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From Farm to Container: Optimizing the Agricultural Supply Chain

supply chain

From Farm to Container: Optimizing the Agricultural Supply Chain

The technology revolution has been behind advancements in many industries, and optimization of the supply chain is no exception. Logistics has gone from a pen-to-paper logbook scenario to one that is fully digital and influenced by the latest in integrated technology. 

For an industry as age-old as agriculture, it is a revolution that has changed the way people receive their food farm-fresh and ready to enjoy. The global supply chain management market is slated to reach $75.6 billion by 2032, showing that many supply chain innovators are looking for an efficient path from farm to container.

An industry ready for change 

The agricultural sector is ready for the technological revolution, and will likely rely on any innovations coming down the pipe to feed the world’s population, which is growing exponentially. By 2050, the population will reach 9.8 billion people, and without a streamlined, tech-informed process, there could exist gaping holes in the supply chain — leading to catastrophe. 

In the past few years, smart farming methods and the use of data and emerging supply chain tech have been essential to getting food on tables. The need for this new technology to integrate into existing, time-tested processes is also vital if we are to keep farmers farming and the food supply sustainable worldwide.

The value of high-tech 3PL

The supply chain has many cogs in its wheel — farmers, warehouses, truckers, retailers, and suppliers, all the way to restaurants and shoppers. To make that chain a well-oiled machine, every cog must be optimized for superior performance. 

An immense amount of value can occur with automated supply chain processes, high-powered analytics, and IoT (Internet of Things) from third-party logistics (3PL). 3PL professionals can help increase the speed of shipping, reliability of deliveries, data collection, and cost savings — all under one umbrella of logistics provider services.

With agricultural supply chain needs, there is an innovation that can enhance the process every step of the way. Advanced technology in 3PL processes can increase the speed and efficiency of shipments from the farm to the manufacturing or processing plant and beyond. The transmission of data and necessary communications between supply chain parties can help companies and farmers avoid misunderstandings and confusion, and can rapidly transfer information along the supply chain. Data can also give real-time updates on inventory levels, the location of shipments, and delivery times.

There is a high level of value to technology in 3PL processes, and the more innovations that are brought to fruition, the smoother the entire supply chain process. In addition, technology can help every stop on the supply chain avoid interruptions, like those we experienced during the pandemic.

Managing the complex supply chain system

The agriculture supply chain will always be a complex mingling of interwoven parts. The more parts in a supply chain, the more complicated it becomes. 

A simple agricultural supply chain — from farm to plants for transformation, or packaging to store — is made more complicated with a larger client base and with larger farm sources. The data, decision-making, communication, and organization necessary for everything to run smoothly are all improved with the introduction of digital optimization: 

  • Machine learning and AI have enabled farmers to better decide the best route to filling and emptying silos, based on sales and demand.
  • Many farms have integrated robotics into their harvest or procurement process, which speeds up many processes and allows farmers to produce larger quantities and send out larger shipments that have been harvested efficiently and in a standardized manner.
  • Proprietary technology stacks have allowed 3PL companies to optimize multi-route deliveries. 
  • Centralized management systems help everyone at every stop on the supply chain manage shipments and clients. 
  • With everyone moving to online sales, many 3PL companies have found ways to integrate eCommerce capabilities into their supply chain services.
  • Digital twins or virtual simulations can run supply chain scenarios that pinpoint possible issues, holes in the process, or best-case scenarios. 

As the supply chain becomes more fragmented with additional stops and steps, the need for technology innovation becomes more evident. There can be thousands of possible options in supply chain processes and data sets as farms grow in size and output expands. 

Within the agricultural sector, there is also a lot of uncertainty, which can upend the supply chain and make things difficult on all fronts — from farm to container — regardless of how high-tech or streamlined the supply chain process is. Yields from farms can be as unpredictable as the weather, and as any farmer or manufacturer could tell you, no one saw something as catastrophic as the pandemic coming. 

The effect of unpredictable occurrences on the supply chain was evident in 2021 and 2022, as the perfect storm of issues upended nearly every industry supply chain, including agriculture. Issues such as rising energy costs, staffing, inflation, and illness put a stranglehold on even the most digitally-optimized processes.

As we begin to recover from the issues wrought largely by the global pandemic and ensuing economic slump, technology innovations to help with labor shortages, price hikes, and sustainability will be even more necessary to keep the global food market afloat. 

As the agricultural industry continues to grapple with the significant challenge of feeding the world, innovators will continue to bring solutions to the table that make the route from the field to the dining room table more efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable. It’s expected that there will sometimes be supply-chain interruptions for one reason or another, but working to solve those pain points through the most tech-informed, innovative means possible will work to secure a smoother agricultural supply chain in the future. 

