The logistics and transportation industry in the United States is highly competitive. By investing in this sector, multinational firms position themselves to better facilitate the flow of goods throughout the world’s largest consumer market. International and domestic companies in this industry benefit from a highly skilled workforce and relatively low costs. United States Business Logistics Costs reached $1.6 trillion in 2018 (8 percent of GDP that year). Analysts expect investment to correlate with sector-specific growth in the U.S. economy. America’s highly integrated supply chain network links producers and consumers through multiple transportation modes, including air and express delivery services, freight rail, maritime transport, and truck transport. To serve customers efficiently, multinational and domestic firms provide tailored logistics and transportation solutions to ensure coordinated goods movement from origin to end user through each supply chain network segment.
Logistics services: This subsector includes inbound and outbound transportation management, fleet management, warehousing, materials handling, order fulfillment, logistics network design, inventory management, supply and demand planning, third-party logistics management, and other support services. Logistics services are involved at all levels in the planning and execution of the movement of goods.
Air and express delivery services (EDS): Firms offer expedited, time-sensitive, and end-to-end services for documents, small parcels, and high-value items. An $87 billion industry in the United States, EDS firms also provide the export infrastructure for many exporters, particularly small and medium-sized businesses that cannot afford to operate their own supply chain. Recent EDS industry growth has been generated by the expansion of electronic commerce use by businesses and consumers.
Freight rail: High volumes of heavy cargo and products are transported long distances throughout the United States via rail network. Each day, this 140,000-mile system delivers an average of 5 million tons of goods and serves nearly every industrial, wholesale, retail, and resource-based sector of the economy. In 2017, Freight rail moves more than 70 percent of the nation’s coal, about 58 percent of its raw metal ores, 1.6 million carloads of wheat, corn, and other agricultural products, and 13.7 million intermodal containers and trailers that transport consumer goods.
Trucking: Over-the-road transportation of cargo is provided by motor vehicles over short and medium distances. According to the American Trucking Associations, trucking revenues were $700 billion in 2017. That year, trucks moved almost 11 billion tons of freight.
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ASSOCIATIONS & INSTITUTIONS:
Many different types of companies require the help of operations and logistics professionals to deliver and distribute their products as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. There are no statistics that pertain specifically to operations and logistics as an overall industry, but statistics for sectors that include operations and logistics work give an idea of its role in commerce. For instance, the market research group IBISWorld cites that the freight packing and logistics industry generates $2 billion in revenue in the United States. There are nearly 6,500 freight packing and logistics businesses with roughly 31,000 employees.
Operations and logistics professionals work in manufacturing, federal government, companies and enterprises, wholesale trade, and professional, scientific, and technical services. Some companies have logistical departments, where logisticians and logistics managers work. Freight-shipping companies also employ operations and logistics managers. Operations and logistics workers are needed for scheduling and overseeing trucking, tracking inventory, mapping out the delivery of merchandise, and storing and handling products and materials.
The key jobs in the operations and logistics field include logistics managers and logisticians; transportation, storage, and facilities managers; retail and wholesale buyers, and entry-level jobs such as shipping and packing clerks and stock and freight clerks. In May 2015, there were 133,770 logisticians employed in the United States, according to the Department of Labor. Logisticians earn the highest salaries in the following areas: oil and gas extraction; highway, street, and bridge construction; other specialty trade contractors; petroleum and petroleum products merchant wholesalers; and business, professional, labor, political, and similar organizations.
The field of operations and logistics focuses on making sure that the right amount and quality of materials and goods are produced and delivered to the correct recipients according to schedule. The work involves production and service operations, with operations and logistics workers responsible for managing the supply chain, from purchasing raw materials to the production cycle to end delivery. In business operations, operations and logistics managers implement and manage systems for “efficient deployment of personnel, physical facilities, in-process inventories, finished goods, and related information or services,” as defined by the Business Department of the University of Missouri—Saint Louis.
Operations is also known as supply chain management. The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals defines supply chain management as the planning and management of all activities for sourcing and procurement, conversion, and logistics management activities. This type of work also entails coordinating and collaborating with suppliers, intermediaries, third-party service providers, and customers. In addition to manufacturing operations, supply chain management coordinates the business processes and activities across marketing, sales, product design, finance, and information technology. Logistics management covers inbound and outbound transportation management, fleet management, warehousing, materials handling, order fulfillment, logistics network design, inventory management, supply/demand planning, and management of third-party logistics service providers.
The field of operations and logistics has roots that date back thousands of years. Sumerian priests created an early system of record-keeping for inventories of goods and business transactions. Egyptians devised plans for the organization and management of large projects entailing complex logistics, such as pyramid construction. The industrial revolution brought mass production and new divisions of labor. Companies needed ways to economically manufacture and distribute products, which gave rise to more study and analysis of production planning and inventory control.
