Transportation TIP List – May 2015

Posted - June 8, 2015

Transportation TIP List – May 2015

With summer right around the corner, we’re seeing a number of transportation topics heating up! Over the past month, many of the top stories had to do with the trucking industry. From transportation management and autonomous vehicles to capacity concerns and fuel innovations, these stories will catch you up on the current state of trucking and let you know where it’s headed.

Read on for this month’s TIP list!

1.  Annual U.S. Trucking Revenue Tops $700 Billion for First Time: U.S. trucking companies of all types generated a combined $700.4 billion in revenue last year, fueled by economic growth that led to higher freight demand and higher rates. As an industry, trucking broke past the $700 billion revenue mark in the U.S. for the first time.

2.  First Legally Licensed Autonomous-Driving Truck in US Unveiled: Freightliner Trucks has received the first license in the U.S. for an autonomous-driving truck to operate on public highways from Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval. Sandoval hailed the occasion as “a historic day in the areas of transportation and innovation” and a “monumental day for the human race.”

3.  Intermodal Shippers Hungry for More Service, Capacity, Pricing: Nobody wants to be the one to ask, but today’s intermodal customers are looking for more capacity, more service and more (better) pricing. Today, within the intermodal industry, fear about the future is widespread, with many worrying that 2015 may be the year that growth slows due to insufficient capacity resulting from equipment shortages and abysmal service.

4.  Intermodal Industrial Facilities Capture Investor Attention: E-commerce growth and port traffic troubles have dominated the news in the industrial sector this year, and intermodal properties have been expanding steadily to meet new demand. Thirty intermodal parks have opened since 2000, with 19 of those opening in the past seven years, and investors are now collecting premium rents for intermodal properties located near large container-stacking facilities.

5.  The Future of Manufacturing: Sensors, 3-D Printers, and Data Science: According to a new study, factories are the next fertile ground for the “Internet of Things.” Over the next 10 years, factories and manufacturing facilities will worry less about buying new equipment and more about outfitting their spaces with an array of high-tech sensors and routers.

6.  Energy Woes Spreading to the Manufacturing Sector: A survey of regional manufacturers showed activity and expectations declined sharply over the past month, with both reaching their lowest levels since the depths of the Great Recession in 2009. One survey respondent said the near 50 percent fall of oil prices was hurting business, and factories in that region saw sharper declines as exports fell further and energy-related producers saw another drop in orders.

7.  The Tracking Trend: More consumers are opting for tracked delivery when shopping, and this trend highlights the importance of meeting the delivery service needs and expectations of today’s customers. Previously, when shopping online, consumers were limited in their choice of delivery service, but brands are realizing that in order to attract and, more crucially, keep customers, they need to offer the right delivery choices.

8.  Consumers Triggering Major Changes in Retail Supply Chains: Retail supply chains are being driven by customer demands more than ever, a logistics executive at Office Depot Inc. says, with “far more educated” consumers pressing companies toward customization, transparency and tailored delivery. As a result, these companies will have to adapt to a number of broad trends.

9.  How The Transportation Sector Is Moving Away from Petroleum: The transportation sector is moving away from oil slowly but surely. Driven by growth in the use of biofuels and natural gas, non-petroleum energy now makes up the highest percentage of total fuel consumption for transport since 1954, according to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

10.  Successful Supply Chain Transformation Is Like a Carefully Engineered Highway Project: Supply chain transformation projects are like large highway infrastructure projects. During supply chain transformation, customers expect deliveries, suppliers to continue to deliver, competitors to announce promotions and shareholders to dial into earning calls. But during a transformation initiative, the supply chain undergoes an irreversible structural change.

What’s on your TIP List this month? Did we miss anything you thought was important?