Transportation TIP List – April 2015
Having concluded our 13th annual Shipper Symposium earlier this week, we noticed many of the current trending topics in the transportation industry that we’ve highlighted below were key themes of debate throughout the event. Over the last month, many of the top stories we’ve seen have us asking where the industry is headed in the near future and over the long term. From the Internet of Things and the future of retail to the capacity crunch and oil prices, there are many burning questions about the future of transportation and logistics! Check out this month’s TIP list below and let us know if you have any bold predictions.
1. DOT Unveils New Version of GROW AMERICA Act: The U.S DOT introduced The GROW AMERICA Act, a six-year, $478 million transportation reauthorization bill. This legislation would replace the current authorization, MA-21, whose most recent continuing extension is set to expire at the end of May.
2. U.S. Ports See Costly Delays as Cargo Ships, Volumes Grow: Congestion is becoming increasingly common at major U.S. ports — a problem that could have profound implications for the $900 billion worth of goods transported to and from the U.S. each year by container ships.
3. U.S. Truck Driver Shortage Getting Worse, Turnover Figures Show: The U.S. truck driver shortage is getting worse, despite increases in driver pay and redoubled hiring and retention efforts by for-hire trucking companies. In fact, the driver turnover rate at large truckload companies has been stuck at 90% or higher since 2012.
4. Shippers, Enjoy the Truck Capacity While it Lasts: Shippers are experiencing a period of relative tranquility on the trucking front — although contract rates have been rising because of cost pressures such as increasing driver pay, lower fuel surcharges have gone a long way toward cushioning the blow. However, shippers must keep sight of the fact that this calm won’t last long.
5. Internet of Things Will Deliver $1.9 Trillion Boost to Supply Chain & Logistics Operations: A new Trend Report concludes that the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) offers “huge potential for more efficient and transparent supply chains.” The report estimates that there will be 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, compared to 15 billion today, which could unlock higher levels of operational efficiency.
6. 3 Ways the IoT Will Transform Manufacturing Processes: Preparing your manufacturing supply chain to take advantage of the Internet of Things means getting your centralized visibility platform in place to handle the IoT’s big data, which will in turn transform manufacturing processes in a number of ways.
7. Retail Logistics of 2020 – I Want It Now: The last few decades have seen a major shift in customer behavior, with the explosion of ecommerce forever changing how retailers logistically manage and deliver products to their customers — and the next five years are poised for still more disruptive change.
8. Amazon Creates Potential Edge for Major CPG Brands: Amazon set the Internet aflutter when it announced its latest digital innovation, the Dash Button. Major CPG companies like P&G, Clorox, Coca-Cola and Kraft are already on board with the e-commerce giant, and it is already being said that these in-home buttons could give big CPG players the ‘leverage they’ve lacked in e-commerce.’
9. Senators Try To Stop The Coming Oil Train Wreck: Spearheaded by the Senators from Washington State, legislation just introduced in the United States Senate will finally address the rash of crude oil train wrecks and explosions that have skyrocketed over the last two years in parallel with the steep rise in the amount of crude oil transported by rail.
10. Congress Makes Another Attempt to Update Chemical Regulations: A new Congress means taking yet another crack at updating the 1970s law regulating U.S. chemical manufacturing, transportation and use. Bills are already in play in both the House and the Senate, and many are optimistic about seeing an agreement to update the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act this year.
What current trends have you interested in the future of the industry? Any predictions for what you think we’ll be seeing?