COVID-19 Supply Chain Management Trends for 2021

COVID-19 has radically altered the way many companies conduct business, and warehouse facilities are no exception. In response to the pandemic, many warehouses have adopted a variety of new procedures designed to protect their workforce from illness while allowing business to continue.

Some of the changes in supply chain management related to COVID-19 could stick around after the pandemic is over. The best practices for supply chain management may look substantially different now compared to just a few years ago. These COVID-19 supply chain management trends for 2021 may indicate what operational strategies you should or shouldn’t implement in your warehouse in the coming year.

Outsourcing Parts of Your Supply Chain

Outsourcing logistics was already a growing trend prior to the Coronavirus pandemic. However, the challenges of COVID-19 led to an explosion in outsourcing in 2020. Many businesses sought to reduce the risks associated with handling their own supply chain needs and instead went with end-to-end outsourced storage and shipping. This trend is already continuing into 2021 as well.

Fortunately, with our strategic partnerships, you can implement any outsourcing strategy that may benefit your warehousing operations. We hope our help and resources speak for themselves as these trends continue to fluctuate, and we are dedicated to earning your trust along the way.

Shift in Focus on Sustainability in the Warehousing Industry

For the last decade or more, there has been a major push for sustainability across all industries. While there was substantial momentum for increasing sustainability in supply chain management, these concerns were largely overshadowed in 2020 by a business’ need to survive the pandemic. As the challenges of COVID-19 fade, companies are likely to return their focus to issues of sustainability.

Expected Labor Shortages

One of the primary issues in supply chain management in 2021 could be the return of labor shortages. While COVID-19 has imposed many hardships, it has also led to an increase in warehouse worker availability. Given that many businesses shut their doors or temporarily closed, there was a sudden influx of available workers seeking new employment. As the economy normalizes, the same challenges of retaining talented employees are likely to return as competitors return to full operation.


For years, many companies moved parts of their operations overseas in an effort to reduce costs and save money. During the COVID-19 pandemic, transportation disruptions brought to light some glaring discrepancies in this approach. For many companies, near-shoring their supply chain will be a top priority in 2021.

Vaccine Logistics

When it comes to supply chain management, much of 2021 will be dominated by logistics for Coronavirus vaccine distribution. Transporting and supplying these vaccines is challenging, given the requirements for cold storage as well as their shelf life. However, this specific trend will not last forever. In the meantime, you can rely on Brown West Logistics’ strategic partnerships to help your warehouse meet the changes in demand brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Changing Trends in Supply Chain Management for 2021

These are only a few of the potential changes coming to supply chain management in 2021. Few could have predicted the way COVID-19 would impact the industry, and while another global pandemic is unlikely, there is no guarantee that any of these trends will come to pass.

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