A new study by Economist Impact and DP World has found that European businesses are utilizing innovation and technology in their supply chains to navigate changing geopolitical and trade environments. The study, called “Trade in Transition,” surveyed trade experts and senior executives globally. Key findings include:
- European businesses are optimistic about 2024 and anticipate growth in imports and exports, thanks to technology transforming supply chain efficiency and resilience.
- AI is being widely adopted in supply chains to reduce trade costs, improve resource planning, and minimize disruptions.
- In the coming year, businesses plan to incorporate advanced automation, augmented or virtual reality, 3D printing, and blockchain technology to enhance efficiency, traceability, security, and data protection.
- European businesses are strategically navigating geopolitical risk by using strategies such as friendshoring, parallel supply chains, and expansion into neutral markets.
- Many companies are opting for fewer suppliers to reduce supply disruptions.
- Trade hurdles in 2024 include transport expenses, shortages of vital production inputs, concerns about rising inflation and economic unpredictability, and uncertainties surrounding tariffs.
Rashid Abdulla, CEO and Managing Director for Europe at DP World, stated that technology is vital to strengthening supply chain efficacy and anticipating disruptions. He emphasized the importance of navigating EU tech industry regulations in successfully implementing emerging technologies.