Is it a coincidence that “Logistics” contains the word “Logic?”
Not if you think about it. After all, it’s logical to assume that if no supply chain existed to link ground, air and sea transport, just about everything produced on the planet would wind up sitting on the loading docks of the companies fabricating the goods.
If that happened, many national economies would come to a complete standstill and both consumers and businesses would suffer. That morning coffee you had with your banana and fried eggs? Not without an extensive and finely tuned transportation network.
Fortunately, today’s global freight industry is thriving and efficient. Some things remain unchanged: people, machines and well-orchestrated schedules move goods like well-oiled assembly lines that meet (and sometimes beat) deadlines.
But like all systems, sustainability requires growth and dramatic changes are taking place in this industry. It’s important to keep constant tabs on them if you are eager to know how transport and freight forwarding savannah companies pull off their logistical magic. These 10 are just the tip of the iceberg!
1. Transport Evolution
Today’s freight industry has evolved light years from its earliest roots when logistics management was critical to the movement of supplies, machinery and vehicles during World War II. Once simple picking, packing and transport operations, today’s freight industry couldn’t run without Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) recently mandated to speed up processes so you don’t lose time, money and customers.
2. Shipping Costs
Don’t kid yourself into thinking that shipping costs have leveled out and might drop. In fact, technology required to keep transport companies moving at a high rate of speed in the face of increased demand and reduced capacity will likely increase into the future, which is why economies of scale are becoming more critical to ship items that fall into the world’s top four categories: electronics, clothes, food and clothing.
3. Where are the Truck Drivers?
The mysterious case of the vanishing truck driver isn’t likely to be solved any time soon. Through nearly 3.5 million truckers roam today’s roads, that number is likely to diminish as Hours of Service requirements imposed by federal, state and industry entities multiply. Additionally, driver retirements and a changing labor market are expected to impact the number of career truckers on the market--even as the need for them increases.
Competition’s going to explode. Huge corporations like Amazon are now investing in their own fleets (they recently acquired a “non-vessel-owning common carrier (NVOCC)” license) and are also using proprietary air cargo carriers to handle Amazon-only shipping. Say industry insiders, Amazon’s freight-shipment activities will pick up the slack when other carriers are overwhelmed.
5. India = Trendsetter
When Great Britain pulled out of India and the nation became independent, who knew that it was positioned to become a major player on the shipping stage? Having adopted cutting-edge capabilities (e.g., early adoption of GPS-enabled vehicle tracking systems), India’s future is virtually assured as the nation devotes 13-percent of its GDP to becoming a global transport leader. This includes implementing eco-friendly practices that put larger, more sophisticated nations’ systems to shame.
6. Automation (Robots)
At the moment, 1 in 15 people in the U.S. work in some aspect of the trucking industry, but that ratio is going to diminish courtesy of workers who require no lunch breaks or retirement plans: Robots and other mechanical forms of intelligence. Automation is going to improve both accountability and freight visibility as automated packing and picking operations move at warp speed to accelerate the pace of getting goods where they’re going.
7. Fast Responses
While the average U.S. truck driver puts around 112,000 miles on his or her rig annually, the conditions under which these stalwarts travel will improve thanks to enhanced response capabilities when weather conditions on the roads, on the seas or in the air makes it impossible to move goods. Automation is getting so sophisticated, cyber security threats and associated disruptions will be identified, confronted and mediated fast.
8. Smarter Humans
Transport company professionals who are already smart will become smarter. For example, the captain capable of piloting a ship with capacity to hold the Eiffel Tower and an Airbus jetliner will do the complex math it takes to estimate the best way of getting the tower and plane to its destination down the road. Industry prognosticators envision more scholarships and education reimbursement compensation for operators willing to undertake advanced studies that increase expertise and increase earning capacity.
9. Integration Marches On
The marriage of logistics and transport companies will get stronger by the day. As planning, implementation and controlling storage and movement of goods becomes more integrated with product movement by rail, boat, truck and plane, this synthesis will redefine logistics so it’s possible that some day, all 6 sectors could act in concert. Further, there’s nowhere to go but up so expect to see drones tackling the small stuff with drone-driving specialists at the controls.
10. Warehouses Get Smart Too
Warehouses are getting smarter. They're no longer composed of four walls, endless racking systems and loading docks. We lead the industry by using big data, cloud computing, omni-channel management, e-commerce and even social media to speed shipments from manufacturers, distributors and aggregators to their destinations. We’re smart by design and plan to get smarter as our world-class warehouse management system continues to give customers unprecedented real-time access to their inventories.