CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
October 22, 2018
Direct Connection
Direct Connection

U.S. business logistics costs—and so much more

The "State of Logistics Report" provides you with the statistics and industry insights that will help you do your job better and prepare you for the business demands ahead.

Every year in June, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) releases its annual "State of Logistics Report" in Washington, D.C., with Penske Logistics as the report's top supporter. And every year, this highly anticipated research is cited around the world as the authoritative analysis of the impact logistics activity has on the U.S. economy.

But the "State of Logistics Report" offers much more than that. Under the stewardship of the global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, the report also includes a narrative about the macroeconomic environment impacting logistics; insights from interviews with industry leaders; detailed discussions of market conditions in nine different industry segments; and a strategic view of the state of the industry.

Rapid, disruptive change is a key theme in the 2017 "State of Logistics Report." As its title, "Accelerating into Uncertainty," suggests, the factors underlying logistics costs and trends are quickly changing, and supply chain leaders will not only have to keep up with current developments, but will also have to anticipate and prepare for what's coming in the future.

And that's the main reason CSCMP produces the "State of Logistics Report": to provide you with the statistics and industry insights that will not only help you do your job better, but will also better prepare you for the business demands ahead. Here are just a few examples from this year's findings:

Logistics costs fell last year. Total U.S. business logistics costs declined to $1.39 trillion in 2015, a 1.5 percent decrease from the previous year and the first decline since 2009, when the Great Recession was still underway.

Spending on package delivery services was up 10 percent. Fueled by the e-commerce explosion, parcel and express delivery has now surpassed railroads as the second-largest logistics sector behind motor freight.

Inventory carrying costs were down last year. Although storage costs rose by 1.8 percent, a drop in the cost of capital helped to pull down overall inventory carrying costs by 3.17 percent.

Spending on U.S. third-party logistics (3PL) services grew by 3.6 percent. Demand continues to rise, but the rate of growth has slowed considerably since 2014. The need to provide customers with a comprehensive package of logistics services is a major factor behind the recent wave of 3PL mergers and acquisitions.

Technology is having a profound impact on the industry. Cutting-edge technology is already bringing new efficiencies to sectors like third-party logistics, motor freight, parcel delivery, and warehousing, and it's enabling new business models in those and other sectors.

There's something for every logistics and supply chain manager in the 2017 "State of Logistics Report," and I hope you'll read it from cover to cover. The report is complimentary for all CSCMP members as an exclusive member benefit and is available for purchase by nonmembers. You'll find information about how to order the report under the "Develop" tab at

Rick Blasgen is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP).

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