New opportunities in the transportation industry are thriving. Transportation professionals seeking to stay on top of trends in the industry look to implementing these trends. This will allow them to maintain their competitive edge. Below are the notable trends for 2019.
Global Supply Chain Strategies
Growing prominence of the tariff wars and their effects on global supply chain have led executives, trade compliance personnel, and supply chain professionals to revamp the current supply chain strategy and operations. This may result in a more complete approach to some of the issues that the companies face this year. These issues include understanding the impact of tariffs on company financials to later curb it, managing global operations risk, and determining and tackling the root causes of other issues such as higher global supply chain costs and business uncertainty.
Broken US Infrastructure
Natural disasters in the United States over the last few years that have impacted the country’s transportation infrastructure, from hurricanes and floods to snowstorms. Due to the weather events’ effect on ports and major highways, the US economy and companies consider the US transportation infrastructure a financial risk.
Rise of China’s Economic Power
China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) trade project means the country is investing in Africa and the Middle East, and increasing their investments in roads, ports, rail lines, and bridges. Development of global trade routes is a sign of China’s economic expansion and influence, just as the US’s influence is starting to wane.
Focus on Data Analytics
Supply chain professionals rely on data analytics to examine, analyze, and interpret. Allowing the analytics to drive making decisions about the risks and costs of tariffs, suppliers, manufacturing and logistics. Supply chain professionals will use their skills and advanced analytics software to investigate and report on data. This will help companies make better choices in the future.
Disruption of Transportation Industry
As it stands, current trend of industry “disruption” is also going to affect the transportation industry. While transportation may not face a radical change compared to other industries such as technology or retailing, there are competitive dynamics pushing for technological change in the future. The biggest disruptive technology in development is driverless vehicles. Due to a trucker shortage and higher demand, the successful implementation of self-driving trucks could threaten railroad and car rental companies.
Digitalization is not exactly a new trend. It continues to progress and evolve each year and is occurring in business processes from administration to contracting. Digitalization creates new business processes and moving the point of purchase and other parts of service provision into the digital environment. Approximately 54% of companies expect that digitalization will increase their revenues. Increases occurring through benefits such as redesigning services and products, managing the impact of talent gap, and simplifying the processes. Digitalization is already present in the online transportation industry. This is seen in ordering of taxis and personal transport and online ticketing systems of public transportation.
Air and express delivery services (EDS): Firms offer expedited, time-sensitive, and end-to-end services for documents, small parcels, and high-value items. EDS firms also provide the export infrastructure for many exporters, particularly small and medium-sized businesses that cannot afford to operate their own supply chain.
Freight rail: High volumes of heavy cargo and products are transported long distances via the U.S. rail tracking network. Freight rail moves more than 70 percent of the nation’s coal, 58 percent of its raw metal ores, and more than 30 percent of its grain. This subsector accounted for approximately one third of all U.S. exports.
Logistics services: This subsector includes inbound and outbound transportation management, fleet management, warehousing, materials handling, order fulfillment, logistics network design, inventory management, supply and demand planning, third-party logistics management, and other support services.Logistics services are involved at all levels in the planning and execution of the movement of goods.
Maritime: This subsector includes carriers, seaports, terminals, and labor involved in the movement of cargo and passengers by water. Water transportation carries about 78 percent of U.S. exports by tonnage via U.S.- and foreign-flag carriers.
Trucking: Over-the-road transportation of cargo is provided by motor vehicles over short and medium distances. The American Trucking Associations reports that in 2011, trucks moved 9.2 billion tons of freight, or about 67 percent of all freight tonnage transported domestically. Motor carriers collected $604 billion in revenues, or about 81 percent of total revenue earned by all domestic transport modes.
Among all the transportation segments, trucks and buses are the leaders in terms of advancements in technologies and investments from suppliers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). According to OICA publications and MarketsandMarkets analysis, global truck production reached 4.02 million units in 2017, up from 3.60 million units in 2015. On the other hand, the global bus production has increased to 429,838 units in 2018, up from 390,466 units in 2015. The increase in the production of trucks and buses is indicative of the rising demand for freight and passenger transport.
It is also estimated that there will be an increase in shipping activities, which would boost the demand for trucking. This, eventually, would result in increased revenue for fleet operators. However, the increased revenues will be accompanied by an expected driver shortage and increased wages and fuel prices. Fluctuating fuel prices, driver shortages, increases in trucking rates, and a possible shortage of trucking capacity will be some of the important challenges the trucking industry will face in the coming years.
In the future, some of the most influential trends in the transportation industry will closely relate to these key challenges. According to MarketsandMarkets analysis, the top transportation industry trends for 2018 include an increasing demand for truck platooning, electric trucks, autonomous driving, electric/hybrid buses, and smart transportation solutions.
