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All information included below was pulled from CSCMP State of Logistics Report
The Annual “State of Logistics Report®”, authored by A.T. Kearney and presented by Penske Logistics, Report, has tracked and measured all costs associated with moving freight through the U.S. supply chain since 1988. Each year, the report presents an overview of the economy during the past year, the logistics industry’s key trends, and the total U.S. logistics costs for the previous year and lays out future and potential trends.
The “State of Logistics Report®” is widely used by supply chain management and logistics professionals and organizations as the premier benchmark for US logistics activity.
- After a lackluster 2016, the global economy is expected to strengthen in the next two years, with technology being at the forefront of the industry and make the biggest impact on growth.
“As markets begin to improve, advanced technologies and better processes are reshaping business models and redefining relationships between shippers and carriers. Methods such as multiple-round annual bidding, closer collaboration, and detailed feedback drive efficiencies for shippers and carriers. Augmented by cutting-edge sourcing and geolocation platforms, these approaches help shippers find the best mix of common, dedicated, and brokerage- based carriers.”
“Farther down the road loom autonomous driving systems and other technological break- throughs likely to alter industry economics. While the timeline for adoption is uncertain, forecasters expect autonomous driving to improve safety and reduce carriers’ costs.”
Leveraging and investing in technology:
Even though the transportation industry is not used to spending big money on technology, the future will depend on its ability to adapt.
“Changing consumer trends and innovations catalyzed by today’s nascent technology are shaping the next-generation supply chain. Customers will expect immediacy, personalization, and convenience; new technologies and advanced analytics will be the enablers.”
While the report states that this “compelling vision is also a distant one,” here are examples of where we might see the industry turn to technology:
- To accelerate fulfillment and meet an expanding array of service-level requirements, warehouse operators are building forward-deployed networks and dedicated e-commerce warehouses.
- Inventory requirements may decline as 3-D printing enables manufacturers to fabricate spare parts on demand and retailers to personalize merchandise for individual customers.
- With shipping focused on same-day, last-mile delivery, new vehicles such as sidewalk robots and aerial drones would proliferate.
- Carriers would invest in sustainable assets that save money and resonate with environmentally conscious consumers.
- A fluid, connected digital supply chain would allow manufacturers and retailers to fulfill shipments from assembly lines, warehouses, urban distribution centers, and brick-and-mortar stores.