Every industry changes with time, and the transportation industry is no exception. Recently, transportation markets have seen tremendous growth; in 2015 alone, spending in the U.S. logistics and transportation industry totaled $1.48 trillion, representing 8% of annual gross domestic product.
Though the transportation sector has seen an uptick in the last decade thanks to a healthy economy, in the coming year, new changes might destabilize or totally transform different markets. Developing technologies and a shifting labor market will likely impact a variety of shipping sectors, leaving no expedited freight company or pharma logistics service untouched.
If you’re involved in any part of the world’s vast transportation network, here are three widespread trends to watch for in 2019:
1. Increased Automation
Since the dawn of the industrial age, automation has changed the shape of every industry year after year. In 2019, this trend will continue, particularly in regards to inventory management and online retail. At every end of the supply chain, artificial intelligence and other digital systems manage more and more of the shipping process. Inventory management systems collect, store, and evaluate a business’s stock, with little to no prompting or guidance from a human user. This software allows managers to receive live updates regarding movement and availability of different products. As this technology becomes more precise and popular, nearly every warehouse manager and truck driver will have to learn different digital systems to complete their day-to-day work.
2. Increased Transparency
Like inventory management software, GPS tracking technologies are becoming commonplace in the transportation market. Any expedited freight company or specialty freight service that seeks to be more consumer-friendly can use GPS tracking to inform customers about product location and movement. In an age where information is right at consumers’ fingertips, more and more, shipping and retail industries will have to meet transparency expectations to appease an increasingly aware consumer base.
3. Driver Shortage
In the past decade, a healthy economy has led to greater demand for various goods. With greater demand for products comes greater demand for shipping services of all kinds. However, a booming economy paired with low unemployment rates proves challenging for trucking and shipping companies looking to hire more drivers. As 2019 unfolds, trucking companies will have to adopt different hiring methods and transform their work environments to meet rising demands.
Whether you manage an expedited freight company, lead a team of industrial machinery movers, or just want to know more about how your belongings make it to your home, keep an eye out for these shipping trends on the rise in 2019. With an agile business model, companies will be able to adapt to new tech and new challenges throughout the transportation industry.