With 2021 underway, and 2020 behind us, global trade experts are making predictions for what the road ahead looks like. As importers, it is critical that you stay informed during these times. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we should expect the unexpected, but set ourselves up for success. Staying privy to trends and forecasts for the year ahead is a crucial part of this.
Global Trade Magazine, a publication that prides itself on being a primary authority for US companies that operate globally, released their predictions for logistics and transportation this year. We’ll be pulling from this source and summarizing the information that is most pertinent for importers and exporters.
Much has contributed to making 2020 a challenging year for businesses across the board, from trade wars, to the pandemic, to economic faltering, and much more. As Global Trade Magazine puts it: “it’s safe to say that 2021 will inevitably require a new level of innovation and predictions, compared to how operations used to be.”
Below, we’ll be outlining 4 main predictions that supply chain professionals must be aware of moving forward.
Strengthened trade relationship with Mexico
Now that Mexico is officially the US’s primary trade partner, an increasing number of US companies are driven to establish updated supply chains, relying on Mexican manufacturing.
Continuing to leverage and adapt to new technology
More traditional, analog, pen-and-paper type businesses were forced to make the move to digital in the advent of offices closing due to COVID-19. We’ll likely continue to see this well into 2021.
“Although it has long been considered the tried and true form of communication, paper is now limiting the supply chain. Shippers, carriers, and retailers experience trials in the industry brought on by limited visibility, truck drivers face inefficiencies and health and safety concerns, and warehouse space is overcome by boxes of files, left to sit for years to come. As industries experience digital transformation, the supply chain must evolve too.” – Darren Chan, Global Trade Mag.
It’s all about politics
It’s safe to say that the Biden-Harris administration will drive more stability in global trade, as they maintain relationships with long-held trade partners (as opposed to the dramatic China-US trade war of 2020.) USMCA will also play a role in maintaining trade relationships. Read more about USMCA here: USMCA/CUSMA: How Will Importers Be Affected
Cold chain developments
Due to COVID-19 vaccines needing to be transported in extremely cold temperatures, there is much incentive to continue the development of refrigerated cargo/cold chains. However, it is likely that with the prioritization of vaccination on the forefront, non-essential commercial goods will be delayed. This may have an impact on companies’ bottom lines as rates go up and along with delays.
“Sophisticated forecasting and agility take on a new meaning for proactive measures to prove successful in the new normal.”
In addition to navigating these predictions for 2021, it is also critical that you partner with the right players at every step in the supply chain — from manufacturing to customs brokerage. If you’d like to learn how we help importers clear customs with ease, you can start a 0-commitment conversation with one of our experts here.