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Top 10 Logistics Trends for 2015

14th January 2015

Sharing his predictions for the year ahead, in this article John Manners-Bell outlines his top 10 logistics trends for 2015.

1. E-commerce will continue to increase its influence over the supply chain industry. Retailers and manufacturers are adopting multi-channel strategies which will require their logistics providers to be innovative in the way they provide fulfilment and last mile delivery services.

2. The rise of the discount stores, such as Aldi and Lidl, at the expense of the major grocery chains, will have profound consequences for the logistics industry. Discounters have much lower logistics costs and less complex needs, which will pose a threat to the larger contract logistics providers’ core business.

3. The falling price of oil will help transport providers. International freight movements in particular will become much cheaper, perhaps dampening the trend towards near-sourcing which had been gathering momentum. Air cargo volumes will be beneficially affected.

4. Expect some major acquisitions in the global logistics industry. Conditions are right for a wave of new takeovers as successful companies expand into fast growing geographies and into profitable market niches.

5. Increasing integration of trading nations will encourage regional cross-border flows of goods. For example, the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community in January will be a major shot in the arm for the international freight forwarding sector in the region.

6. Logistics companies in Europe will continue to struggle to cope with stagnating demand, unless the European economy can be turned round. This is in contrast to business in the US and Asia which will continue to out-perform.

7. Logistics and supply chain companies will continue their investment in technology. Innovation will become even more important to companies as they seek to respond to the changing market dynamics and cope with a challenging environment.

8. Ships will continue to get bigger! 20,000 TEU vessels are now a reality, lowering the unit cost of moving goods around the world. However, an increasingly small number of ports will be able to support these ships, reducing the number of direct calls and increasing the cost of shipping from many emerging markets.

9. Geo-political instability will have an impact in many parts of the emerging world – namely the Middle East as well as West, North and East Africa. This will increase the risks for logistics companies and reduce supply chain investment in these opportunity-rich countries.

10. Watch out for Uber! The fast moving technology company, which provides a taxi alternative in many cities in the world, has now turned its attention to the freight market. Its transformative potential should not be underestimated.

John Manners-Bell is author of Logistics and Supply Chains in Emerging Markets, Supply Chain Risk, and Global Logistics Strategies.


Logistics, Operations & Supply Chain Management

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