Warehouse and logistics workers using technology


Part 1: Introducing Supply Chain Forecasting

Uncover the secrets to supply chain success. Learn how accurate logistics forecasting can lead to significant cost savings and improved customer satisfaction.

This post is part of our series on logistics forecasting and demand planning in the supply chain. Visit our introduction page for an overview of what we're covering and links to each part of our research.

Key takeaways


  • Accurate logistics forecasting is critical for optimizing supply, demand, and capacity management throughout the entire supply chain
  • Implementing robust forecasting can lead to significant cost reductions, increased efficiency, and improved competitiveness
  • A data-driven approach to logistics forecasting allows for better integration of internal team requirements, external supply chain partners, and technology-driven logistics providers
  • Effective forecasting helps businesses navigate global supply chain complexities and respond rapidly to disruptive events

Logistics forecasting helps you balance supply, demand, and capacity across your supply chain

Global supply chains are becoming more complex, creating deeply interdependent networks that need to balance supply, demand, and capacity. On one side, changing consumer behaviors and expectations significantly alter required inventory levels, especially with end-to-end lead times measured in weeks or months. 


On the other hand, unpredictable events create supply-based uncertainties that can easily impact upstream and downstream partners. In the middle, third-party logistics providers work to optimize capacity and throughput to meet the needs of suppliers and clients.


This delicate supply chain ecosystem fundamentally relies on access to timely and accurate data—not just on what’s happened in the past, but more importantly on what’s happening now or will happen next. This makes accurate supply chain and logistics forecasting critical to:


  • Meeting marketplace demands
  • Understanding international lead times
  • Predicting disruptive events
  • Managing the entire supply chain network


Logistics forecasting is complex. It involves juggling numerous internal and external inputs, accommodating strategic and operational changes, and integrating with a multitude of data channels. Forecasting models must consider every aspect of the supply chain.


What you can expect from our logistics forecasting insights

In this series of posts, we break some of that complexity down, focusing on several key areas:


  • Challenges for logistics forecasting, looking at the obstacles to getting reliable models in place. We base our findings around marketplace challenges, technology and data challenges, and supply chain network challenges.
  • Strategies for logistics forecasting, exploring the essential factors needed to improve supply chain and logistics forecasting. We base our findings around process-based forecasting, data-based forecasting, and technology-based forecasting.
  • Benefits of logistics forecasting, explaining the key advantages that forecasting-focused companies can expect to see around cost, competitiveness, speed, risk management, and other areas.


We then propose a framework for implementing strong logistics forecasting throughout your supply chain, including internal business integration, external supply chain and stakeholder management, logistics forecasting development, and delivering actionable intelligence.


Our hope is that this provides you with a strong and useful foundation for understanding logistics forecasting, and working with the right logistics provider to optimize every aspect of your supply chain.

Warehouse and logistics workers using technology

Why logistics forecasting matters


  • Logistics and supply chain forecasting are critical to optimizing supply, demand, and capacity management—both within discrete parts of the supply chain and throughout the entire end-to-end process
  • Acting on reliable forecasting data will reduce operational costsincrease efficiency, make the supply chain more adaptable, support competitiveness, and allow for a carefully planned, strategic approach
  • Ordering, procurement, and lead-time management are the main business processes that benefit most from enhanced logistics forecasting
  • Forecasting allows for pre-planned, rapid, and thorough responses to disruptive events and supports risk management objectives
  • Cost advantages include reducing the amount of capital tied up in slow-moving stock, increasing transparency into supply chain operations, and better budgeting
  • 15% improvement in forecasting accuracy can deliver a 3% or better improvement to the bottom line.
  • Better forecasting and demand planning can reduce inventory days and increase customer satisfaction rates
  • 1% increase in the accuracy of demand forecasting can lead to a reduction of at least 0.5% in inventory carried
  • A strong, process- and data-driven approach to logistics forecasting allows for the integration of internal team requirements, external supply chain partners, and technology-driven logistics providers

Ready to transform your supply chain with advanced forecasting? Contact GEODIS today to learn how our expertise can drive your logistics success.

Logistics forecasting helps you grow your business

Robust, accurate, responsive business forecasting is essential to meeting the changing and challenging needs of businesses and consumers:


  • Consumers expect products to be available where, when, and how they want them, with next-day delivery rapidly becoming the standard. Efficient forecasting means you can lower lead times and get products closer to consumers for faster distribution.
  • Consumers have never had more choice, and ensuring availability of your products gives you a significant competitive advantage. Forecasting allows you to manage and mitigate risks to supply and demand.
  • E-Commerce is an increasingly important marketplace. For smaller businesses with lower operational cash reserves, keeping inventory to a realistic minimum means more funds are available for growth.
  • Optimizing the supply chain and maximizing efficiency through reliable forecasting leads to less waste, lower operational costs, and an improved bottom line.
  • Enterprises are increasingly embracing omnichannel approaches, with each route to market requiring unique forecasting and distribution approaches. 
  • Supply chains are becoming increasingly global, resulting in a potentially fragile network that events like the Suez Canal blockage, the Baltimore bridge collapse, or the COVID-19 pandemic can easily disrupt. Forecasting helps you plan for contingencies to avoid these issues.
  • Business strategy relies on solid forecasts of likely future supply and demand. Good modeling supports stronger, more confident planning and strategy.
  • In addition to these improvements, good forecasting also enhances your logistics and supply chain in more subtle ways. It adds discipline to your data collection processes, requires you to audit what works and what doesn’t, and encourages stakeholders to re-examine the most critical parts of the supply chain network.


Logistics forecasting isn’t easy, but it is possible through a deep understanding of necessary changes, and the resources and commitment to drive change. 


Read the next post in our series, the challenges of logistics and supply chain forecasting.

Frequently asked questions about logistics forecasting

Logistics forecasting is the process of predicting future demand, supply, and capacity needs in the supply chain. It's crucial because it helps businesses optimize operations, reduce costs, improve efficiency, and respond effectively to market changes and disruptions.

Improved logistics forecasting can significantly impact your bottom line. A 15% improvement in forecasting accuracy can deliver a 3% or better improvement to the bottom line. Additionally, a 1% increase in demand forecasting accuracy can lead to at least a 0.5% reduction in inventory carried.

GEODIS takes a comprehensive, data-driven approach to logistics forecasting. We combine advanced analytics, industry expertise, and cutting-edge technology to provide accurate forecasts that consider all aspects of your supply chain, from global trends to local market conditions.

Yes, logistics forecasting is a powerful tool for risk management. It allows businesses to predict potential disruptions, plan for contingencies, and respond quickly to unexpected events. This proactive approach helps maintain supply chain resilience and continuity.

How GEODIS can help

Collaborate with GEODIS for cutting-edge logistics forecasting and end-to-end supply chain optimization. Our global expertise, advanced technology, and collaborative approach will help you achieve operational excellence and long-term strategic goals. Contact us now to elevate your logistics operations.


Get in touch with GEODIS

Paul Maplesden

Paul Maplesden

Lead Content Strategist

Paul deeply researches logistics and supply chain topics to create helpful, informative content for our US audience. Read Paul's work in the GEODIS blog, our in-depth GEODIS Insights reports, and our case studies and white papers.