…because it’s going to be a doozy.
Remember the good ol’ days when moving freight was simple?
Oh that’s right. That was never a thing. Moving freight has always been a challenge. This year brings with it even more challenges than usual, though. So to help simplify your year, we’ve put together our thoughts on how to best deal with the uncertainties.
- We are still locked in a trade war with China. That’s not great. This trade war creates significant uncertainty as we look to the rest of the year in freight. Increases in tariffs will likely slow the movement of freight around the country as the shipper has to account for the increase in prices. Bad news for the freight industry.
- Many (many many) truck drivers aren’t happy. They feel stifled and frustrated by regulations that they say make it difficult for them to work effectively and earn their fair share. These mounting frustrations have caused an increasing driver shortage that shows no signs of improving. On top of that, potentially thousands of truckers plan on protesting through a “slow roll” where they significantly decrease their speeds on the road. Without truck drivers, freight isn’t going anywhere.
Other trends to keep an eye on
- E-commerce #cantstopwontstop. 2018 Black Friday e-commerce sales broke records with $6.22 billion in online sales — up 23.6 percent from the previous year. This startling growth indicates that e-commerce is not only growing, but it’s also doing so at a rapid pace. As more people enjoy getting their goods online, LTL shipping and parcel delivery will continue to grow to meet e-commerce demands. On top of this, e-commerce customers will demand faster and more reliable shipping as same-day and one-day delivery becomes more the norm.
- Technology will continue to take hold in this antiquated industry. Incorporating tech innovations into the massive and complex logistics industry is a huge undertaking. As more tech players see the opportunity for technology in logistics, though, tech advancements will exponentially increase. Therefore, 2019 will bring even more tech upgrades than in 2018. For what it counts, we’re betting on blockchain as the biggest game-changer.
How to succeed in these uncertain times
We can’t know how the global trade challenges and disruptions in the trucking industry will play out. For the most part, we just have to wait and see. Combine those uncertainties with changes in how people shop as well as the advancements in technology, and you have a year primed for drastic shifts.
So how does someone in this industry prepare for all of this uncertainty? Besides keeping up with the news and always keeping an eye on technology, the best competitive advantage is providing the highest quality customer service. Simple as that. No matter what role you play in this industry, if you act with integrity, consistency, and transparency, you will excel. Especially in an industry this large and fragmented, if you can serve as a reliable link in the supply chain, you will get and retain business. We believe in this so much, we’ve made it our highest company value, and we argue that you should too.
So here’s to an exciting 2019! Buckle up!