November 18, 2021

Programmatic Logistics and the Flexe Institute

An introduction to the Flexe Institute

Collage of workers moving boxes into delivery van, and data visualization graphics

During periods of disruption, agility is everything. The Flexe Institute provides the data and insights supply chain leaders require to make fast, informed decisions. And a programmatic approach to logistics enables shippers to move just as fast, at scale, and with precision.

Key Takeaways

  • Traditional logistics solutions are predicated on fixed assets and leases. But, businesses need an alternative strategy to navigate market volatility with agility.
  • The third approach to logistics complements fixed infrastructure—like owned and leased networks or outsourcing to 3PLs—with flexible logistics. It’s called programmatic logistics.
  • The Flexe Institute provides supply chain professionals with the data-driven insights necessary to run omnichannel logistics programs.

The following transcript has been revised for brevity and clarity.

Jordan Lawrence, Director of Logistics Strategy and Head of the Flexe Institute:

The supply chain is under pressure and traditional logistics solutions—owning and operating warehouses or outsourcing to 3PLs—are no longer sufficient on their own.

Traditional solutions have limitations. They're not built to handle the variety and volume of disruptions we see today. They take a long time to launch. They're capital-intensive and come with fixed costs and term agreements. They are fixed in size and location. They're built for repeatability, predictability, and also stability. But they're no longer enough.

Traditional solutions have limitations. They're not built to handle the variety and volume of disruptions we see today.

Just in the last 18 months, eCommerce grew the same amount in 10 weeks as it did in the last 10 years. Average industrial vacancy rates are under 5%, which is an all-time low. On-time vessel arrivals fell to 40% when it was 80% this time last year. Final-mile transportation costs rose 24.3% last year, and shortages of U.S. truck drivers are estimated to exceed 100,000 by 2023, indicating the delays aren't slowing down.

Businesses must be able to move goods efficiently, respond quickly to disruptions, negotiate delays and shortages, and accommodate a multitude of fulfillment options and channels—all while adapting and innovating at a rate fast enough to meet the increasing consumer demands.

Retailers and brands need a new approach that enables their omnichannel operations—a third logistics operation that isn't predicated on fixed assets and term commitments. One that is inherently flexible and scalable, fast, and complements the infrastructure they already have. They need a programmatic approach to their logistics problems.

Powered by technology. Run on open logistics networks. And optimized by teams of experts. A programmatic approach provides a flexible alternative to traditional solutions. It doesn't replace traditional solutions or fixed infrastructure; it complements it.

The onslaught of disruptions, supply chain volatility, and increasing consumer demands highlight not just how critical logistics is, but also how critical new solutions are to the evolving industry.

Powered by technology. Run on open logistics networks. And optimized by teams of experts. A programmatic approach provides a flexible alternative to traditional solutions.

That's why we created the Flexe Institute.

Here, we look at industry trends, current events, data, and the problems faced by retailers, brands, and logistics providers. From raw materials and manufacturing to warehousing and fulfillment to last-mile delivery, we explore how a program-based approach gives retailers and brands options, creates operational readiness, and supply chain resilience, even in the most volatile markets.

We look at industry trends, current events, data, and the problems faced by retailers, brands, and logistics providers.

Insights and data are extremely important, especially as our industry evolves. They help us understand what's happening today, but more importantly, what will happen tomorrow and the best ways to solve these problems.

It’s clear that consumer behaviors are changing—their expectations are increasing rapidly, and supply chain disruptions are occurring at higher frequencies and volumes. These challenges impact everyone, everywhere.

Programmatic logistics is the future of supply chain strategy. It doesn't reinvent or replace traditional logistics solutions, but it gives retailers and brands a new way to solve the biggest supply chain challenges.

Our industry is so ripe for innovation and opportunity. We will dive deeper into spot-market data, analyze labor and capacity trends, and provide market-driven insights—all to help you make better, informed decisions.

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