“Investment in ground transportation will directly support company growth”

75% of companies believe that spending time and resources to improve their ground transportation will directly help sales. These and other findings – from a DHL Supply Chain survey of more than 200 transportation decision-makers across the globe and within all the major industry sectors – have been published in a report called The Logistics Transport Evolution: The Road Ahead.

The report reveals that the fast-paced evolution underway in the sector is changing the way that shippers think when purchasing a transportation solution. The survey also found that companies are increasingly viewing ground transportation as being more than a tactical commodity, with 71% agreeing that ground transportation is a strategic component of their business. Furthermore, 83% say they are willing to pay more for better and value-added services as long as they provide a measurable return on their investment.

Using data from research by Lieberman Research Worldwide, LLC, the report was commissioned to identify the factors that are impacting on ground transportation logistics. Over 200 supply chain and operations professionals were surveyed, from sectors including automotive, consumer, life sciences, technology, engineering and manufacturing and more. The respondents were geographically spread around the world.

Increase in urbanization

Javier Bilbao (photo), Global Transport Lead & CEO Latin America at DHL Supply Chain, said: “Transport is undoubtedly a critical aspect of the global business environment, and these findings indicate that companies across sectors and markets are now recognizing its strategic value.” Several global shifts in the business environment were identified as disrupting the ground transportation landscape. In particular, the exponential growth of e-commerce and its implications on service was identified by 65% of companies as having a significant impact on their supply chain in the next one to two years.

Broader societal factors were also highlighted as presenting associated challenges, with 61% of companies referencing the increase in urbanization as a factor that will significantly impact their future business. Technology and its ability to help manage this complex environment is increasingly seen as a standard requirement of 3PLs: more than two thirds (67%) of companies believe that big data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) are services that are essential for 3PLs to offer their shipper customers.

Optimization of networks key focus for shippers

Although these changing dynamics are being witnessed across regions, variations can also be identified depending on the maturity of the market and the demands placed on shippers from their consumer base. In Latin America, for example, the priority consideration in selecting a ground transportation provider is on-time delivery, while in Europe – where the market is more mature – optimization of networks is the key focus for shippers.