2019 Supply Chain & Transportation Half-Year Assessment – How Are Our Earlier Predictions Doing?

Global supply chains, data analytics, China’s economy, faster delivery of e-commerce orders, and technological disruption and innovation, all topical supply chain and transportation predictions made at the beginning of the year - so how are we doing at the half-year mark of 2019?

2019 Half-Year Mark Predictions Update

In early January 2019, we made some predictions about what 2019 would look like for the supply chain and transportation industries.

With the half-year mark around the corner, it’s time to review those predictions and see which have proven to be accurate and which trends will continue to be important during the second half of 2019.

Prediction: Big Changes - and a More Holistic, Organization-Wide Approach - to Global Supply Chain Strategies

This trend continues to be true for many companies, especially those in the manufacturing industry.

Companies are placing even more emphasis on their global supply chains to meaningfully impact their companies’ bottom lines.

Ongoing tariff wars and the associated uncertainty/repercussions have meant that top-level executives are balancing their financials more carefully and managing risk from volatile markets.

American companies importing raw materials, parts, or finished goods from China will face their newest hurdle on July 6, 2019, when a 25% tariff goes into effect on $34 billion of Chinese goods.

Prediction: More Intense Focus on Data Analytics in Supply Chains

Data analytics continues to play a key role for supply chain professionals looking to examine, analyze and interpret data related to supplier risk, tariff risk, logistics costs or manufacturing costs.

Being able to accurately analyze data and efficiently leverage the findings is an important investment for any growing business.

According to Forbes contributor Yasaman Kazemi, “Data, as opposed to capital, is useless without the tools that allow organizations to order, understand, and gain deeper insights from it.”

More companies are implementing advanced technology in their supply chains such as transportation management systems (TMS), warehouse management systems (WMS), and enterprise resource planning systems (ERP) to help manage an increase in data.

Prediction: China’s Expanding Global Reach and Economic Power

China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) investments in the Middle East and Africa and infrastructure investments in modes including rail lines, roads, ports, bridges, and even schools are helping the country continue to outpace other countries’ economic expansion as they build long-term economic ties and trading partners.

In the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) latest forecast it expects that China’s economy will grow by 6.3% in 2019, up 0.1% over its last prediction.

Though this number is impressive, it was announced in May that this is the lowest China’s growth has been in 17 years.

Contributing to this slow-down are the continuing trade wars and ongoing concerns about intellectual property rights violations.

China has remained unsuccessful in the intensifying negotiations to repeal the ban on Huawei, the world’s largest telecom supplier, and second largest phone manufacturer.

With a lifting of these bans in the United States, China would be able to gain market presence in an important industry they have dominated in other countries around the world.

Prediction: “King Consumer” and Ever-Faster Delivery of E-commerce Orders

Kuebix Resources

This particular trend has been all over headlines throughout the first half of 2019.

The most important announcement came in April with Amazon’s announcement that they will be transitioning from a 2-day shipping guarantee for their Prime members to a 1-day shipping guarantee.

This is a lofty goal, but one, most consumers will willingly benefit from, steadily driving shoppers away from Amazon’s competition.

In a bid to keep pace with Amazon’s exceptional service, Walmart has announced that they will begin an unlimited grocery delivery program that will have couriers physically entering customers’ homes to deliver their groceries.

Both Walmart and Target have made moves to bolster their same-day and 1-day delivery programs.

Prediction: Intensified Technological Disruption and Innovation

As we approach the end of the second quarter of 2019, transportation companies are becoming more accustomed to new technology like the federally mandated requirement to have Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) equipped in trucks.

Some carriers and companies with private fleets are even beginning to leverage technologies like virtual reality to ease the cost and time expenditures associated with training drivers to get their CDLs.

Other companies are installing RFID tags and other tracking software on pallets or even individual goods to improve their supply chain visibility.

USPS and other delivery companies have begun trial runs with autonomous trucks, still, others have begun investing in electric vehicles and even drone technology.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), the Internet of Things (IoT) and the sharing economy continue to make headlines for the supply chain industry and we don’t expect this trend to slow down any time soon.

Final Thoughts

The first half of 2019 has progressed much as anticipated, though not always in the specific ways we expect.

Technology that couldn’t have been dreamed of 20 years ago has continued to play an important role in transportation and supply chain companies.