1. Truck Platooning
Truck platooning is connecting two or more trucks in a group with the help of connectivity technologies, autonomous driving, artificial intelligence, and support systems such as adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist. The trucks in a platoon automatically keep a set close distance. The truck at the head of the platoon acts as a leader, and the vehicles behind adapt and react to the changes in its movement, requiring little or no action from the driver.
According to the ITS4CV study by Ertico, platooning can improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 16% from the trailing vehicles and by up to 8% from the lead vehicle. Factors such as stringent emission norms, increased fuel efficiency standards, increasing traffic congestion and road accidents, and advancements in AI technologies will together boost the market for truck platooning. Truck platooning can be an effective solution for driver shortages and high wages.Truck Platooning
2. Electric Trucks
According to the US Department of Energy (US-DOE), the average vehicle miles travelled (VMT) by class 8 trucks in the US was close to 68,115 miles in 2016. With increasing truck production and freight transportation, the VMT is projected to grow in the coming years. This will eventually increase the CO2 emissions from the trucking industry.
To meet the emissions limits, there is a need for either advanced engine technologies or after-treatment devices. Any of these will lead to increased truck prices. According to a study from EIA, after the implementation of fuel consumption standards in the US, the class 8 truck prices showed an increase of 6.2% between 2014 and 2017. Considering the European and the US CO2 targets and the increasing truck prices, the truck industry is projected to move toward electrification in the next 7–8 years.
As a result, both key players, such as Tesla, Daimler, VW, Waymo-Peterbilt, and Paccar, and new players, such as Orange EV, Einride, Motiv Power Systems, BYD, and Wrightspeed, are investing in R&D of electric trucks. MarketsandMarkets analysis projects the global electric truck market to account for 10–15% of truck sales in various regions, by 2025.
3. Electric/Hybrid Buses
With increasing urbanization around the world, the demand for public transport is growing. The majority of the city buses and coaches are diesel-driven, which add to a country’s CO2 emissions. Many countries from the European region, the US, and others have set CO2 emissions targets to be achieved by 2020–2025.
Considering both these factors, battery electric bus (BEB) and buses with alternate fuel (hybrid buses) will be needed. However, the upfront cost of BEB would be the primary restraint for this transition, as the BEBs cost approximately 100% higher than diesel-powered buses. Alternatively, the introduction of hybrid buses, either diesel-electric, CNG (converted from diesel)-, or biofuel-powered, would be much easier as they are not costly as BEB.
Unification of private and public financiers can be a key solution to the cost concern. Presently, BEBs and hybrid buses are operating mostly in the US, Europe, and China. Brazil and India also have started with electric and hybrid public transport. Even though the global bus market is dominated by diesel-powered buses, followed by hybrid-electric and alternate fuel buses, with the advancements in technology (such as integrated eAxle, wireless charging, and regenerative braking) the demand for BEBs is projected to grow at the fastest rate in coming years.
4. Intelligent Public Transportation
An ideal public transport system can be a single-stop solution for problems such as increasing fuel prices, traffic congestion, and increasing GHG emissions. Governments, OEMs, and technology providers are now focusing on integrated mobility solution. With this system, the first-mile and last-mile problem will be taken care of by a station-based mobility solution, and intra-city and intercity transport will be managed by buses and high-speed trains and metros.
The platform used for an integrated mobility solution will include everything from searching for a journey, mode of transport, checking the schedule, bookings, routing, and payment. In intelligent public transportation, the public transit systems would include CCTV camera, GPS devices, digital displays, automated stop announcements, and Wi-Fi devices. These will have applications such as traveler information system, electronic payment system, smart ticketing system, and automated passenger counter system. The upcoming metro and high-speed train projects and government initiatives for electric/hybrid buses will encourage intelligent public transportation players.
5. Autonomous Driving
A few years back, autonomous trucks and buses were not projected to be commercialized before 2025. Some studies also predicted that they would not be commercialized before 2030. Shortages of drivers, high wages, and accidents during long-haul journeys are a few factors which can accelerate the developments in autonomous drive commercial vehicles.
Ride hailing player Uber (Otto), Alphabet (Waymo), and few OEMs, such as Peterbilt Trucks and Embark, are working towards autonomous truck technologies. Navya Company, Navy Arma & AAA, Easy Mile, SB Drive, and Auro are the companies working towards autonomous bus shuttle service. The Singapore government has announced that they are planning to introduce driverless buses on the road from 2022. Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) is already using driverless shuttles at its campus. With all these developments and investments toward developing driverless commercial vehicles, it is predicted that the technology can be commercialized before the expected time.
