As we prepare to close the book on 2018, King is already looking ahead to next year. So far in 2018, we’ve seen booming economic growth, rising diesel prices, new mandates and regulations take effect, and capacity tighten. Though it’s been an eventful year for the industry, it’s time to look ahead to 2019. So what does the new year have in store?
The larger issues still lead the way into 2019
The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) just released its annual Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry report. It outlines the top issues carriers face, which rank as follows:
- Driver shortages
- Hours of service (HOS) regulations
- Driver retention
- Electronic logging device (ELD) mandates
- Truck parking
- Compliance, safety and accountability (CSA)
- Driver distraction
- Transportation infrastructure, congestion and funding
- Driver health and wellness
- The economy
Similar to the 2017 report, driver shortages remain the top issue. And this year, driver retention moved from fifth to third on the list. Driver shortages will remain a top issue for both shippers and carriers alike, and regulations like ELD and HOS will continue to put pressure on carriers and their drivers.
A new factor pulls into the list
The economy emerged as a top ten concern this year. That might cause you to do a double take considering GDP growth rate over the past few years, but there’s one reason why this issue made the list: uncertainty surrounding trade.
While economic growth continues to be strong, 2019 is bringing a large amount of uncertainty as various trade deals hang in limbo. These deals could not only impact the growth of the economy, they also have the power to change the import and export prices of many goods, as well as their rates, leaving both shippers and carriers concerned that prices could rapidly change at any time over the course of 2019.
The role of technology is amping up
It seems that each passing year brings new technological capabilities for businesses, and shippers are no different. Data from the 22nd Annual Third-Party Logistics Study reveals that in order to meet their omni-channel goals, shippers are investing in all sorts of exciting new technology including:
- Enterprise resource planning software
- Warehouse management systems
- Transportation management systems
- Supply chain visibility software
- Labor management, analytics, and slotting organization software add-ons
Most importantly, shippers are realizing the need to share data with the supply chain companies with whom they partner. 61% of shippers said that issues with data sharing were behind poor customer service from their 3PL partners. Moving forward, it will be essential for 3PLs to promote greater visibility and sharing of data to their customers in order to provide the level of service and supply chain optimization shippers need to succeed.
Finding a strong, new partnership for the new year
As you plan for all that 2019 has in store, make sure you’re working with the right logistics partner, one with the ability to customize their shipping services to meet your evolving needs.
Ready to get an early hold on 2019? Get in touch with King today!