Global Transportation and Logistics Industry Outlook, 2019
The global economic environment for 2018 faced headwinds due to trade wars, higher oil import costs, and interest rate hikes. The growth of the global economy in 2019 will be subdued, as trade tensions remain elevated, with emerging markets experiencing substantial financial market pressures. The global trade slowdown, further fuelled with capacity and cost pressure and regulatory compliance, concerns logistics industry participants.
In 2019, shipping lines will prepare in large for compliance with the IMO 2020 sulfur regulations, impacting contract terms, demolition of fuel-inefficient vessels, disruptions in vessel deployment, and fuel surcharge structures. Industry consolidation is likely to continue with strategic alliances and mergers to facilitate operations at reduced costs through asset sharing. Slowdown in world trade is expected hit air the cargo market’s volume growth and yield performance, as freight capacity growth is expected to outstrip demand due to weakened consumer confidence. Rail freight is expected to gain traction, supported by infrastructure development and regional rail network expansion with increased deployment of transfer hubs powering inter-modal transportation. Tightened capacity, scarcity of workforce due to demographic imbalance, stringent emission regulations, and increasing fuel cost will pose significant challenges for road freight transportation. However, to second sustainability, penetration of emission-free vehicles for long-haul transportation and last-mile deliveries is expected in 2019.
In 2019, logistics industry majors across the value chain are expected to prioritize operational efficiencies, with investments in technology adoption. Freight forwarders that offer innovative online solution offerings in freight matching, custom brokerage, and transportation management solutions are expected to transform the segment with enhanced customer experience. The warehousing industry is expected transform significantly with process automation due to the emergence of cross-border eCommerce and increasing demand for integrated supply chain solutions. Rapid growth in the eCommerce market would intensify competition among eCommerce logistics solution providers. Innovation in order fulfillment, delivery models, and value-added services is expected to reshape the last-mile delivery segment.
This study analyzes these various trends and provides the 2019 growth outlook for the global transportation and logistics industry in terms of size, by region and by industry segments, such as freight transportation, covering ocean freight, air freight, and overland freight; warehousing; freight forwarding; and Courier, Express, and Parcel (CEP) services. It also covers the stature of technology concepts, infrastructure trends, and opportunities relating to Industry 4.0, emission regulations, cross-border trade, infrastructure modernization, and industry digitalization and their implications for logistics and supply chain service providers. The specific digital technologies covered include Blockchain, augmented reality, data analytics, drone technologies, Internet of Things (IoT) robotic systems, and 3D printing. This research also identifies the potential disruptive impact of these technologies on logistics segments and predictions concerning freight transportation inefficiencies, urban logistics, emerging business models with IT platforms that enhance process transparency, and supply chain visibility.
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