New trials, beta technologies, and promises to consumers for 2020 are well underway.

Moreover, the global conversation about trade, especially with China, continues to be front and center.

Shippers, suppliers, carriers, and every other supply chain stakeholder are looking for new and more efficient ways to conduct their businesses. Whether that’s by leveraging data analytics, the IoT, or a revolutionary fleet of vehicles, there will surely be many exciting trends to look forward to as the second half of 2019 begins.

One way companies can find efficiencies for their supply chains in the face of these trends is to leverage Kuebix Community Load Match, a truckload spot market within Kuebix TMS that connects shippers with a vast ecosystem of truckload carriers.

Related Article: Kuebix Extends Load Matching Service With Emerge Private Freight Marketplace

Kuebix Extends Load Matching Service With Emerge Private Freight Marketplace

Putting Community in TMS: Enabling the Network Effect in Transportation Management

In this eBook, Adrian Gonzalez, President, Adelante SCM in partnership with Kuebix TMS, describes how transportation management systems are transitioning from being “inside the four walls” applications to becoming operating systems that power transportation communities and enable network effects.

Transportation management systems are transitioning from being “inside the four walls” applications to becoming operating systems that power transportation communities and enable network effects.

Advancements in technology - most notably, cloud computing, software-as-a-service, application programming interfaces, and mobile computing - are making it easier for shippers, carriers, and brokers of all sizes, as well as private fleets and others in the transportation ecosystem, to more easily integrate and transact with one another.

Download Putting Community in TMS: Enabling the Network Effect in Transportation Management

The value-added benefits provided by network-based transportation management systems include smarter and faster freight capacity matching and the ability to leverage network-based business intelligence and analytics to discover and establish new business connections and to benchmark your transportation performance and metrics against the community as a whole.

Download the eBook Putting Community in TMS: Enabling the Network Effect in Transportation Management

More Resources from Kuebix

Article Topics

Kuebix News & Resources

Visibility + TMS = A Winning Combination
Trimble Placed in 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Real-Time Transportation Visibility Platforms
Kuebix Positioned Again as a Challenger in 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for TMS
The Buyer’s Guide to Transportation Management Systems
TMS Update: Adoption accelerates
The Logistics of Valentine’s Day during COVID-19 Pandemic
Research: Trends in the Supply Chain and Their Impact on the Transportation Management System Market
More Kuebix

Latest in Transportation

Artificial Intelligence to Drive M&A Activity in Supply Chain
US Container Traffic Boosted by Back-to-School Rush
No Surcharge for Holiday Packages, USPS says
Port Everglades: Expansion and Sustainability Efforts for the Future
Moody’s: Carbon Offsets Open Supply Chains Up to Financial, Reputational Risks
Shippers Focus on Yield Management as Rates Continue to Rise
ASCM Releases Top 10 Supply Chain Trends for 2024
More Transportation

Kuebix, a Trimble Company, provides a transportation management system (TMS) built on the latest cloud technology that is changing how companies purchase and manage freight. The Kuebix platform is unique in that it will scale to meet the needs of any size company or supply chain, and is ready in a fraction of the time of other solutions.

View Kuebix company profile


Featured Downloads

Becoming a Shipper of Choice
Becoming a Shipper of Choice
C3 solutions' scheduling software streamlines the shipping process.
Thinking Differently About Supply Chain Planning
Thinking Differently About Supply Chain Planning
Political landscapes shift overnight, global trade is constantly changing, consumers demand increasingly personalized service and smaller day-to-day challenges hit without warning. If...

Rapidly Improve the Performance of Your Warehouse Logistics
Rapidly Improve the Performance of Your Warehouse Logistics
The Rapid Performance Evaluation identifies opportunities and potential improvements in every aspect of warehouse logistics operations; performance, productivity, service, quality, and systems.
Resource Management System (RMS): How to Effectively Leverage Your Assets
Resource Management System (RMS): How to Effectively Leverage Your Assets
This guide provides an in-depth analysis of the potential of various resources available in a warehouse and how they can be utilized...
Sustainable Supply Chain Insights From PITT OHIO
Sustainable Supply Chain Insights From PITT OHIO
A whitepaper on supply chain insights gleaned at the LEED-certified gold Cleveland transportation and sustainability summit.