AI ECTA – FTA Agreement Australia and India

On 2 April 2022 Australia and India signed a historical free trade agreement.

This trade agreement is symbolic for two countries with domestic political agendas at a time where international trade relations are difficult and uncertain. This AI ECTA agreement is an important agreement for Australian importers because it will reduce 85% of tariffs on imported goods from India to Australia.

The AI ECTA will provide better trade relations for Australia export industries for Lithium (Used batteries for Indian Electric cars), lobster and wine.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the agreement would create enormous trade diversification opportunities for Australian producers and service providers bound for India, valued at up to $14.8 billion each year.

“This agreement opens a big door into the world’s fastest growing major economy for Australian farmers, manufacturers, producers and so many more,” the Prime Minister said.

“By unlocking the huge market of around 1.4 billion consumers in India, we are strengthening the economy and growing jobs right here at home.

“This is great news for lobster fishers in Tasmania, wine producers in South Australia, macadamia farmers in Queensland, critical minerals miners in Western Australia, lamb farmers from New South Wales, wool producers from Victoria and metallic ore producers from the Northern Territory.

“This agreement has been built on our strong security partnership and our joint efforts in the Quad, which has created the opportunity for our economic relationship to advance to a new level.”

The agreement will also reduce the visa requirements for Indian students and temporary visa holders at a time where the Australian hospitality and tourism industry is trying to recover from the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic. The agreement mentions the pharmaceutical, medical and technical service industries and part of the agreement is reducing the government red tape.

For importers currently sourcing goods from China, the trade disadvantages have been extreme. From productions delays from electricity black outs, high shipping costs and a Covid zero policy with continued lockdowns. Importers can really benefit from utilizing this new agreement.

It’s worth noting though that ocean freight costs from India to Australia are currently high and space remains tight due to limited shipping options. There is some concern that the current available capacity may not be able to service the increased demand the FTA will create – so it will be interesting to see which carriers will back a direct service connecting Oceania with India in the coming months.

With domestic laws still needed to be passed, we hope that the agreement will be in effect by the end of the year.

If you would like more information on the new agreement from DFAT please click here.

Or for more information on how Ligentia can help organisations with their import/export requirements for India and Australia, contact: Dean Neville.

Ligentia is pleased to announce that we have been named as a supplier on the Crown Commercial Services (CCS) commercial agreement RM6282 for storage, distribution, kitting and associated services.

CCS supports the public sector to achieve maximum commercial value when procuring common goods and services. In 2020/21, CCS helped the public sector to achieve commercial benefits equal to £2.04bn – supporting world-class public services that offer best value for taxpayers.

Launched in February 2022, the commercial agreement will last for 4 years and offers public sector organisations in the UK, such as central and local government authorities, emergency services and the NHS, access to Ligentia’s air freight, sea freight and storage solutions.

In the first 2 months since being awarded a place on the commercial agreement, we are already moving goods for public sector customers. If you are a public sector buyer and interested to learn more about how we can help, please contact steve.taylor@ligentia.global.

Lee Alderman-Davis, Global Product and Development Director at Ligentia commented, ‘We’re excited to be part of this commercial agreement helping public services achieve maximum value from the procurement of storage, distribution, kitting and associated services. Our team of agile and creative problem solvers are adept at mobilising solutions, which together with our technology, helps provide responsiveness, resilience and commercial benefits.’

Ligentia has been named a supplier on the following lots for RM6282:

Lot 1b: Air Freight and Air Charter Services – covers a range of services for managing the transportation of goods from international locations using air freight and air charter services, including charter booking services, air freight management, airport ground handling services within the UK

Lot 1e: Sea Freight – covers a range of services for managing the transportation of goods by sea from international destinations, including managing and booking freight services, container management and transportation, customs services and clearance, and onward transportation within the UK

Lot 3a: Storage –  covers a range of storage solutions and related services including inbound warehousing processes, warehouse storage, fulfilment services and order consolidation, packaging of items and material handling equipment to enable dispatch, stock control, inventory and asset management systems.

For more information on RM6282, please refer to the CCS webpage or contact the CCS team at info@crowncommercial.gov.uk

How do you measure and mitigate?

Whether it’s pharmaceuticals, vaccines, generics, animal health products or the supply of medical consumables to the NHS, the current phrase on everyone’s lips is ‘supply chain disruption’.

European companies in particular are looking to source from an ever-wider range of suppliers and countries, adding more and more complexity into supply chains.

