AGL Report: 72 Percent of Retailers are Digitizing Their Supply Chains to Enable Real-Time Visibility

Associated Press —New research from Logistics Trends & Insights and American Global Logistics (AGL) reveals that 72 percent of retailers are digitizing their supply chains to enable real-time visibility through tools like automation, sensors and analytics. In addition, the report shows that many retailers are turning to outside expertise to help fuel their digital innovation, spending $50.7 billion on third-party logistics providers in 2018.

The report, “AGL Supply Chain Brief: Eye on Retail” (download here) was released at NRF 2019, currently underway from Jan 13-15 at the Jacob K. Javitz Convention Center in New York City.

“The demands of omnichannel and just-in-time delivery are forcing retailers to reimagine their supply chains,” said Jon Slangerup, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, American Global Logistics. “At the same time, we’re entering a renaissance for supply chain technology, with a wealth of solutions available based on shippers’ unique needs and processes. Retailers that couple the right technology with logistics expertise can unlock significant new value from their supply chains.”

Some additional findings include:

— As the U.S.-China tariff battle continues, hefty duties are causing prices to spike and prompting retailers to reevaluate their inventory strategies. Some businesses are forward-buying inventory to get ahead, a practice which requires precise forecasting to avoid dreaded stockouts or a surplus of goods.

— Achieving true supply chain optimization is still a work in progress for most retailers. Among retailers implementing new technologies, only 15 percent are scaling those platforms, and just 4 percent say they’re seeing the benefits so far.

— Businesses that adopt digital supply chains boost annual earnings by 3.2 percent on average – the largest increase in digitization of any business function.

— For retailers, the overarching goals of IT investment are to increase transit speeds, predict trends, minimize the impact of disruptions and plan further in advance. Since retailers typically maintain minimal inventory in their supply chains, particularly fast-fashion brands, speedy response and delivery times are essential.

Download the full “AGL Supply Chain Brief: Eye on Retail” at

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Logistics Trends & Insights LLC aims to cut through the content noise and provide customized logistics research and consulting services utilizing a global network of trusted and experienced analysts.

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