COVID-19 drew national and global attention to the supply chain and highlighted the need for contingency planning and risk mitigation strategies.

In this year's study, researchers took a deeper look at the effect the pandemic had on shippers and their logistics providers as well as how their experiences have shaped their future plans. Shippers and 3PLs reported similar impacts, with 29% of each group citing a net negative financial impact from the pandemic; 42% of shippers and 21% of 3PLs said they experienced a neutral impact. However, 30% of shippers and 23% of 3PLs reported a net positive impact.

Both groups—96% of 3PLs and 100% of shippers—said they are enhancing their readiness and continuity planning. The top five areas 3PLs are currently working to improve based on current approved projects and budgets are data analysis and visibility (50%), labor management and scheduling (48%), domestic transportation and logistics (38%), and warehouse distribution and operations (38%).

Shippers reported currently working to improve demand forecasting (42%), capacity forecasting (40%), international transportation and logistics (38%), supply chain network design or redesign (36%), and data analysis and visibility (33%).