How To Improve Supply Chain Performance With The Law Of Marginal Gains

Updated on July 04, 2023

Improve Supply Chain Performance

It has become essential for businesses across industries to optimize supply chain performance in today's fiercely competitive business environment. Customer satisfaction, on-time delivery, and cost-effective operations are all guaranteed by effective supply chain management. Leveraging the Law of Marginal Gains is one efficient method for improving supply chain performance. This idea, which gained popularity in the sports world, emphasizes the cumulative effect of small, gradual improvements. 


This article will examine the use of the Law of Marginal Gains in supply chain management, with a focus on ocean freight shipping and the use of online freight exchanges to reduce the cost of shipping goods by sea.


1. Understanding the Law of Marginal Gains


According to the Law of Marginal Gains, frequently credited to Sir Dave Brailsford, a former performance director for British Cycling, significant overall progress can be made by making small, continuous improvements in some different areas. The idea acknowledges that a single big idea cannot revolutionize supply chain performance. Instead, the importance of consistently looking for small improvements in every aspect of the supply chain is emphasized.


2. Applying the Law of Marginal Gains to Supply Chain Management


  • Process optimization: The Law of Marginal Gains promotes process improvement in the supply chain. Opportunities for streamlining processes and removing bottlenecks can be found by analyzing every stage of the supply chain, from procurement to delivery. Organizations can improve the performance of their supply chains overall by identifying and eliminating inefficiencies.
  • Integration of technology: Adopting digitalization and utilizing cutting-edge technologies can significantly increase supply chain effectiveness. For instance, digital freight marketplaces offer a platform for bringing together shippers and carriers, facilitating clear and effective communication. Real-time visibility is made possible by this technology, and it also makes freight management easier and fosters better stakeholder collaboration, all of which improve the performance of the supply chain.
  • Partnerships and Collaboration: The Law of Marginal Gains emphasizes the importance of partnerships and collaboration within the supply chain ecosystem. Trust and transparency are fostered by developing strong relationships with vendors, carriers, and logistics providers. Collaboration allows for the exchange of best practices, the pooling of resources, and joint operation optimization, all of which improve the performance of the supply chain.


3. Improving Sea Freight Rates with Digital Freight Marketplaces


Ocean freight shipping is essential to global supply chains, especially for businesses engaged in international trade. However, the costs of the entire supply chain can be significantly impacted by changes in sea freight rates. Organizations can increase their negotiating power and obtain favorable rates by utilizing digital freight marketplaces. Here's how:

  • Wider Market Access: Shippers can access a larger market thanks to the connections made possible by digital freight marketplaces, which link them to a huge network of carriers and freight forwarders. Shippers can compare prices, services, and transit times across various providers thanks to the increased market visibility, giving them the information they need to decide what to buy and get a fair price.
  • Transparent Pricing: By giving users immediate access to sea freight rates, digital freight marketplaces encourage transparency. Shippers can compare the pricing policies of various carriers, spot areas where they can cut costs, and bargain for better terms. Predicting future rates and improving procurement strategies benefit from the ability to view and analyze historical data and current market trends.
  • Effective Communication: The back-and-forth correspondence between shippers and carriers during traditional freight booking procedures can take much time. Through the use of digital marketplaces for freight, this procedure is streamlined and direct communication is made possible. Shippers can quickly and easily submit their requests, get quotes, and complete bookings, easing administrative burdens and saving time.
  • Route Optimization: Modern tools and algorithms for route optimization are available on online freight marketplaces. Organizations can determine which shipping options are the most effective and economical by comparing different carriers, transit times, and routes. Through optimization, the performance of the supply chain is enhanced, transit times are shortened, and cost management is improved.




A comprehensive strategy is needed to improve the supply chain's performance. Organizations can concentrate on implementing incremental changes in various facets of their supply chain management by adopting the Law of Marginal Gains.  Using digital freight marketplaces is an important opportunity to improve supply chain performance in ocean freight shipping. Sea freight rates and overall supply chain efficiency are improved by having access to a larger market, transparent pricing, effective communication, and optimized routing. Adopting these strategies in today's dynamic business environment will enable organizations to maintain competitiveness, meet customer expectations, and achieve sustainable growth.


Utilizing digital freight marketplaces and applying the Law of Marginal Gains provide several additional advantages in addition to those already mentioned. These include better risk management, decreased paperwork, increased agility, and increased visibility. Thanks to real-time visibility, organizations can track shipments, foresee delays, and proactively handle any potential problems. Digital platforms reduce paperwork, streamlining administrative processes and lowering the possibility of mistakes or misunderstandings. 


Developing backup plans to mitigate potential risks is crucial to improved risk management. Organizations can continuously assess risks and implement incremental changes to reduce disruptions and improve resilience using the Law of Marginal Gains.

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