The supply chain crisis has sparked a revolution in freight transportation management, according to a survey of transportation and manufacturing executives conducted by the management consulting firm of Deloitte.
Transportation is at an inflection point, as massive shifts like nearshoring bear down on it, Deloitte says. “Nearshoring efforts are underway across a significant number of industries as companies strive to shorten and bolster supply chains.”
China’s dominance in global trade is expected to wane, its trade growth dropping from 26% to 13% in the next five years. Countries in Central and Southeastern Europe, Central America and Mexico, are picking up the slack with competitive labor and closer proximity to end-use markets.
These developments on their own would constitute a seismic shift in the future of freight, but the consulting firm says they are accompanied by revolutions in data science (IoT, analytics and artificial intelligence), material science (electric vehicles), and engineering (autonomous vehicles)..
“Every shift represents an opportunity for new competitors to enter the market, as startups, megaretailers, and hyperscalers all vie for a piece of the trillions of dollars at stake,” Deloitte says.
Data fluency and transparency will be table stakes for tomorrow’s transportation companies, it adds. Innovation and rigorous alignment with strategic priorities will set true leaders apart, along with the ability to partner and acquire wisely.
“The next few years could be critical as companies decide which of their operations are their core competencies and which are better handled by outside partners,” Deloitte concludes.
In regard to public policy, transportation companies should adopt an approach dealing with globalization and national economic strategies, and more targeted engagement at the state level. Deloitte urges, “Public sector priorities and private sector opportunities continue to be closely intertwined.”