Shippers Wary About Double-Dip Recession, But Most Aren't Planning Changes

Even though the possibility of a double-dip recession is beginning to loom large, most shippers who took a recent Logistics Management readership survey appear to be adopting a "wait and see" attitude, rather than rushing to significantly change the way they handle their supply chains or logistics operations.

Take a look at these poll results:

78 percent of the 339 survey respondents said they are concerned that the economy is on the verge of a double-dip recession.

However, only 37 percent said that they plan on making changes to their supply chain operations or logistics planning processes. The remaining 63 percent indicated they have no such plans.

Among those who said they would make changes to their supply chains, the options being considered were quite varied. Some reported they may reduce inventory. Others said they may slow down manufacturing or production operations while waiting for a more sustained recovery. A sporting goods shipper said he/she would consider numerous alternatives, including evaluating supplier capacity, improving delivery time frame (particularly for international suppliers), reviewing internal procedures, adhering strictly to S&OP calendar and assessing systems used.

On the logistics side, survey respondents who are considering changes said they may:

downsize the logistics efforts to match customer needs

cease logistics budget planning for any software upgrades or improvements

look to cheaper Mexican carriers to replace higher cost US-based carriers

utilize regional warehouses rather than maintain a centralized focus on premium transportation services

Although 37 percent of those polled appear to be planning for these "next steps," Logistics Management reported that there is no sense of "panic." In fact, according to the article, Brooks Bentz, a partner in Accenture's supply chain practice, feels there are some indications that this year's Peak Season could be better than it was a year ago. This optimism, coupled with shippers' renewed focus on making improvements in the area of supply chain performance, seems to have shippers feeling somewhat confident that they can successfully weather yet another economic storm.

TAGS: Finance
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