The Annual State of Logistics Report, unveiled by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), Lombard, Ill., offers insights into a stronger U.S. economy. The supply chain study is produced by A.T. Kearney, Chicago, and presented by Penske Logistics, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Among the key highlights of the report:

  • U.S. business logistics costs, also known as USBLC, is 7.7% of GDP in this year’s report.
  • The costs of shipping goods and services are rising, as seen by increased capacity rates, which is leading to higher supply chain costs for corporations, and the consolidation of smaller trucking and logistics companies that cannot keep pace. Challenges in this space have resulted in high-level technological innovations. Rising fuel costs also factor into the equation.
  • The continued growth of e-commerce pushed parcel shipment volume up by 7% in 2017 to nearly $100 billion. This has a strong effect on the supply chain, in the areas of more visibility for both the corporation and the customer; the need for more warehousing, which in many cases will be smaller and closer to large population centers; and designing more responsive and flexible logistics networks, just to name a few.
  • There is a continuing truck driver shortage in the transportation industry, which has a multitude of effects, one of which could be slower package delivery times for Americans, who by the day, order increased goods and services online. Trucks transport 70% of consumer goods in this country.
  • Speaking of technological innovations in the supply chain, here are several concepts that look to have high impact across the next decade—uberization of freight; blockchain; fully autonomous trucks; artificial intelligence applications; truck platooning; electric vehicle fleets; autonomous mobile robots; and drone and unmanned aerial vehicle delivery systems.

"Logistics is a critical part of any supply chain,” says Rick Blasgen, president and CEO of CSCMP. “This highly anticipated report contains the statistics and industry insights that will not only help our members do their jobs better, but also better prepare them for the business demands ahead, in a very dynamic marketplace."

“The demand-supply balance shifted much more dramatically this year when compared to last year,” adds Sean Monahan, partner at A.T. Kearney and co-author of the report. “In 2015, it was a dark story if you were a carrier. There was a lot of excess capacity in the marketplace. We saw that starting to turn around in 2016 and continued to accelerate into 2017.”

“We are honored to support the State of Logistics Report for the 10th year,” says Joe Carlier, senior vice president of global sales for Penske Logistics. “It is an excellent guidepost for staying current with supply chain trends.”