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January 2024
Supply Chain News to Know


News To Know


It’s a new year — time for new habits and a new outlook. How are supply chain leaders approaching 2024? With extreme caution… Let’s dive in.

  The Lead: Whiplash
Last year, the logistics industry quickly cooled off. Trucking battled declining prices, volumes and capacity. Rail grappled with safety and service issues. Ocean freight and air cargo demand and revenues dropped. Even parcel delivery slowed, facing lower demand and shifting consumer patterns.

Now, everything seems to be abruptly changing, again. War on the Red Sea is driving up rates. Persistent low water levels at the Panama Canal are forcing the use of more intermodal shipping. The threat of labor disruptions at East Coast ports is pushing shippers westward.

“The biggest supply chain upheaval since the COVID-19 pandemic risks derailing the global economic recovery, while higher freight and oil prices could reignite inflation.”



  In View
water_wave.png Mike DeAngelis, Head of International Solutions at FourKites, tells Port Technology that the Red Sea crisis hits as China faces its seasonal export surge before factories close for the Chinese New Year holiday starting on February 10. With fewer vessels and equipment available, this rush will strain capacity, and consumers will likely see shortages.

seedling The logistics industry is undergoing a major sustainability transformation, leveraging AI and automation to significantly reduce carbon emissions and increase efficiency. Reuters reports on how AI can optimize everything from container packing to fuel consumption, drastically improving how goods are moved around the globe.

Technologist Bo Tao, FourKites CTO, believes the supply chain industry has only scratched the surface of the value that AI can unlock. As data becomes more accurate, reliable and relevant, it will serve as high-quality fuel for advanced AI. He shares 3 Ways AI Will Transform Supply Chains in 2024 and Beyond.

  Numbers to Know
Rescheduled Appointments Over Time
When FourKites launched Appointment (Slot) Manager two years ago, we saw a pretty concerning trend within our customer base: the rescheduling rate for Fortune 500 companies in the first month was nearly 25% after creation. Of that 25%, roughly 60% were at the carrier’s request, and 40% were at the facility’s request, indicating that the problem is mutually shared.

Two years later, the number of rescheduled appointments has been reduced by nearly half to 13%, and shows signs of continued shrinkage — even as appointment volumes continue to grow.

“We are scheduling approximately 1,200 appointments per month in Appointment Manager resulting in 300 fewer emails per day and 480 minutes of saved time daily (8 minutes per appointment). In addition to the email and time savings, on-time delivery on live unload shipments has improved by 10% due to the ability to secure the live load pick up in a timely manner.”

— Tony Poole, Senior Transportation Manager at Kimberly-Clark


Words of Wisdom
Supply chains are the poster child of technological potential, and the job market should take note. By engaging the treasure trove of supply chain data, tech professionals can push this industry past spreadsheets and tactical management to solve some of the most pressing challenges of our time. Planes, trains, automobiles, or ships, take your pick — it’s time for techies to hop in.




  • 2024 will present both opportunities and challenges for manufacturers, with continued investments tempered by higher interest rates, ongoing labor shortages and, inevitably, more supply chain surprises. The one certainty going into the new year is that those who make smart investments in technology — and who operationalize that tech to drive near-term, tangible value — will put an ever greater distance between themselves and competitors. Learn how Technology Will Further Separate the Manufacturing Leaders from the Laggards.
  • FourKites Academy is live! Check out the comprehensive training platform designed to help you advance your career and business goals with high-quality, industry-recognized training resources. In addition to offering a Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)-accredited course, the Academy helps FourKites customers and their extended ecosystem keep pace with FourKites’ latest innovations and derive maximum value from the platform.
  • 2023 was another incredible year of progress and collaboration, as we worked with customers to drive impactful supply chain insights and help customers achieve their goals. We’re grateful for the FourKites community and the opportunities we had to celebrate success over the past year.
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