Industries & Business Sectors

Logistics & Transportation

Challenges

Logistics and transportation industry is in an enviable position. Fuel prices have tumbled and are not likely to return anytime soon. Volumes are strong and forecast to improve further as the impact of the recent severe recession recedes. Moreover, the enormity of the downturn forced the industry to cut costs sharply and identify efficiency opportunities in their operations just to stay above water. The success of those efforts has streamlined many of these companies significantly, putting them in a position to continue taking advantage of growth even as they add jobs and expand.

When times are good, transportation and logistics companies would be wise examine the real but not immediately obvious disruptions that may be on the horizon; to anticipate today rather than react later. One structural change that seems to have impact on this industry in the near future is 3D printing., as it is seen by manufacturers as a way to streamline operations, improve quality, and lower costs. In that case, 3D printing will have substantial implications for both domestic and international freight businesses, particularly in reducing the importance of some transportation lanes while possibly opening up new ones and thus it could be a serious threat for this industry, as it will lead in in turn to eliminate or greatly reduce component and materials shipments, a mainstay of many transportation-sector business models today. This probable shift will come atop some weakness in lucrative global transportation lanes resulting from re-shoring efforts, in which products and parts makers, hoping to avoid rising labor costs, piracy, and quality issues in low-cost nations, have begun to move manufacturing back to their home markets.

In this context, industry must act more proactively, evaluating different options, which may include staying the course, re-balance, adjust network or introduce new services.

Historically, transportation companies’ record of anticipating the impact of technological change has been spotty-they typically wait until a technology arrives in full force and then figure out a response. But for those to move forward peeking around the corner to figure out whether there might be any steps worth taking now is advisable instead of “wait and see”.

Some more challenges that the logistics and transportation industry faces, apart from 3D printing and falling fuel and energy costs, include mergers and acquisitions of logistic providers, the continued Omni-challenge challenge, new and cloud technology, additive manufacturing, advanced analytics, supply chain agility, infrastructure challenges, demand for global partners, increase in technology investments, e commerce and least but not last, talent and leadership gap.

PfB Knowledge and Expertise

Industrial companies – bigger or smaller – are challenged to find the next generation of leaders; and this is a major cause of concern for the industry.

As colleges and universities continue to graduate more talented young people, there is still a gap between what is being taught and what the industry demands. In this economic context, more industry leaders are taking the opportunity to shift to new roles or retire. This creates a major gap in leadership that most companies are not ready to fill. This leadership gap will require companies to look strategically at how they attract, manage, and retain the best talent; this is not an easy task and most of industry companies will need support in developing a strategy for their leadership over the next year.

Sectors

In PfB, we have a deep expertise and knowledge in these particular sectors , including:

Third party logistics
Freight Forwarding
Warehousing & Distribution
Trucking
Rail
Shipping
Sea Port
Air Cargo
Specialized Distribution