The past decade felt like everything has sped up. The economy, technology, and development of many industries have experienced a substantial jump in growth. For logistics and transportation, it has been a decade of huge and really significant shifts. Mainly driven by the steady invasion of technology, the industry was reshaped in many ways, including safety regulations, operations, and other important transformations.
What were the most important shifts in logistics throughout the decade?
The changing face of the trucking industry
Technology changing the industry is quite obvious, but the ways in which these innovations have influenced logistics and transportation are not. 10 years ago, trucking had a very different face. A huge jump in trucker technology made drivers’ lives easier, reshaped safety regulations, improved tracking, and data storing. With electronic logging devices (ELDs), truckers can accurately record their working hours, send and receive updates, and share records on their duty status. These technologies had a huge impact on safety regulations, such as shifts in Hours of Service (HOS) rules and many other policies tailored towards increased drivers’ safety.
Apart from the trucking industry, supply chains have also experienced a huge upgrade thanks to digital innovations. The development of robust, more advanced transportation management systems and similar applications have redefined the way supply chains are working now. Increased visibility, connectivity, data storage, and safety all make it much more efficient.
Also, many other tech innovations like IoT, blockchain, robotic devices, and autonomous vehicles have all made a recent decade very significant for the logistics industry. From top-level customer service and same-day deliveries to automated warehouses and self-driven trucks, the past few years have shown that the progress in the industry is speeding up.
The growing demand for 3PLs and outsourcing
Another important thing that the past decade has taught us is that more and more shippers are turning to 3PL service rather than arranging an in-house logistics department. From 2010 to 2018, the gross revenue produced by the U.S. third party logistics providers has doubled, going from $127 billion to $213.5 billion. Generally, outsourcing has grown in recent years. From deploying specialized software to using various outsourced services, companies are becoming more flexible, integrated, and collaborative in terms of logistics and supply chain management. Considering the rising costs of in-house logistics services, rising trade tariffs, fuel prices, and capacity issues, it became much harder to navigate transportation even for large and mid-sized businesses. All these factors made 3PL’s the best solution for transportation and supply chain management.