Saddle Creek study explores distribution network trends

The report draws upon online survey responses from more than 200 logistics industry decision makers with a diverse cross-response among market segments

By ·

Companies are looking to their distribution networks to help cope with recent economic challenges, according to a new study recently released by Saddle Creek Corp., a nationwide third-party logistics provider. The 2010 Distribution Network Trends Report explores current trends and changes in the design and management of distribution networks as the logistics industry weathers turbulent economic conditions.

The report draws upon online survey responses from more than 200 logistics industry decision makers with a diverse cross-response among market segments, including: manufacturers, retailers and distributors involved in executive management; supply chain, logistics, or distribution management; and operations management.

The study explores emerging trends in transportation, warehousing, operations, and regional challenges in distribution. It also looks at supply chain distribution network management trends and the near-term outlook for these areas. Research highlights include:

A significant number of companies are making changes to their supply chain distribution network design. In fact, two thirds of respondents confirmed that they had made changes. And nearly half plan to make additional changes in the next 12 to 18 months. Transportation and warehousing functions are significant driver enhancements in distribution networks. In the study, the top three areas of change for respondents overall included transportation-related changes (44.1 percent); warehouse size and/or configuration (33.8 percent); and consolidation of shipments from suppliers (24.8 percent).

Significant changes in the management of distribution networks are also happening in the industry. This study found that many companies have added or changed vendors (24.8 percent), changed the size of facilities (17.9 percent), increased or began outsourcing (12.4 percent) or, conversely, reduced outsourcing (10.3 percent).

Trends in the industry’s distribution network changes and redesign are also forcing added requirements upon third-party partners and overall outsourcing patterns. The research showed that those respondents who outsource are asking for new things from their third-party provider – particularly for information such as real-time tracking, statistical data, reporting capabilities, ASN’s, and the like.

These and other emerging trends are detailed and analyzed by company type, size, 3PL usage and more in the report.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Efficiency improvements in Track/Trace Enhances Customer Loyalty
Consumer satisfaction with the quality of your products is clearly important, but the service you provide before and after the sale is equally important to any business, but often overlooked as benefiting the bottom line.
Download Today!
From the October 2016 Issue
Over the past decade we’ve seen a major trend in regards to safety regulations for freight transport within the United States as well as for import and export shippers—that trend is the “international­ization” of rules and regulations.
European Logistics Update: Post-Brexit U.K. moving ahead, but in which direction?
Badcock Home Furniture &more: Out with paper, in with Cloud TMS
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
How API Technology Connects the Transportation Economy
Dynamic decision making is made possible through accurate, actionable data. When combined with progress in data science and the Internet of Things, technology companies that add value to direct-to-carrier APIs and combine them with high-power data analytics will create new concepts for the information economy.
Register Today!
Motor Carrier Regulations Update: Caught in a Trap
The fed is hitting truckers with a barrage of costly regulations in an era of scant profits....
25th Annual Masters of Logistics
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and...

2016 Quest for Quality: Winners Take the Spotlight
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers and U.S. ports have crossed the service-excellence...
Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...