As the logistics industry, and the broader business world, looks to 2019, it’s time to explore what the next year will bring to logistics. As the president of a logistics company, I’ve outlined four predictions that I believe the logistics industry will experience over the next year.
The Truck Driver Shortage Will Expand With No End In Sight
Over the past year, the U.S. has experienced a shortage in truckers as a result of exploding demand and an aging workforce. As of now, it appears unlikely that this truck driver shortage will end soon.
World Bank data shows that U.S. import and export traffic nearly doubled between 2000 and 2016. During that time period, twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) traffic increased from 28.3 million TEUs in 2000 to over 50 million TEUs in 2016. Despite a huge rise in demand for truckers to transport these imports and exports, the number of qualified drivers is not growing.
The No. 1 reason for the shortage in qualified drivers is demographics. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (via NPR), the average age of a trucker in the U.S. is 55. These truckers want to retire and exit the workforce within 20 years. Without drastic change, such as the widespread deployment of driverless trucks, this shortage will grow.
Driverless trucks probably won’t be here for a few years, mostly due to legal concerns. The good news is once this transition happens, driverless trucks will reduce trucking costs and minimize demand-related trucking shortages.
Big Data And Blockchain Technology Will Revolutionize Logistics
According to a 2017 Census Bureau report, there are around 408,000 small and midsize U.S. importers and exporters trading internationally. Ninety-eight percent of exporters and 97% of importers are small or midsize. Despite these statistics, larger companies account for around two-thirds of all trade, while small and midsize companies are responsible for just one-third.
Demand for information technology (IT) services in the logistics industry appears to have increased in recent years as more companies begin to deploy IT resources in their logistics/supply chain operations. That trend will likely continue in 2019 as small and midsize importers and exporters even the playing field against larger counterparts by leveraging big data and blockchain technology. Read more here
Post written by: Sedat Saka