This article is part of a larger series on Retail Management.
A supply chain is a network of people, companies, and processes working together to create and deliver products or services to customers. The supply chain landscape is evolving rapidly, driven by market growth, sustainability demands, disruptive forces, and technological advancements. At the same time, supply chains worldwide are still rebounding from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this article, we cover 19 of the latest supply chain statistics, trends, and insights to help you better understand and navigate the dynamic world of supply chain management in 2023.
- Market Growth: The value of the supply chain management industry hits $21.95 billion in 2023, and is projected to reach $30.91 billion by 2026.
- Sustainability Surge: 40% of companies experience pressure to embrace greener supply chains, with a focus on electrification and resource management.
- Disruption Causes: Supply chain disruptions in 2022 were mainly caused by talent/skill shortages, human illness, and transportation network issues.
- Industry Turbulence: Record-breaking container shipping industry profits in 2021–2022 crashed in 2023 despite 7.1 million new ships ordered.
- Autonomous Future: 45% of supply chains are set to go mostly autonomous by 2035, driven by increased tech investments in 2023 and beyond.
General Supply Chain Statistics
1. The global supply chain management market is valued at $21.95 billion in 2023
The supply chain management market has steadily grown from $15.85 billion in 2020 to $21.95 billion in 2023, and is expected to reach $30.91 billion by 2026.
2. 79% of companies with strong supply chains achieve significantly higher revenue growth than average
A Deloitte survey of retail and manufacturing companies found that 79% of those with highly efficient supply chains saw substantially better revenue growth than the average. Meanwhile, only 8% of businesses with problematic supply chains experienced better-than-average revenue growth—demonstrating the importance of effective supply chain management.
3. 45% of businesses have limited supply chain visibility
A McKinsey survey found that 45% of respondents either have no visibility into their upstream supply chain or can see only as far as their first-tier suppliers. This lack of visibility often leads to disruptions, inefficiencies, and challenges in managing inventory.
4. The top supply chain challenges in 2023 are hiring and training, labor shortages, and supply chain disruptions
According to MHI’s Annual Industry Report, hiring and training, labor shortages, and supply chain disruptions pose the biggest supply chain challenges in 2023, followed by out-of-stock situations and consumer demands for customization. These trends reinforce the need for companies to invest in upskilling initiatives, streamlining operations, and better catering to evolving consumer preferences.
Supply Chain Trends
5. 55.6% of businesses name cybersecurity as the biggest concern for supply chain resilience
A BCI survey found that 55.6% of businesses’ main concern for future supply chain resilience is cyber-attacks and data breaches, followed by adverse weather, natural disasters, and energy scarcity.
6. 48% of companies have experienced increased pressure to adopt a more sustainable supply chain
Amid environmental sustainability concerns, 48% of companies face pressure to adopt eco-conscious practices in their supply chains. This aligns with the global push for greener operations, emphasizing reduced carbon emissions, responsible sourcing, and increased use of alternative fuels in shipping.
7. The top focus areas for supply chain sustainability are electrification, natural resource management, and water usage
The top areas that businesses report prioritizing for supply chain sustainability are electrification (40%), natural resource management (29%), and water usage and the transition to renewables (both at 27%). Companies are increasingly focusing on these initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, optimize resource utilization, and minimize environmental impact within their supply chains.
8. 83% of companies prioritize improving customer experience in supply chains as part of their digital business strategy
According to Gartner, 83% of businesses are developing customer-centric supply chains by emphasizing customer service, differentiated services, and varied fulfillment options.
Supply Chain Disruption Statistics
9. 38.8% of US small businesses faced supply chain delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic took a significant toll on US small businesses, with 38.8% reporting supply chain delays, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Business Pulse Survey. Manufacturing faced the highest impact at 64.6%, followed by retail at 59.8%, and construction at 58.5%.
