With 2017 officially behind us, it's time for a logistics year in review. Keep reading to learn which logistics trends are expected to continue, what's projected to change, and what will take center stage in 2018.
CapabilityIn 2013, the number of interstate motor carriers dropped sharply, but growth has resumed in recent years. In fact, the industry has seen approximately 25,000 new carriers hit the streets each year, a figure reflected by an increase of 116 billion annual ton-miles. This number is expected to reach 8.39 trillion annual ton-miles, 64% of which will be carried by truck, by 2040. So what's causing the increase? It's due, at least in part, to brick and mortar stores offering ship-to-store services in an effort to compete with online retailers.
SafetyFor several years, shipping safety has remained relatively constant. Annual driver deaths have hovered around the mid-600s, and there's hope that number will decrease with the now-mandatory use of electronic logs and the passage of anti-texting and anti-hand-held-device laws. Injury stats have also remained steady. Considering that the industry is growing and there are more trucks on the road, stagnant numbers reflect an improvement in overall safety.
EconomyShipping and logistics are growing at a rate of $5-8 billion annually, averaging about 0.8% of the US gross domestic product (GDP). Logistics is also adding jobs, with an estimated 30,000-40,000 new truck drivers hitting the roads every year. This reflects continued economic recovery and an increase in consumer spending following the 2008 recession.
EnergyFor several years, the annual fuel consumption for shipping companies has fallen into the high-20 to low-30 billion gallon range. With an ever-increasing number of shipments and vehicles making their way from point A to point B, this reflects an industry-wide increase in overall efficiency. So what do we have to thank for this trend? In large part, a wide variety of tools that improve truck aerodynamics, streamline routes, and help fleet owners optimize fuel economy.
Now you know what happened in the industry this year. But what's happening in your company? Do you see positive changes you want to continue? Are there negative trends that need to be turned around? Now's the time to reflect and learn. Recap 2017 and put plans in motion to make 2018 your best year yet!
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