Global political events combined with an aging trucking workforce and growing consumer expectations are what is driving the logistics trends in 2019. Below, we look into five non-digital tech trends that are reshaping the freight industry in 2019.
1. GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN
In 2019, the political climate is having a major impact on logistics and the global supply chain. With Brexit and the China-US trade war in full swing, executives, trade compliance personnel, and supply chain managers have had to rethink their supply chain. Many have turned to their freight forwarding partners, like Mach 1 Global Services, to help navigate these new changes and reduce the financial impact of tariffs on their bottom line. Freight forwarders have been working closely with their clients to help insure proper classification in order to avoid unnecessary tariffs. Additionally, they are recommending strategies such as shifting production to countries not effected by tariffs and stocking up on goods to prevent any hiccups when changes are put in place.
2. A DATA-DRIVEN INDUSTRY
Data has become a central theme in most industries and logistics is no different. In 2019, data is playing a bigger role helping to make decisions on risks, costs of tariffs, manufacturing and logistics. Supply chain managers and freight forwarders are adopting data analysis skills and advanced software to analyze and make better decisions to increase efficiency and revenue.
3. US TRUCKER SHORTAGE
In 2019, the US truck driver shortage continues to swell. The driver deficit reached over 60,000 at the end of 2018 and shows no sign of stopping. Aging drivers and a tight labor market has made filling these positions difficult. Currently it is causing operational headaches, but eventually could cause real issues to a company’s bottom-line and supply chain. The need for drivers will require the industry to make dramatic changes, such as a proposed adjustment to the minimum age of truckers from 21 to 18 and opening up a market for autonomous trucking.
4. THE LAST MILE
Thanks to Amazon, consumer demands and expectations continue to increase. 87% of consumers reported that they are willing to pay more for the convenience of expedited shipping or same-day shipping. This has opened up the market known as the Last Mile, which is the delivery of goods from a transportation hub to final delivery. Continuing to improve the customer service and efficiency of shipping goods to their final destination will continue to be a focus in 2019.
5. LTL FREIGHT SHIPPING HAS THE UPPER HAND
With the expansion of e-commerce combined with the driver shortage, LTL shipping is showing expansion in 2019. As FT shipping reaches its breaking point more will turn to LTL shipping, which still has room to expand. The reason for this is the ability for LTL shippers to hire a younger workforce, reports Truckinginfo.com. Young workers are able to gain entry-level positions performing jobs, such as material handlers, packagers and office workers. These employees are more likely to stay and move up within the company preventing an employee shortage. Greater capacity is giving LTL shipping the upper hand in 2019.
With the global political climate playing a major role in the freight industry, the upcoming 2020 US presidential election will play a major role in the next year. The outcome of that election could relieve the impact of tariffs spurring growth in global trade. At the same time, a solution to the trucker shortage could be reached relieving the strain on the freight industry. One thing that is certain is e-commerce continues to grow exponentially. The drive to efficiently ship goods to consumers will continue to be an area in the logistics industry that expands and innovates.
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