Today, speed of supply isn’t always the most important factor for organisations; with many prioritising supply chain resilience instead. Given current supply chain constraints, companies are having to make challenging decisions on where, how and when to move their goods, simply to balance the risks involved. Trade-offs between cost of supply and customer service are now also finely balanced.

So how do you measure and mitigate against future disruption?

The short answer is don’t abandon your KPIs. Setting up and maintaining key performance indicators is the only way to check and improve processes to ensure visibility of supply chain performance. Once effective KPIs are in place, you have to actively use them! Regular analysis of KPIs is an important driver in the quest to maintain and improve each step of the supply chain both locally and globally. With metrics in place, supply chain professionals can gain an edge by actively reducing costs to their business whilst simultaneously fine-turning service to the end user.

Maintaining better supply chain resilience is ultimately all about data.

  • Do you know your total delivered cost?
  • Do you know your landed cost and profitability at a customer level?
  • Do you know the total time for a product to pass through the supply chain from start to finish?
  • Are your customer service metrics relevant to your customer?
  • Are you measuring on-time and in-full deliveries right down to order level?

At Ligentia, our analytics capability all links back to the vast range and amount of data we hold within our proprietary software, Ligentix. It empowers the performance measurement of supplier, carrier, haulier, 3rd parties as well as our own delivery of milestones along each critical path.

In summary Ligentix delivers three unique points of value to our customers:

1. Exception management – Means a user only needs to focus on the small number of orders, falling out of agreed tolerance levels and thus requiring response. This alleviates the burden of time involved in complex supply chain management and creates freedom to focus on strategic priorities.

2. Live visibility – Our PO-centric design gives visibility right down to the individual item/SKU level. This information is supplemented with live feeds from shipping lines and hauliers to ensure up to the minute control for altogether better supply chain decision making.

3. Richness of the data – We gather and store data, which means we can report in fine detail to deliver development reports and plans to reduce lead times or costs, to manage suppliers and carriers and to ultimately increase end-to-end efficiency to across the entire supply chain.

For more information on how to mitigate your healthcare supply chain risk, contact:

Steve Taylor (steve.taylor@ligentia.global)

Peter Melville (peter.melville@ligentia.global)

Conscious consumerism has been reshaping buying behaviour for several years – but it’s set to be headline news in 2022.  

Chris Biggs, Global Head of Retail for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) recently shared robust research data suggesting that 90% of consumers are more concerned about sustainability than ever before. While further figures from BCG around today’s consumer attitudes speak for themselves: 

  • 41% recognise that recyclable choices and sustainable packaging influence their buying decisions 
  • 70% are willing to pay a price premium of 5% for sustainable products 
  • 60% of consumers going out of their way to recycle and purchase products in sustainable packaging 

Sustainability practices rapidly moving mainstream are plain to see on our high streets and with online brands. In fashion, Boohoo, Zara and H&M are encouraging customers to reuse and recycle unwanted clothes through in-store collection points and aggressively promoting sustainable ranges. And close to our HQ, Asda’s flagship sustainability store in Leeds continues to add new products to its refill zone, with other stores and brands set to follow suit. 

But these high visibility shifts in sustainable retail are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot more that progressive retailers can do that sits below the surface, out of consumers’ eyelines. From recycling and waste reduction to saving water; there are many obvious ways retailers can push the sustainability agenda. But these are initiatives and approaches with the potential to make a bigger difference to climate change longer-term and this is where we, as supply chain experts, can really play our part. 

Initiatives consumers can see

Whilst those looking for short-term kudos and quick wins may scramble to redesign packaging and create merchandising that bends marketing messages to name-check the circular economy, there’s much more to be done.  Moreover, consumers are justifiably sceptical about the authenticity of many brands’ sustainability claims, creating a strong ‘push’ for businesses to go the extra mile and ensure their words and actions are truly aligned with enduring strategic initiatives. 

For retailers to truly evolve with the consumer in 2022, Kyle Monk, Director of Insight & Analytics at the British Retail Consortium suggests that sustainability “must be at the heart of their business and across their entire supply chain”. 

Sustainability at the heart 

Here are four powerful ways that supply chain strategy can support ESG and CSR agendas: 

1. Reducing carbon footprint

The right supply chain technology can play a central role in planned reductions to carbon footprints. With a wealth of smart decision-making data to hand, supply chain professionals can become better equipped to make good choices on how, when and where they move goods, clued up on the carbon credentials and the implications of different modes and distribution processes. 

