CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
December 14, 2018
Forward Thinking

E-commerce, urbanization drive evolution in ground transport sector

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DHL research shows 75 percent of companies believe investing in ground transportation will directly support growth.

Industry experts say a fast-paced evolution is underway in ground transportation logistics and that it's changing the way shippers think when purchasing a transportation solution.

Research released this week from third-party logistics (3PL) provider DHL shows that companies see a direct correlation between ground transportation and business performance, with three-quarters saying that investing time and resources in ground transportation will directly help their company's sales. The report, "The Logistics Transport Evolution: The Road Ahead," identifies factors influencing ground transportation logistics and how industry is adapting to the  many solutions available to manage the change.

E-commmerce, urbanization, and big data are some of the top factors driving change in the sector, the research shows.

"Customer expectations for almost instantaneous delivery [as a result of] e-commerce are helping to position ground transportation as an important service differentiator," Jim Monkmeyer, president of transportation, DHL Supply Chain, said in a statement announcing the survey results.

Monkmeyer added that urbanization is compounding the issue, making traditional transportation models more congested and causing executives to rethink their approach to distribution.

"For all these reasons, transportation conversations are happening now at the C-suite table," he said.

Those conversations increasingly revolve around issues of quality and value, the survey showed, noting that when it comes to purchasing a transportation solution:

  • 83 percent of businesses are willing to pay more for better and value-added services as long as they provide a measurable return on their investment;
  • 71 percent now consider ground transportation as a strategic component of their business.

The DHL research—which surveyed more than 200 supply chain and operations professionals—also underscored the importance of technology solutions in navigating the complex logistics landscape: more than two-thirds of companies surveyed said that big data analytics and artificial intelligence are essential services 3PLs must offer to their shipper customers.

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