How Logistics Is Impacting the U.S. Economy

July 11, 2019

July 11, 2019

The U.S. economy is having a real moment in the sun. Though some groups (or individual people) may try to take credit, the ongoing surge is connected to everything in one way or another. The sum is greater than the parts, as has always been the case.

With regard to the many industries involved, some will inevitably grab more attention than others. But several of the longest-running sectors are seeing wild growth, while simultaneously flying under the radar. One such industry is logistics, or the commercial transport of goods from their origins to the customers.  

Last year, Inc. Magazine labeled logistics and transportation the fourth hottest industry for startups. The sector saw $12.6 billion in revenue in 2017. SwanLeap, a logistics software company based in Madison, WI, was named the number one fastest-growing small company on the 2018 Inc. 5000. The company’s profile on Inc. reports a three-year growth of 75,661%. Staggering numbers to say the least.

Thanks to continually improved delivery vehicles, the rising standards in staffing, and advanced logistics management software, there is a lot more to trucking and receiving today than meets the eye. This also includes modern tracking technology. BusinessWire writes that tracking-as-a-service is one of the key factors in the booming global logistics services software market, which is projected to have a compound annual growth rate of 10% over the next 5 years.

We are proud to be contributing to these efforts with LocatorX at this exciting time for the industry. (Read about TrackX, our new suite of commercial products.)

Last month, the 30th annual State of Logistics Report was released by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP). The report details the rising amount that U.S. businesses are spending on logistics, and the supply chain in general. Costs associated with logistics rose 11.4% in 2018.

At this point, the sector’s positive impact on the U.S. economy is causing demand to rise, with constant innovations at the center of the growth. It is not without controversy -- for example, the largest retailer in the country, Amazon, is sending nearly half of its own shipments and with the most state-of-the-art technologies at its disposal. Smaller companies have their work cut out for them in trying to keep up without breaking the bank.

If history is any indication, though, this competition will bring out the best in everyone who is involved with logistics in any way. Machine learning and robotics (i.e. automated warehouses and trucks) are fast becoming more affordable investments as they normalize across the industry, alongside big data, blockchain, and other digital trends.

And there is still no replacement for excellent customer service and the talented, diverse people that make up the very best companies. The transportation and logistics sector added nearly 24,000 jobs in June alone, and is one of the largest sources of strength in the country’s overall job growth. These workers assist with critical tasks such as merchandise assembly, pricing and ticketing, and inventory control.

Developers like SwanLeap are hard at work making software that can make logistics management easier -- and simultaneously, more rewarding. Based on their astronomical success, it’s clear to see that the industry is responding and seeing results.

The coming years in logistics will be a fascinating story. Just as emerging technologies reach peak adoption, the next innovations will roll around like clockwork. It is essential for these businesses to adopt the startup mentality: staying informed and being flexible to change. If the current economy is any indication, the logistics and transportation industry will remain busy and supported if companies can work in harmony with tech to perform at the highest level.  

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