2. Better inventory management

Next-level inventory management with clear visibility across the product life cycle can also play its part. Gaining visibility, data and insight to drive efficiencies across an entire product lifecycle, from purchasing and cost-base through to stock holding and store delivery can help to move organisations away from a buy-one/sell-one model. Within the supply chain, the evaluation of local or ESG-compliant sourcing options, use of alternative trade lanes and re-routing all have potential parts to play. 

Customer gratification is also a key driver. Consumers are increasingly opting for hybrid-shopping, rather than just online. Confidence the products they want are available is a sure-fire route to securing customer satisfaction and loyalty. But in today’s constrained market, this is no easy feat. Strong relationships across expert networks, a problem-solving approach and rapid response must go hand in hand with data-driven decision-making capabilities. On both fronts, strong supply chain management partners can help with the heavy lifting to put smiles on the faces of today’s discerning shoppers.

3. Tightening up logistics

We know supply chain sustainability can be significantly boosted by focusing on: 

  • the mode of transport used 
  • the routes used 
  • the frequency of booking 

Beyond that, we envisage that progressive supply chain professionals will be exploring more technologically advanced solutions. Expect more radio-frequency identification (RFID) and tracking technologies, creating the kind of visibility that empowers increased agility – as well as helping to identify areas where inefficiencies need to be tackled. 

4. Enabling mutually beneficial collaboration

When it comes to developing an agile growth strategy that begins to tick sustainability boxes in a meaningful way, retailers will need to move away from a reliance on internal-only data. Collaboration with partner organisations and suppliers is set to enable the development of a “thinking” supply chain, seamlessly drawing from multiple data sources to synthesize insights.  

What’s more, tech-enabled two-way communication with suppliers can begin to add an extra dimension to sourcing strategies and unlock supply chain improvements in line with sustainability principles. Technology enabled collaborations can deliver mutual advantages and points of difference for those organisations that are prepared to react quickly, drive strategic decisions and push hard for transformational change. 

Out of sight, out of mind? 

We know that the role of supply chain in sustainable retail practice may be ‘hidden’ from consumers, but better partnerships, communication, problem solving and agile decision making – all underpinned by smart supply chain data and technology – are likely to provide a firm focus for retailers looking to further their sustainability agendas over the year ahead and beyond. 

If you’d like to chat to us about your 2022 supply chain sustainability goals, don’t hesitate to get in touch.  

As the end of 2021 approaches, Ligentia’s Managing Director for Australia Dean Neville shares his thoughts on the current Oceania market and what to expect as we move into 2022.

South China feeder services set for decline due to COVID

China’s quarantine rules for seafarers are set to cause a big drop in Pearl River Delta feeder capacity in the run-up to Chinese New Year in February. Carriers have issued advisory warnings of disruption from mid-December to mid-February, after feeder operators announced service suspensions due to a lack of crew. Services which connect the Pearl River Delta origins between South China and Hong Kong will be impacted, including Fuzhou. The main ports of Hong Kong, Yantian and Shekou will be used as the base ports for cargo acceptance on mainline services, with potential to see earlier surges than usual. Once feeder capacity declines, this will put further pressure on land transport capacities (which are already stretched).

Indian shippers reroute more transhipment cargo to Nhava Sheva and Mundra

Cargo owners and forwarders from India’s hinterland points of Chennai and Kolkata are rerouting more shipments to JNPT (Nhava Sheva) or Mundra instead of feedering to hub or intermediate ports in South Asia for mainline connectivity (Colombo, Singapore and Port Kelang). This is due to ongoing heavy congestion and delay disruptions at these mainline hub ports. This trend is expected to continue for at least another 3-4 months based on industry press information.

New law in China coincides with significant cut in vessel location data

Vessel location data from China has been greatly reduced, impacting maritime supply chain visibility. The tracking signal known as Automated Identification System (AIS) is used globally by the shipping industry to transmit data on vessel location and identity. New personal information protection laws which came into effect in China this month have reportedly prompted domestic providers to stop sharing AIS data with foreign companies. The drop-off in vessel location data transmission (by nearly 90%) appears to coincide with these new laws, presenting further challenges to shipping lines who are already scrambling to restore integrity and confidence in vessel activity, scheduling, route planning and vessel status.

Ocean container freight rates heading into 2022

Shipping lines continue to maintain status quo, extending October 2021 validity FAK and Spot rates through until (mid-) January 2022 at this stage. Carriers are presently assessing BCO and NVO allocations for 2022 against historical lifting performance during 2021; we are expecting this to be very much in line with space allocations preserved for 2022. Contract rates in 2022 will likely be more than double those of 2021, and with strict forecasting maintenance and dead freight rules enforced in 2022 for VIP contract rates offered. Market FAK rates will likely mirror Q4 2021 in H1 2022, before a heightened risk of increasing again in H2 2022.