10. The main causes of supply chain disruptions in 2022 were loss of talent/skills, human illness, and transport network issues
BCI reports that the main causes of supply chain disruptions during 2022 were loss of talent/skills, human illness, and transport network issues, followed by adverse weather conditions and cyber attacks/data breaches.
11. By 2024, 40% of Asian manufacturers will implement multi-shoring to reduce disruption risk
By 2024, roughly 40% of manufacturers in Asia are predicted to broaden their supply strategies, sourcing from various locations (multi-shoring) to better control risk of disruptions. This change is projected to enhance their supply dependability by 15%.
Shipping & Transportation Statistics
12. The container shipping industry reached record-breaking profits in 2021 and 2022
Container shipping companies earned a jaw-dropping net income of $215.3 billion in 2022 after a sharp increase during 2021 and seven consecutive record-breaking quarters. Experts attribute this surge to disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic that drove sector prices upward. But now the bubble is bursting, with shipping lines predicted to earn $43.2 billion in 2023—down 80% year over year.
13. The container shipping industry will receive a record number of new ships in 2023 and 2024
Due to the industry’s recent profitability, shipowners ordered a total of 7.1 million shipping containers in 2021—surpassing the previous peak in 2008—with expected delivery during 2023 and 2024. This surge in new ships is expected to outpace demand, potentially leading to an oversupply situation.
14. 40% of the total ships ordered in the container shipping industry use alternative fuels
Of the new ships being added to the industry’s fleet, 40% are dual-fuel ships designed to run on both traditional fuel and alternative fuels like liquefied natural gas or methanol.
15. 90% of the world’s products are shipped by sea
An impressive 90% of all goods are transported by sea, demonstrating the industry’s crucial role in global commerce. But this activity has a significant environmental impact, contributing to 2.9% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Supply Chain Technology Statistics
16. 4 in 10 organizations use technology to report on supply chain disruptions, with Excel being the most popular tool
Forty percent of businesses surveyed stated that they use tech to record, measure, and report on performance-affecting disruptions in the supply chain. Among them, Excel spreadsheets, incident response data, and financial models are the most popular.
17. 74% of supply chain leaders are increasing their investment in technology and innovation in 2023
Technology and innovation are taking center stage in 2023, with 74% of supply chain leaders planning to increase their investments in technology and innovation. Key focus areas include artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing and storage, driverless vehicles, and drones.
18. 45% of supply chains are expected to be mostly autonomous by 2035
Based on a 2022 research report, it’s estimated that 45% of supply chains will be largely autonomous by 2035, incorporating technologies like robots, driverless vehicles, delivery drones, and automated planning systems.
19. 37% of businesses already use automation and AI to improve supply chain efficiency
In a recent poll, 37% of supply chain executives stated that their business already uses automation, AI, and machine learning techniques to enhance their supply chain, while another 36% are planning to implement them soon.
Supply Chain Statistics Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A supply chain is a network of people and companies collaborating to create and deliver a product. It involves different stages, starting from the producers of raw materials and ending when the finished product reaches the consumer. Supply chains often operate globally, connecting people and organizations worldwide.
Supply chain processes vary based on industry, product type, and business models. The general supply chain steps are 1) sourcing raw materials, 2) refining the raw materials to create basic parts, 3) assembling the parts to produce finished products, 4) consumers purchasing the products, and 5) delivering the products to consumers.
Supply chain statistics are gathered through surveys, data analysis, collaborations with partners, market research reports, and government data. These methods provide insights into supply chain performance and trends.
To enhance your supply chain, key strategies include improving visibility, optimizing inventory management, strengthening supplier relationships, streamlining logistics, embracing technology, and managing risk.
The supply chain landscape is still stabilizing from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic while undergoing new transformations due to market growth, sustainability concerns, disruptions, and emerging technologies.
These supply chain statistics can help equip you with the knowledge to better understand the supply chain industry and navigate evolving supply chain trends. If you’re ready to strengthen your own supply chain, learn more about order fulfillment strategies, third-party fulfillment centers, and our top recommendations for third-party logistics (3PL) services.