” next January.

I started my research with the sources I knew and trusted. I subscribe to a few regular weekly blogs and newsletters to get a quick snap shot of what’s happening in the world like:

You can contact me for a copy of my spreadsheet of all of the resources mentioned.

While small package and e-commerce predictions vary from trends for global trade, major shifts in international shipping will ultimately affect e-commerce and retail time-in-transit, so I reviewed those predictions in my highly unscientific research study. Here are the categories that emerged when I compared predictions from the multiple sources I review:

  • Technology. Yep. Blockchain; you knew you couldn’t escape it, but no one predicted it would be the greatest thing since grape jelly – just yet. Technology investment, adoption, and enablement show up consistently. Everyone agrees that you can’t limp along with a legacy system and expect to thrive.

  • Brexit. Tariffs. NAFTA. Trade wars. Google what you want, in one combination or another, these are the topics to watch. We’re just too connected not to be affected. View our REACH webinars on these global topics.

  • Labor shortages. Specifically in manufacturing jobs and drivers but also including warehousing and delivery. 

  • Cyber security. They don’t call them predators for nothing. Hackers can create havoc for you and your business.

  • Last-mile meets crowdsourcing. Uber, Target, Lyft, Macy’s, and Walmart will deliver packages to your door after the major carriers have made the long haul to your city.

But Don't Take My Word For It
Again, you should definitely read the actual articles because the devil is in the details. Just for fun, I like Retail Info Systems’ invitation to play a little buzzword bingo with the trending terms in retail:
Pop-Up Store, AI and Machine Learning, Intelligence Automation, Digital Transformation, Shopper Experience, 360 Customer View, Customer Journey Mapping, Breach, Personalization, Blockchain, Amazon, anything “at scale,” and all things “Seamless.”


And now for my predictions on the predictions...
Drones will be accepted as incredibly handy delivery tools. Advertisers will perfect the ability to read our minds and our emails to uncannily display wine-of-the-month club ads. Amazon and Alibaba will continue to elicit expletives from e-commerce companies, online marketplaces, and parcel carriers all around the world…And someone will be able to tweet the definition of blockchain in 280 characters or less.

"Major Influences on Supply Chains for 2019" - Adrian Gonzalez
"Supply Chain Trends to Watch in 2019" - Clint Reiser
"Which Supply Chain Risks Will Increase in 2019?" - Steve Banker
"Predictions for 2019: What Will the Year Have in Store for Global Shipping" - Andrew Coldrey
"Top 6 Global Supply Chain Expectations for 2019" (White Paper)
"Good Question: What are your top supply chain predictions for 2019?" - Katrina Arabe
"Gartner Predicts 2019 for Supply Chain Operations” – Kasey Panetta
“Top 10 Predictions for Worldwide Supply Chains in 2019” – Simon Ellis
“Top 7 Retail Technology Trends to Watch in 2019” - Justin Honaman
Julie James
Channel Sales Manager ~ ConnectShip
Julie James has spent more than 30 years in marketing, 10 years in shipping solutions, and two years in program management - just enough to be dangerous to manage a project from business requirements through product launch. When not writing for this blog, Julie is a partner relationship manager for ConnectShip, amateur market researcher, and occasional webinar moderator. She resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her partner and plumber, Greg Phillips, Phillips Plumbing, “wrangling water for the last 40 years.”