CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
February 25, 2020
Forward Thinking

Survey: Shipments to increase in 2020, but supply chain challenges persist

2020 State of the North American Supply Chain survey reveals "shaky" end to a decade as tariffs, capacity challenges continue to plague shippers.

Two-thirds of shippers anticipate increased shipping volumes in 2020 as key challenges persist across the market, according to a report from transportation and supply chain management firm Averitt Express, released today.

The Cookeville, Tenn.-based company surveyed more than 1,800 shippers for its 5th Annual State of the North American Supply Chain survey, which revealed the lowest confidence level among shippers in the survey's history. Although most respondents said they expect increased shipping volumes this year, the numbers were down compared to 2018 to reach a record low, company officials said. Respondents also reported ongoing concerns about tariffs and said that capacity challenges persisted in 2019, although to a lesser extent than in 2018.

Findings showed that: 

  • 66.23% of respondents anticipate increased shipping volumes in 2020-a 3.36 percentage point drop from the previous year's survey and the lowest confidence level recorded in the survey's five-year history;
  • 12.34% of respondents struggled with capacity challenges in 2019 compared to 26.05% that reported issues in 2018;
  • 43.32% of respondents said they viewed trade tariffs as having a negative impact on their business in 2019 (an uptick of 2.08 percentage points from the previous year) in comparison to only 5.2% that reported positive effects.

Averitt Express released the full findings of the survey in a white paper, available for download here.

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