The global logistics market reached a value of US$ 1,171 Billion in 2017
The global logistics market in its present state has come about as a result of an amalgamation of supply side and demand side trends. The rapid proliferation of trade agreements among various nations is the major demand driver of the global logistics market. Additionally, the initiatives aimed at increasing globe trade activities have expanded the demand for logistics in order to keep pace with the rising needs of importers and exporters.
Logistics refers to the process of planning and coordinating resources and services from the point of origin to the point of consumption. This process provides efficient and effective transportation and storage of goods and services. The major components of logistics involved in the proper functioning of an organisation or a business include inventory management, inbound and outbound transportation, material handling, warehousing, etc. In recent years, the logistics industry has benefitted from the advancements made in technology, integration, globalization, legislation, and confederations.
The advancements in technology which involve automated material handling equipment, biometrics, GPS, etc. aid organisations and businesses to work proficiently, thereby spurring the growth of the logistics market across the globe. The upsurge in internet retailing and the increasing popularity of online shopping are some of the other factors supporting the market growth.
Looking forward, the market is projected to reach a value of US$ 1,374 Billion by 2023, registering a CAGR of 2.7% during 2018-2023.
Customer expectations are increasing greatly. Both individuals and businesses expect to get goods faster, more flexibly, and – in the case of consumers – at low or no delivery cost. Manufacturing is becoming more and more customised, which is good for customers but hard work for the logistics industry.
Add it all up and the sector is under acute and growing pressure to deliver a better service at an ever lower cost. It can only hope to do this by making maximum and intelligent use of technology, from data analytics, to automation, to the ‘Physical Internet’. This promises lower costs, improved efficiency, and the opportunity to make genuine breakthroughs in the way the industry works.
But ‘digital fitness’ is a challenge for the sector, which is currently lagging many of its customers in this respect. Attracting the right skills is one issue, but developing the right strategy is even more crucial.
An increasingly competitive environment is another big factor in the mix. Some of the sector’s own customers are starting up logistics operations of their own, and new entrants to the industry are finding ways to carve out the more lucrative elements of the value chain by exploiting digital technology or new ‘sharing’ business models, and they don’t have asset-heavy balance sheets or cumbersome existing systems weighing them down.
‘Sharing’ is a big story for logistics now – from Uber-style approaches to last-mile delivery, to more formal JVs and partnerships at corporate level, the whole sector is redefining collaboration. But much of this is hampered by inconsistencies in everything like shipment sizes, processes or IT systems.
The Physical Internet promises great things for the sector, coming along with increased standardization in logistics operations. Possible futures What will the logistics marketplace look like in five to ten years? That’s still a very open question. We took a closer look at how some of the key disruptions facing the industry may interact.
The future scenarios we explore involve combinations of these four factors, weighted according to how important specific trends become:
Sharing the PI(e): the dominant theme in this scenario is the growth of collaborative working, which allows the current market leaders to retain their dominance. This could for example see a greater use of ‘Physical Internet’ (or ‘PI’) solutions, based on a move towards more standardised shipment sizes, labelling and systems.
Start-up, shake up: in this scenario new entrants in the form of startups make a bigger impact. The most challenging and costly last mile of delivery, in particular, becomes more fragmented, exploiting new technologies like platform and crowd-sharing solutions. These start-ups collaborate with incumbents and complement their service offers.
Complex competition: here the competitive set evolves in a different direction, as large industrial or retail customers and suppliers become players in the logistics market themselves, not just managing their own logistics but turning that expertise into a profitable business model.
Scale matters: and finally, in this scenario, the current market leaders compete for a dominant market position by acquiring smaller players, achieving scale through consolidation, and innovation through the acquisition of smaller entrepreneurial start-ups. We hope this paper will help you assess the trends and developments most likely to affect your own business, and start to develop a strategy to ensure continued profitability through this time of intense change.
Technology continues to improve, but its development is dominated by incumbents’ own research and their acquisitions of new entrants in specific technology areas. Network size and efficiency continue to be key sources of competitive advantage, and consolidation accelerates. The key to success in this model is buying the right start-ups at the right time: too early and they will be too speculative, too late and the price will be too high. What are the implications for logistics companies? Access to capital becomes a key differentiating factor, both to drive in-house R&D and to fund efficiency-enhancing technologies such as data analytics, blockchain, and automation. Carriers look to establish dominant positions, accelerating M&A in the trucking and sea freight segments.
CEP companies increase efficiency in the last mile by introducing new technologies like drones (for remote markets) serving both their B2B and B2C customers, striving for unique selling points in a highly competitive market.
What are the implications for customers? Customers benefit from the growing network size of LSPs, and gain better delivery speeds and efficiency, supported by new and more sophisticated technologies in delivery and customer interaction, thereby enhancing their user-friendliness and level of comfort.