Space and equipment availability heading into 2022

There are no signs that services into Oceania destinations from North Asia, South Asia or Indian Subcontinent (ISC origins) will improve significantly in 2022. There are no headline announcements from the shipping lines that larger capacity cellular vessels will be returned to Oceania destination services during 2022. Combined with buoyancy of the larger TransPacific and UK / European trades, ongoing sustained blank sailing programs have been announced by the shipping lines for 2022 into Oceania destinations and imbalanced equipment is pooling at destination locations rather than at base origin locations where it is needed. The market will continue to be pressured for space and transit integrity owing to ongoing congestion spanning the theatre, lack of equipment availability and high container freight rates through until 2023 at the earliest.

Airfreight space and rates heading into 2022

With the latest variation of COVID taking hold of the world and many countries considering further extensions on keeping their international borders closed indefinitely, the glimmer of hope of seeing more PAX capacity return to the skies and airfreight rates soften as a result during Q1 2022 is unfortunately waning. It is most likely we will now see per KG airfreight rates from Asia and ISC origins into SYD and MEL base destinations at +US$9-10/KG for some months to come – for BNE, ADL and PER destinations at +US$11-12/KG for some months to come unfortunately.

Power rationing impacting most of China’s manufacturing zones

While this is not getting a lot of mainstream press, everyone working in sourcing, supply chain and shipping sectors are aware how serious this is for our key manufacturing partners based in China. It will most likely mean production lead times will extend significantly beyond normal parameters, potentially risking open PO cargo ready dates this side of the Chinese New Year holiday in early February. It is not clear how long this power rationing imposed on China’s manufacturing zones will last, but it could be ongoing for some months to come (well into the 2022 calendar year). Forecasting and regular communication with vendor partners will be crucial; as will the sharing of that information with Ligentia teams, in order to overlay with shipping line allocation and schedule management.

Domestic disruptors

Medium to heavy levels of port congestion continue to impact ANZ destinations (for imports, containers, breakbulk and airfreight modes of transport). This is combined with:

  • COVID-related labour disruptions and shortages
  • Fuel cost escalation
  • Skilled driver shortages
  • Stevedore and CTO labour and workflow challenges
  • High levels of cargoes within available warehousing space
  • Seriously low availability of hire pallets nationally
  • Raw material shortages in-country, impacting replenishment supply chains
  • Ensuing cost driver pressures.

With this in mind, 2022 is shaping up to be “more of the same as 2021”!

Thank you – genuinely – for another wonderful year of your support and trust. As the season draws closer, we’d like to wish you many happy returns, great food and joyous celebrations with your family and loved ones over Christmas and the New Year. We look forward to tackling 2022 with you all!

With forecasts for trade volumes at some ports to rise from 2.75 million TEU to 8 or 9 million TEU, there is a pressing need for Australian ports to improve their productivity.

According to data from the ACCC Container Stevedoring Monitoring report, Australia’s average crane rate is currently around 28.1 boxes per hour per crane. Globally, the average ranges from about 22 box moves per hour per crane for smaller vessels to 25 box moves per hour per crane for vessels of approximately 13,500 TEU. However, average figures hide extremes.

In July 2015, the Port of Haifa in Israel set a productivity record of 319 box moves per hour, with six cranes working on one ship. That translates to around 53 box moves per hour per crane, which is twice the Australian average crane rate. The ACCC also says that the Port of Tauranga in New Zealand consistently outperforms even Australia’s best ports.

Although 28 boxes per hour per crane may not sound too bad, some ports only move 12-14 boxes per hour per crane. Meanwhile, the best ports hit around 30 box moves per hour per crane. This disparity is a concern.

Why does it matter?

The per hour per crane rate makes a significant difference to the number of hours taken to unload a ship and, as such, makes a huge difference to the direct costs borne by each vessel. When a vessel is not moving, it still costs money to run. In the current market, a non-sailing 6,000 TEU ship costs in the region of AUD$111 every minute.

Below par performance also results in compounding delays. If a ship is late to one port, it arrives even later to the next port and so on and so forth. Ships then must move faster to make up time, burning a larger amount of fuel and further increasing cost.

In some cases, the only way to make up time is to skip ports and reduce service. This results in a huge reduction in supply.

