Review 2023: The Logistics Perspective

The landscape of global supply chains in 2023 continues to evolve, shaped by a myriad of factors ranging from geopolitical conflicts to technological advancements. And while there weren’t many major and immediate challenges to overcome, there has been a sense of foreboding looming in the air, keeping supply chain managers on their toes.

Did you know that 71% of global companies identified geopolitical influences as a significant factor affecting supply chain operations in 2023?

A recent report by research and consulting firm KPMG established the above fact in their report ‘The Supply Chain Trends Shaking Up 2023’. The report, apart from other things, also acknowledges inflationary pressures as a persistent challenge affecting supply chain dynamics in 2023.

On the other hand, supply chain resilience became top priority, prompting organizations to reevaluate their strategies, strengthen partnerships, and invest in backup plans to mitigate potential disruptions. The ability to adapt quickly and utilize digital solutions like AI-enabled forecasting, real-time tracking, and automation proved indispensable.

This story brings to you some developments that have had a profound impact on how goods flow from their origin to the final destination, and other concerns in between.

In 2023, sustainable shipping continues to be a focal point in the global logistics and supply chain industry and various factors are shaping the sustainable shipping landscape this year.

One prominent aspect is the increasing adoption of alternative fuels and propulsion systems. Companies are investing in eco-friendly solutions such as biofuels, hydrogen, and electric propulsion to reduce carbon emissions. This shift aligns with the industry’s commitment to meeting environmental targets and addressing climate change concerns.

Toby Edwards (Global Chief Marketing Officer, House of Shipping) says, “Companies invested in methanol-powered vessels and explored conversions of existing ships to methanol fuel. Additionally, advancements were made in wind-assisted propulsion systems, and investments in hydrogen and ammonia as potential fuels marked the year. The industry also saw the development of innovative carbon capture technologies, highlighting a multifaceted approach to sustainability.’

Adding that this year, the shipping industry’s strides in sustainability were primarily driven by regulatory changes, Mr Edwards gives an example of the amendments to the MARPOL convention that led to rigorous emissions testing under the Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI). This has further pushed the industry towards the International Maritime Organization’s goal of a 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.

Most recently, James Marshall-led Berge Bulk has shown off its retrofitted new castlemax bulker, Berge Olympus, which now houses four ‘BARTech WindWings’ by Yara Marine Technologies. The vessel has four WindWings installed which will help the Berge Olympus save 6 tonnes of fuel per day on an average worldwide route and, in the process, reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 19.5 tonnes per day.

Additionally, advancements in technology play a pivotal role in enhancing sustainability within the shipping sector. From the implementation of artificial intelligence for route optimization to the use of IoT devices for real-time monitoring of fuel consumption, these innovations contribute to both efficiency and environmental responsibility.

2023 saw significant environmental regulations influencing the supply chain. Stricter emission limits, waste reduction mandates, and heightened environmental reporting requirements were introduced, challenging companies to reevaluate their operational practices.

David Roussiere (Managing Director, Kuehne+Nagel India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives) says that there was a significant shift noticed in the supply chain industry as new environmental regulations emerged during the year. He adds, “This shift led to a notable increase in the demand for electric and low-emission vehicles, prompting manufacturers and logistics providers to invest in sustainable technologies. Simultaneously, heightened regulations targeting packaging materials pushed supply chain entities to reconsider their packaging strategies and foster innovation in eco-friendly packaging solutions.”


This is an abridged version of the Cover Story published in the December 2023 issue of Logistics Insider magazine. To read the complete story, click here.


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