Author Bio

Anar Mammadov, owner and CEO of Senpex Technology, is a software development professional with more than 18 years of experience in enterprise solutions and mobile app development. He has applied his practical and results-oriented approach to business to create Senpex Technology. Senpex Technology is a personalized logistics and delivery service that utilizes groundbreaking artificial intelligence to optimize routes and to provide the fastest, most efficient, last-mile delivery resource for businesses. Senpex can be utilized 24/7, with no interruptions to your delivery needs. 



Global Agricultural Industry is on the Verge of Modernization with the Increasing need for Crop Production

Fertilizer applicators is type of agricultural machinery, which is used for application of fertilizers in the agricultural field. Fertilizer applicators are of various types including sprayer, floaters, pull type, and other combinations of various types.

The fertilizer applicators are available in different sizes and shapes, depending on applications. For instance small fertilizer applicators is available for garden uses, and the sizes may vary from small to a large sized applicator used in the large agricultural fields. Increasing use of fertilizers in large agricultural fields is expected to push the demand for the fertilizer applicators, during the forecast.

Global Fertilizer Applicators Market Dynamics

The fertilizer applicators market is projected to grow during the forecast period, due to technological advancements and introduction of new fertilizer applicator equipment in the agricultural machinery market. The demand of fertilizer applicators is increasing in agricultural industry, from emerging countries. Modernization of agricultural industry and replacement of human labor in developed as well as developing regions is accelerating the demand for fertilizer applicators, from all over the world. Need for high output from the limited fertile land, is expected to push the new technologies application in agricultural industry.

Increasing mechanization in the agriculture sector is expected to push the growth in the research and development for the ease of agricultural operations, and rise in its output. Initiatives from the governments of the various emerging countries for the manufacturing in their own countries, for instance “Make in India” campaign by Indian government, is also driving the market for fertilizers applicators in India.

Fertilizer Applicators Market Restraints

High cost is always a challenge in the agricultural machinery and equipment market. The new development and innovations in the fertilizer applicators adds new cost of research and development. Therefore the newly developed and advanced fertilizer applicators are costlier than those of the conventional and old one. This is expected to be a restraining factor for the fertilizer applicators market growth.

The farmers and growers in the emerging countries are used to with the old and conventional fertilizer applicators, hence the resistance for acceptance of the new technologies and machinery is a challenging task for the manufacturers of fertilizer applicators.

Fertilizer Applicators Market Trends

New developments in the market have been observed with up gradation in technology. Large capacity and efficient fertilizer applicators are being developed for the ease of operations in the agricultural fields. Product differentiations with the competitive pricing has been seen in the marketplace of the fertilizer applicators. Increasing number of manufacturers from the countries such as India and China, are pushing the competition in the market. New shapes and designs of the fertilizer applicators are being developed for the improvement in its operation.

Global Fertilizer Applicators Market: Regional Outlook

Agricultural industry is going through a dynamic shift towards the modernization, especially in emerging countries such as India and China. The global fertilizer applicators market is anticipated to be dominated by Asia Pacific region with China leading the market both in terms of production and consumption. India is expected to witness high growth in demand for fertilizer applicators owing to the growth in the agricultural production and economic development in the country. North America is anticipated to hold significant share in the fertilizer applicators market and the growth in agricultural sector in the region and is anticipated to drive the demand for fertilizer applicators, in the coming years.

Investments and improvement in economy recovery in Brazil and Argentina is projected to drive the fertilizer applicators market in Latin America. Initiatives by various emerging economies in Middle East and Africa to diversify the economy is projected to witness significant growth in demand for fertilizer applicators during the forecast period.

The Global Fertilizer Applicators Market: Regional analysis includes:

  • North America (U.S., Canada)
  • Latin America (Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru)
  • Western Europe (Germany, Italy, France, U.K, Spain, BENELUX, Nordics)
  • Eastern Europe (Russia, Poland, CIS)
  • Asia-Pacific (China, India, ASEAN, South Korea)
  • Japan
  • Middle East and Africa (GCC Countries, South Africa, Turkey, Iran, Israel)

The global fertilizer applicators market report is a compilation of first-hand information, qualitative and quantitative assessment by industry analysts, inputs from industry experts and industry participants across the value chain. The global fertilizer applicators market report provides in-depth analysis of parent market trends, macro-economic indicators and governing factors along with market attractiveness as per segments. The global fertilizer applicators market report also maps the qualitative impact of various market factors on market segments and geographies.