What next for Australia’s ports?

It is clear that Australia’s container ports must look to improve their productivity – and soon. Global examples prove that the average box moves per hour per crane can be much higher than current performance in Australia.

Ports must:

  • Look to address physical barriers to putting more cranes on ships
  • Address persistent workforce and industrial relations issues

Our global supply chain experts are committed to finding ways to build resilience into customer operations. By mitigating risk across your supply chain, your team are able to minimise the impact of future disruption. Get in touch: hello@ligentia.global

HMRC have provided new information about Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA) and regarding the support and services they will be delivering to help you when you import and export.

The benefits and where you can find out more

From 1st January 2022 you can continue to use Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA) on all customs declarations that require you to account for import VAT, including supplementary declarations, except when HMRC have told you otherwise.

PVA has already provided significant cash flow benefits for thousands of our customers, and we expect that most businesses will choose to use it. This is because PVA allows UK VAT-registered importers to account for and recover import VAT on their VAT return, rather than paying the import VAT when the goods are imported.

You can use PVA for goods you’re importing from the EU or other countries. And PVA is not a temporary process, so you will be able to continue to use it following the end of staged customs controls.

There isn’t an application process, but you do need to confirm in your customs declaration that you are using PVA, and you’ll need to make sure that the person making your VAT declarations is also prepared.

Please note that Import PVA is only available to fully UK VAT registered companies, and that HMRC can prohibit PVA, and do, for businesses they have issues with i.e. businesses with a poor compliance record.

If using the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system

On your declaration, enter:

  • your EORI number starting with ‘GB’ which includes your VAT registration number into box 8 (Header Consignee), or, if applicable, your VAT registration number in box 44h (Registered Consignee)
  • ‘G’ (Postponed accounting for VAT approved) as the method of payment in Box 47e.

If using the Customs Declaration Service (CDS)

On your declaration, enter:

  • your VAT registration number at header level in data element 3/40.

Please note that VAT will be recorded against your EORI and will be at declaration level only.

If using someone else to do your declarations

If someone else is doing your customs declarations for you such as a freight forwarder, customs agent, broker or fast parcel operator you need to tell them that you want to use PVA to account for import VAT on the imported goods. They can then complete the customs declaration correctly on your behalf, and you should keep a written record of what is agreed.

For more information around new support and services offered by HMRC, please visit the GOV.UK website.

Click here to find out more about the services we provide our customers.

Calling on business leaders, port leaders, and union leaders to address the challenges at ports across the country, the Biden administration has announced several actions each partner can take in a “90-day sprint” to ease the current congestion, transportation and supply chain blockages that are disrupting US ports, particularly the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. 

The objective as stated by Biden is for “the United States, the world’s biggest consumer economy, to operate faster,” and avoid the disruption of goods delivery for the holiday season. The broader goal, he said, is to address long-standing weaknesses in the U.S. supply chain.  

The steps announced by Biden to achieve this objective include moves by the nation’s two largest ports, Los Angeles and Long Beach, to expand to 24-hour operations, and big conglomerates such as Walmart, FedEx, UPS, Samsung, Target and The Home Depot to step up efforts for quicker cargo clearance.  

The Port of Los Angeles expands to 24/7 operation 

The Port of Long Beach expanded operations in mid-September. The Port of Los Angeles is now joining them by adding new off-peak night time shifts and weekend hours. This move by the Port of Los Angeles comes after it achieved a record-breaking backlog in June, making it the first western hemisphere port to process 10m container units in a 12month period.  

Approximately 40% of all shipping containers that enter the US do so via these two ports, which are the ninth largest in the world. The ports typically operate five days a week, closing at night and weekends, but the agreed changes will see Los Angeles Port operating for over 60 hours a week, almost double its total earlier this year.  

The expansion means that they have nearly doubled the hours that cargo will be able to move out of its docks and onto highways. Biden said the joint effort of the two ports in expanding round-the-clock operations will result in an estimated 500,000 containers waiting on cargo ships offshore being unloaded.  

Conglomerates expand hours to move more cargo

In addition to the joint commitments by the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach in stepping up their round-the-clock operations, Biden has also enlisted the support of the private sector.   

On Wednesday 13th October, Biden warned companies that he will “call them out” if they fail to “step up” to ease supply chain bottlenecks ahead of the holiday season.  

Biden said: “I want to be clear. This is an across-the-board commitment to going to 24/7. This is a big first step… But now we need the rest of the private sector chain to step up as well. This is not called a supply chain for nothing.”  

