Changes to Expect in Logistics during the Next Decade
January 23, 2020
A new decade has arrived, and the logistics industry is experiencing unique opportunities and challenges that will undoubtedly set the tone for the next 10 years. According to the Logistics, Supply Chain and Transportation 2023 report
by Forbes Insights, 65% of logistics, supply chain and transportation executives from across all major industries recognize that there are tectonic shifts occurring in logistics, supply chain, and transportation processes. From blockchain and IoT to autonomous vehicles and drones, companies are looking to overcome hurdles and become early adopters of innovations and strategies that will best enhance logistics growth.
One of the most significant drivers of change will be the exponential growth of the direct-to-consumer e-commerce market. With more consumers relying on home delivery, e-commerce will continue to expand as a significant component of the supply chain. Consumers will increasingly demand shorter delivery lead times and enhanced visibility to their orders. As a result, logistics providers strategically positioned with an extensive first and final mile white-glove delivery network will experience an opportunity for meaningful growth.
While very much present in recent years, the logistics and transportation industries will continue to be affected by the driver shortage. According to the American Truck Association
(ATA), nearly 71% of all the freight tonnage moved in the U.S. goes on trucks, meaning the transportation industry is the lifeblood of our economy. Moving 10.5 billion tons of freight annually requires over 3.6 million heavy-duty Class 8 trucks and over 3.5 million truck drivers.
Overcoming this challenge will require an evolution in how LTL and truckload shipments are delivered as capacity decreases due to the lack of drivers in the marketplace. In 2018, the ATA released a statement
saying the industry needed to hire almost 900,000 more drivers to meet the growing demands put on the industry. Many transportation providers have already changed how they route their fleets by reengineering their transportation networks to help maximize capacity. For example, elevating efficiency and customer service with an automated allocation process to better assess agents’ relevant regions and access to a load. Over time, we will also see alternative modes of transportation introduced.
The aforementioned trends will be critical to logistics providers as they navigate the industry throughout the next decade. No matter the opportunities or challenges, technology and innovation are where providers will gain a competitive edge.