Why Reliable Logistics Forecasting Is a Fundamental Tool for Staying Competitive

In this paper, we detail how to navigate supply chain complexity via reliable logistics forecasting, and why supply chains are becoming more complex, creating deeply interdependent networks that need to balance supply, demand, and capacity.

Global Supply Chains

Global supply chains are becoming more complex, creating deeply interdependent networks that need to balance supply, demand, and capacity.

On one side, changing consumer behaviors and expectations significantly alter required inventory levels, especially with end‑to‑end lead times measured in weeks or months.

On the other side, unpredictable events create supply‑based uncertainties that can easily impact upstream and downstream partners.

In the middle, you have third‑party logistics providers working to optimize capacity and throughput to meet the needs of suppliers and clients.

This delicate supply chain ecosystem fundamentally relies on access to timely and accurate data - not just on what’s happened in the past, but more importantly on what’s happening now or will happen next.

Logistics Forecasting

This makes accurate supply chain and logistics forecasting critical to meeting marketplace demands, understanding international lead times, predicting disruptive events, and managing the entire network.

Logistics forecasting is complex - multiple internal and external inputs, adjusting for strategic and operational changes, and integrating with hundreds of data channels means that models must consider every single aspect of the supply chain.

In this guide, we break some of that complexity down, focusing on several key areas:

  • Challenges for logistics forecasting, looking at the obstacles to getting reliable models in place. We base our findings on marketplace challenges, technology and data challenges, and supply chain network challenges.
  • Enablers for logistics forecasting, exploring the essential factors needed to improve supply chain and logistics forecasting. We base our findings on process‑based forecasting, data‑based forecasting, and technology‑based forecasting.
  • Benefits of logistics forecasting, explaining the key advantages that forecasting‑focused companies can expect to see around cost, competitiveness, speed, risk management, and other areas.

We then propose a framework for implementing strong logistics forecasting throughout your supply chain, including internal business integration, external supply chain and stakeholder management, logistics forecasting development, and delivering actionable intelligence.

Our hope is that this provides you with a strong and useful foundation for understanding logistics forecasting and partnering with the right logistics provider to optimize every aspect of your supply chain.

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