According to Biden three major carriers of goods – Walmart, FedEx and UPS – have already agreed to intensify their round-the-clock operations to speed the shipment of goods across the country. Target, Home Depot and Samsung are also increasing their work in off-peak hours.  

It is expected that the pledges from the six companies will amount to 3,500 additional containers moving each week through the end of the year. 

The cause of congestion 

The supply crisis is driven in part by the global coronavirus pandemic, coupled with the increased demand from U.S. consumers, warehouse worker and truck driver shortages, and hub slowdowns. 

E-commerce in the U.S. increased by 39% in Q1 2021 compared to Q1 2020. As sales of goods spiked, suppliers couldn’t keep up with the demand and faced several difficulties getting goods to the U.S. Soaring freight rates and an extreme space and equipment crunch were among these difficulties, which were navigated by suppliers only for them to face congestion at the ports as a result of inadequate and insufficient port infrastructure.  

Biden has further requested the terminal operators, truckers, shippers, and the rest of the supply chain also join the effort. He added that the U.S. should address the long-standing weakness in the transportation supply chain that the pandemic has exposed. Biden went on to say that it is time to improve the infrastructure, alluding to the fact that the time of lean and Just In Time supply chains has gonethe world has changed and supply chains needs to be more resilient.

In the wake of a general acceptance that Just in Time is no longer fit for purpose, Ligentia’s UK Managing Director Anthony Plummer recently shared his thoughts on why it’s more important than ever to plan using the right data, knowledge and insight – and how end-to-end visibility is key for building resilient supply chains. Find out more in our blog: Managing Supply and Demand in a Volatile Environment. 

Find out from Ligentia’s UK Managing Director, Anthony Plummer, why it’s more important than ever to plan using the right data, knowledge and insight, and how having end-to-end visibility is imperative for building a resilient supply chain.

It’s difficult not to focus on the here and now, particularly when disruptions to supply chains show little signs of abating, but now, more than ever, is the time to be forward looking.

It’s generally accepted that Just in Time is no longer fit for purpose. The days of being able to rely on 30 days port to port are gone and extended supply chains are here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. So if you know it’s now taking 45 days, what do you do? Build this into your supply chain, pay to hold more stock so you can keep selling to maintain customers, or take the risk?

What the smart, forward looking companies are doing is planning to mitigate risks. But effective planning needs to be based on data, knowledge and insight. It’s easy to look at a queue of ships outside a port and assume that’s where the problem is, however the situation that caused this hold-up is likely to have taken place further up or down the supply chain.

Having visibility of what’s happening across the supply chain is imperative for building a resilient supply chain. It enables organisations to be more responsive to sudden shocks, spotting potential issues before they come about, having options at the ready. However, many organisations don’t have a full picture of their end-to-end supply chain and if you don’t know where your stock is, what’s happening at the ports and when it’s going to arrive, how can you make informed decisions?

But that knowledge exists in the supply chain. It’s likely that someone, somewhere will have had access to this many weeks beforehand. So now’s the time to be asking how you can get visibility of this data and insight and be well-positioned to avoid the bullwhip effect.

This phenomenon – when a small shock at one end produces massive shocks further up or down the supply chain – can be reduced or at best prevented through effective use of data and technology. Although typically discussed in terms of consumers triggering the shocks, we now operate in a world where both supply and demand shocks are causing shocks through supply chains.

Over the past 18 months, we’ve seen how this powerful combination of data and technology, expertise and relationships has helped inform and expedite critical decisions. Having a supply chain control tower that enables an organisation to have a full overview of POs, inbound inventories, port congestion and other data points has helped us spot deviations upstream, identify disruptions and potential issues, for example lead times that are too short.  It’s helped our customers get on the front foot and together we’ve resolved critical issues including finding different routes to market.

Supply chain logistics may be in the headlines today but it hasn’t always received the focus or investment particularly in inbound supply chain those of us working in the industry know it needs. Now with freight rates 7 x times what they once were it’s getting attention.  The big question is, will this be maintained – will we see investment in upstream knowledge, control and management become the new norm?

Perhaps these latest supply chain shocks will be the ones that trigger a sustained change in how organisations see value in having visibility of their supply chains, driving interconnectivity and a preparedness to invest time and resource in planning.

Time will tell who’s successfully navigated the current choppy waters, but there will always be sudden shocks. We may not know when and where these will happen but when they do hit, will you be prepared to ride out the next one?

For more information on Ligentix, our proprietary software click here.