The only thing that is constant is change.” -Heraclitus

As the well-known quote above says, change will always happen. For the transport and logistics sector, the occurrence of change is no different. Not only has this sector grown in recent years, but it has also become increasingly impacted by many world factors, such as economics, politics, environmental, legal, and social influences. As such, many CEO’s and businesses expect technologies to change core production, service provision, and distribution channels. While change and the impact that comes along with it can not be avoided, businesses can prepare for the upcoming obstacles. Here is a look at expected changes in the logistics industry.

Customer expectations. It is no secret that with the use of technology and the internet, consumers have become more vocal and influential in their expectations and reviews. A previously written article, Business Trends That Will Impact 2019, revealed the importance of consumer reviews, citing the majority percentage of people who choose not to purchase something without a review. While these reviews have led to better customer service and processes, it has come at a price for the logistics industry: deliver the best service for the lowest cost.

Driver Shortage. It is a likely possibility that truck driver shortage will continue to expand in 2019. Between 2010 and 2016, the U.S. import and export traffic nearly doubled; whereas the number of qualified drivers did not experience the same kind of growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the number one reason for the shortage to be demographics: the average trucker age is 55 years old. This means that a majority of the driver populace will retire within the next 20 years. Therefore, it is expected that drastic change, such as driverless trucks, is on the horizon.

Digitalization. If there was ever a buzzword, digitalization it is. Digitalization is the use of digital technologies to change business models and increase revenue and value-producing opportunities. As more and more companies take on the process of moving to digital, the applications and results are readily visible; a whopping 54% of companies expect digitalization to increase revenue significantly. Further, businesses use digitalization to simplify their processes, reduce the impact of talent gaps, and to redesign their business models, services and products.

Shifts in International Trade. As the modernization of railways, highways, telecommunication, and other “hub” facilities continues, the more new trade routes open and existing ones expand, and emerging economies become more connected to the global economy. These shifts are the result of many different factors including new trade agreements and establishments; the emergence of trade wars, barriers and regulations; the globalization of the transport business; and infrastructure development.