By Darin Cooprider, Ryder Supply Chain Solutions
In a volatile business environment where consumer demand is fickle, retail and consumer-packaged goods (CPG) companies are challenged with improving speed to market, while at the same time reducing total supply chain costs. The dramatic growth in offshoring often works against these goals — lengthening the supply chain overall and adding transportation and distribution costs, as well as higher risk, as a trade-off to lower product costs.
Looking at the upside, visibility in the international shipping environment has improved. There is better infrastructure in developing countries. New customs security programs have been put in place that help reduce port clearance times. Because of these improvements, the velocity of commerce has increased. This gives us the opportunity to rethink the global supply chain, and where bottlenecks exist, to ultimately address total system costs.