GLOBAL SUPPLY AND LOGISTICS TRENDS

General

Look for big changes in the global supply, logistics and freight industries in the year to come.

What follows is a short list of some of the issues and innovations that are on our mind at ICAT Logistics Detroit as 2015 gives way to a new and promising year for our customers.

An RFID Revolution

Expect a continued and growing reliance by the global supply and logistics industry on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) devices. Their impact across the supply chain is considerable because they deliver rapid-fire essential inventory, production, manufacturing and product data. Accurate, real-time metrics will increase transparency, reduce theft, enhance supply chain visibility, speed inventory and monitor deliveries at lightning speed. Set up cost can be a hindrance, but we expect time and demand will take care of that.

E-Commerce and its Impact on Fulfillment

Across the globe the expansion of e-commerce will pressure retailers and manufacturers to establish new fulfillment approaches. In India, for example, where the e-commerce industry will be worth $100 billion by the end of the decade, companies are trying harder to accommodate customers by establishing a network of “smart lockers” where shoppers can retrieve packages any time of the day. In the U.S. we expect to see more distribution centers near city centers, reducing delivery times and adding convenience to the customer.

Keeping Commerce Closer to Home

In the ever-shifting global economy where politics and security issues can affect safety, pricing and the ability to maintain excellent customer service, more companies are moving production closer to their customer base. It is true that labor costs are often lower in certain part of the world, but technology has helped to lower costs at home. Add to that the problems of protecting intellectual property and quality standards in far-flung markets and you have more reason than ever to consider “nearshoring.”

Infrastructure and the Trucking Industry

This fall, Business Roundtable, whose CEO members account for $7.2 trillion in annual revenues and 16 million employees, published a report on the importance of investing in America’s transportation infrastructure. At ICAT Logistics Detroit, we emphatically agree that our industry is negatively impacted by the state of disrepair of our highways, bridges, rail lines, waterways and airports. “It’s time to strengthen our economic foundation by reinvesting in transportation infrastructure,” the Roundtable concluded. ICAT Logistics Detroit was heartened by the $305 billion highway bill that was signed into law earlier this year, but, along with many others in our industry, we advocate for continued investment. Research by the Business Roundtable concludes that if U.S. infrastructure investment were boosted by 1 percent of GDP per year, as much as $320 billion in economic output would be generated — $3 in economic activity for every $1 invested.

Supply Chain and Logistics Collaboration

During 2016 ICAT Logistics Detroit will continue our efforts to collaborate effectively with our customers and suppliers. What does that mean? We have learned that by working together with our suppliers, listening closely to our customers and trusting that a policy of transparency will pay dividends to the growth of our business and the satisfaction of our customers, suppliers and partners, everyone benefits. Because of the continued advancements in information and mobile technologies, the integration of partnerships within our industry is inevitable. And so are the advantages of sharing information, skills and capacity that ultimately benefit all parts of the chain.

At ICAT Logistics, we are enthusiastic about the growing sophistication of our industry and our company. We cannot sit still. We look forward to working with each of our customers in 2016 and beyond to find new efficiencies and increased value for each transaction. Your success is ours, as well. We stand with you to make 2016 a year to remember.

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