The freight and distribution industry forecast
For those of you wondering where the distribution industry is heading, check out this piece by Robert Faletra on CRN.com, where some of the future’s possible supply chain issues are tackled.
But for those of you who prefer to see arguments backed by figures, the distribution industry looks like it’s going to be dominated by trucking instead of freight rail over the next 10 years.
The US Freight Transportation Forecast to 2022 by the American Trucking Association and analysts HIS Global Insight and Martin Labbe Associates predict freight tonnage in the U.S. will grow 24 percent by 2022, with revenue in the industry rising 66 percent.
Those numbers will have trucking way out in front of rail in the freight transport industry in both tonnage and revenue.
In 2010, trucking was responsible for 67 percent of freight tonnage and 81.2 percent of freight transport revenue, while rail freight accounted for 15.3 percent of overall tonnage.
By 2022, the report predicts that trucking’s freight tonnage share will rise to 70 percent in terms of freight transport tonnage. Freight rail is projected to fall to 14.6 percent by 2022.
SEE OTHER TOP RAIL FREIGHT STORIES IN THE WDM CONTENT NETWORK
Intermodal transportation looks to be the biggest beneficiary in the forecast. Intermodal transport tonnage is expected to increase yearly by almost 7 percent between 2011 and 2016. That spike will lead to a sharp jump in intermodal transport revenue, jumping from $11.1 billion last year to an estimated $30.7 billion in 2022.
Sea freight numbers will show “very modest growth,” according to the report.
While U.S. President Barack Obama continues to push for high-speed rail and renovations in existing rail infrastructure, it looks like we’re more than 10 years away from seeing any drastic changes in the freight rail business.
Check out tomorrow’s feature on freight rail, and why traffic is expected to double by 2050
DHL Claim Multi-Sector Collaboration Key to Fighting COVID
Since January, global logistics leader DHL has distributed more than 200 million doses of the COVID vaccine to 120+ countries around the globe. While the US and UK recently rolled out immunisation plans to most citizens, countries with less developed infrastructure still desperately need more doses. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which currently has one of the highest per-capita immunisation rates, the government set up storage facilities to cover domestic and international demand. But storage, as we’ve learned, is little help if you can’t transport the goods.
This is where logistics leaders such as DHL make their impact. The company built over 50 new partnerships, bilateral and multilateral, to collaborate with pharmaceutical and private sector firms. With more than 350 DHL centres pressed into service, the group operated 9,000+ flights to ship the vaccine where it needed to go.
With new pandemic knowledge, DHL just released its “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience” white paper, which examined the role of logistics and supply chain companies in handling COVID-19. As Thomas Ellman, Head of Clinical Trials Logistics at DHL, said: “The past one year has highlighted the importance of logistics and supply chain management to manage the pandemic, ensure business continuity and protect public health. It has also shown us that together we are stronger”.
Multisector partnerships, DHL said, enabled rapid, effective vaccine distribution. While international scientists developed a vaccine in record time—five times faster than any other vaccine in history—manufacturers ramped up production and logistics teams rolled out distribution three times faster than expected. When commercial routes faced backups, logistics operators worked with military officers to transport vaccines via helicopters and boats.
In the UAE, the public-private HOPE Consortium distributed billions of COVID-19 doses to its civilians as well as other countries in need by partnering with commercial organisations such as DHL. For the first time, apropo for an unprecedented pandemic, logistics companies made strong connections with public health and government.
“While the race against the virus continues, leveraging the power of such collaborations and data analytics will be key”, said Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer DHL and Head of DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. “We need to remain prepared for high patient and vaccine volumes, maintain logistics infrastructure and capacity, while planning for seasonal fluctuations by providing a stable and well-equipped platform for the years to come”.
How Do We Sustain Immunisation?
By the end of 2021, experts estimate that we need approximately 10 billion doses of vaccines—many of which will be shipped to areas of the world, such as India, South Africa, and Brazil, that lack significant infrastructure. This is perhaps the greatest divide between countries that have rolled out successful immunisation programmes and those that have not. As Busch noted, “the UAE’s significant investments in creating robust air, sea, and land infrastructure facilitated logistics and vaccine distribution, helping us keep supply chains resilient”.
Neither is the novel coronavirus a one-time affair. If predictions hold, COVID will be similar to seasonal colds or the flu: here to stay. When fall comes around each year, governments will need to vaccinate the world as quickly as possible to ensure long-term immunisation against the virus. This time, logistics companies must be better prepared.
Yet global immunisation, year after year, is no small order. To keep reinfection rates low and slow the spread of COVID, governments will likely need 7-9 billion annual doses of the vaccine to meet that mark. And if DHL’s white paper is any judge of success, multi-sector supply chain partnerships will set the gold standard.