Tag Archives: logistics trends

Trending Transportation Updates: February 2019

There were many new and exciting developments throughout the transportation and shipping industry last month. Check out some of the top stories that made headlines during February!

Trump to extend tariff deadline meeting with Xi

It seems like trade agreements between the US and China are far from ending. After the 90-day halt period, tariffs were supposed to grow from 10% to 25%, but parties still haven’t reached any compromise, and President Trump keeps delaying the deal date. The President told reporters the meeting will take place no sooner than March 1st, however, pushed the date further recently. The current meeting date is not known yet.

Read more about tariff meeting here.

Maersk starts testing a new virtual assistant

Under the program of Remote Container Management (RCM), Maersk launched their new virtual assistant Captain Peter. The device will inform customers with their shipment status, temperature and climate conditions within reefer containers.

Read more about Maersk new tool here.

Uber Freight will let drivers access shippers and facilities

At the start of February, Uber Freight has launched a new option for drivers and carriers on their app. Now they will have the opportunity to leave reviews and share the experience they had at pickup or unloading. The main goal of an update is to let shippers know more about what’s important to drivers and maintain better work relationships.

Read more about Uber Freight new feature here.

Amazon spotted moving the trailer with Embark autonomous truck

One of the Reddit users has seen an Embark self-driven autonomous truck moving Amazon freight trailer. Amazon hasn’t announced any deals with Embark. The retailer also neither confirmed nor denied working with Embark after CNBC request.

Read more about Amazon and Embark truck here.

Top Megatrends to Adopt by 2025

Today, the business operates in a digital world – once that changes at a rate seemingly impossible to keep up with. In order to succeed in this business climate, a company needs to adapt to the pace of change.

Adopting megatrends allows a company in this industry to gain critical insights into long-term changes that will affect the future of transportation. Driving growth and innovation, megatrends can be incredibly useful is creating a competitive advantage, excelling the company and keeping it afloat in the fast-paced future.

Trend 1: Replacement of multiple distribution network strategies with an omnichannel.

On average, there are three discrete distribution networks across all industry sectors. This number varies depending on overall corporate strategy.

Separate distribution networks were created mostly to handle the specific requirements of customer or product segments. Recently, e-commerce distribution networks were introduced as a sound supply chain strategy, but they lacked an important external element: speed.

Because of this, companies have started working on omnichannel strategies that will eliminate the need for multiple distribution networks, hopefully solving the speed problem.

Don’t be confused – omnichannel is not just an additional network to be added. It requires an integrated, seamless strategy to create and deliver value in the digital marketplace.

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Trend 2: Integrated supply chain operations enabled by data-format neutral technology.

Until now, the best option for a company was to purchase and install technology in-house. Transportation management systems (TMS) and distribution management systems (DMS) require(d) the best software possible, and the investment in these assets often translated to improved performance, efficiency, and effectiveness for the business.

However, software as a service (SaaS) provides any firm with the same sophisticated, top-of-the-line tools to manage transportation and distribution, minus the large financial investment. This seems like a no-brainer for most companies, especially those with budgets restricting their technological explorations. The reality is that SaaS did not improve efficiency or effectiveness overall for supply chains, making it a moot point.

The solution to this problem is simple: technology must be viewed as an enabler for integrated supply chain operations, with its purpose being the creation of value in an ever-changing business environment.

Cutting-edge firms have gotten a leg up on others by learning how to handle demand uncertainty and customer requirements. The most important way to do this? Supply chain visibility.

Moving away from stale information towards real-time, streamlined supply chain visibility is a must if a company wants to survive in the digital business climate.

Trend 3: Introduce the Chief Supply Chain Officer.

The 25th Transportation and Logistics Annual Study indicates that companies with a Chief Supply Chain Officer report statistically better profitability than their competitors.

Strategy-structure-performance (SSP) theory supports the idea that an integrated supply chain strategy that is led at the C-level of an organization will result in improved firm performance.

Even better, the Chief Supply Chain Officer who recognizes the value in transportation will excel even more. At this point, most chief executive officers wouldn’t debate the importance of supply chain management, but many of them neglect transportation.

The CSCO balances the tradeoffs between functions to achieve the long-term, overarching strategic goals of the company, creating a competitive advantage.

Will America’s Next President Secure Infrastructure Spend?

A long-term funding plan to modernize America’s infrastructure has been extensively talked about in political circles. This election, it’s not different. 

A recent CBS article says that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton agree on this topic; that roads, bridges, airports and other US structural assets are in bad condition. Both Trump and Clinton argue that the country’s rundown roads, bridges, and airports need rebuilding. And, both candidates say infrastructure programs will create new jobs.

Clinton’s idea is a five-year plan that calls for about $300 billion in direct spending on roads and bridges and another $25 billion for an infrastructure bank. She plans to pay for the plan from corporate tax reform, including a chance for companies to banish overseas profits. Trump wants to spend $1 trillion on a variety of infrastructure projects over 10 years if elected. According to Yahoo Finance, $167 billion of the $1 trillion investment would be equity investment, while the rest would be raised by private partners.

“It’s a logical area for common ground,” Sen. Tom Carper said. He continues that a candid assessment of US infrastructure shows that there’s an argument for investing heavily in the country’s transportation system.

According to an October Transport Topics article, multiple transportation groups wrote to the presidential nominees, desperate to secure money. The Highway Trust Fund explained to the parties that an infrastructure package needs to include sustainable revenue to guarantee a permanent solution, and additional revenue sources must be long-term, reliable and dedicated to supporting an infrastructure proposal.

This CNBC article reminds voters that Congress has to agree to go along with the kind of immense new spending the presidential candidates are calling for. The new administration will need Congress’ help in achieving long-term funding goals for the transportation structure. Current budgets for infrastructure are stretched thin. A lot of money is spent on keeping the existing infrastructure operating as smoothly as possible.

Over the next decade, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates it would cost more than $3.3 trillion to keep up with repairs and replacements, but based on current funding levels, the nation will come up more than $1.4 trillion short, the group says. When projected to 2040, the shortfall is expected to top $5 trillion, unless new funds are allocated.

 

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