CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.- March 2021 -Today, Kenco Logistics, one of North America’s leading third-party logistics providers, releases the findings of its 2020 State of Supply Chain Innovation Survey. Now in its fourth year, Kenco’s annual survey has become a reliable resource to the industry, providing invaluable insight into how supply chain professionals are investing their dollars. Based on this year’s results, it is clear that as the industry navigates the COVID-19 pandemic, it continues to drive towards digital transformation.

Investment in logistics innovation continues to rise

When asked how their organization defines innovation, 47% of survey participants chose “digital transformation.” But this phrase is not just a trendy buzzword; despite companies and organizations facing tightened margins and unprecedented demand volatility during the pandemic, companies are prepared to make the investment in their own digital transformations. When asked how much they are willing to invest in innovation, respondents were overwhelmingly prepared to stretch their budgets, with 39% of respondents willing to invest 10-20% more and 31% willing to invest over 20% more. This need for innovation continues when considering a 3PL partnership; 55% of all survey respondents said that when evaluating 3PLs, innovation must be a core competency.

“What we’re seeing is an industry that is prepared to invest in digital technologies and innovation to meet the challenges of today’s customer demands,” said Kristi Montgomery, vice president of innovation and research and development at Kenco. “The pandemic has highlighted the need for innovation at every level of the supply chain and has accelerated many companies’ digital transformation initiatives by several years. It’s only logical, then, that most of our participants are more than ready to extend their budgets to remain competitive, and it’s up to 3PLs to keep up.”

The technology that will be in every supply chain

Supply chain professionals have faced new and extreme challenges during the pandemic; therefore, it’s unsurprising that they are reportedly prioritizing solutions that streamline processes and deliver actionable insights. When asked which technologies and initiatives are most important to them during the pandemic, the following solutions stood out as the next generation of keystone technologies:

  • Supply chain visibility technology: 43% of participants ranked it a high priority
  • Predictive and adaptive analytics: 28% of participants ranked it a high priority
  • Robotics, automation, emerging solutions: 21% of participants ranked it a high priority

“These technologies represent the rise of digitization of supply chains, leveraging powerful data and machine learning to optimize safety, efficiency, speed, and flexibility,” added Montgomery. “We can expect them to become fixtures in the industry, and their application will only continue to expand.”

To learn more about the technologies and initiatives that will define the industry, from eCommerce capabilities to the modern customer experience, download the whitepaper:

About Kenco

Kenco provides integrated logistics solutions that include distribution and fulfillment, comprehensive transportation management, material handling services, real estate management, and information technology—all engineered for Operational Excellence. Woman-owned and financially strong, Kenco has built lasting customer relationships for 70 years. Kenco’s focus is on common sense solutions that drive uncommon value. Also, connect with Kenco on, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


Emma Goulding
Matter Communications