Talking Supply Chain Management in 2024 and Beyond: An Interview with Euro-American’s President, Eric Busenburg

While 2023 might seem less tumultuous compared to the pandemic years, it was far from uneventful. Technological advancements, the rise of artificial intelligence, and volatile global relations shaped the year. Nearshoring and reshoring became critical, and a low unemployment rate made hiring and retaining logistics talent challenging. Inflation, rising interest rates, and the threat of an economic slowdown also impacted profit margins and consumer spending.

So, what lies ahead for the supply chain in 2024 and beyond?

The leadership team at Euro-American Worldwide Logistics shared their strategic insights on navigating upcoming supply chain challenges and opportunities.

Q: How will supply chain management in 2024 differ from previous years?

A: The past few years, especially post-COVID, saw companies focusing on managing uncertainties. The primary question for 3PLs was, ‘How are you keeping us safe?’ Companies sought help with economic uncertainties, global unrest, reshoring, and supply chain disruptions. Relationships and managing multiple market forces were the focus rather than dramatic improvements in supply chain performance.

This is set to change in 2024 and 2025.

The next two years will emphasize efficiency and yield. Companies will revisit pre-pandemic vulnerabilities, seeking more inventory certainty through real-time transparency. Margin per unit will become crucial as companies navigate profitability pressures from inflation and projected reductions in consumer spending over the next 12 to 24 months.

Q: Looking further ahead, what will shippers need from logistics partners?

A: The past few years involved reacting to supply chain issues. Moving forward, proactive management will be essential. Logistics partners need to anticipate and address customer needs proactively.
With supply chains growing more complex, shippers will increasingly rely on vendor partners and 3PLs to take on more responsibilities. This is especially true for pharmaceutical and life sciences companies, which will likely outsource more raw materials management, transportation, and warehousing to focus on bringing new drugs to market.

Q: Are there upcoming supply chain challenges that are currently underappreciated?

A: In 2024, the U.S. will hit Peak 65, with 12,000 people turning 65 every day. By 2030, every Baby Boomer will be over 65, leading to a significant reduction in experienced management and knowledge workers. Concurrently, there will be increased pressure for rapid drug development.

Managing this workforce transition while accelerating supply chain speed will be a critical challenge. Shippers will look to 3PLs and other partners for support.

Q: What should shippers seek in 3PLs to meet these new supply chain demands?

A: Experience is crucial. About 10% of logistics companies today have been operating for less than five years. In contrast, Euro-American has over 50 years of experience managing global supply chains and meeting stringent regulations and demands.

Beyond experience, technology integration will be a significant differentiator among 3PLs. Leveraging emerging technologies will be crucial for increasing margin and efficiency. Euro-American’s major technology investments focus on improving operations and proactively supporting evolving customer needs.

Learn More About Euro-American

Euro-American Worldwide Logistics is a collaborative affiliate of the life sciences sector of Massachusetts, helping the industry to achieve critical mass in the region by providing assistance with international trade compliance, global shipping services, and GMP warehousing necessary for the sustainable success of the pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and bio-manufacturing industries.

Our third-party logistics center consists of highly trusted professionals specializing in Global Trade Compliance, cGMP Storage, and International Logistics. We are a licensed U.S. Customs Brokerage providing expert guidance on importing into the U.S.; a certified freight forwarder to manage international logistics; and an asset-based cGMP storage facility for storing finished goods, raw materials, and critical supplies.