For the first time since 2009, U.S. business logistics rates are on the rise, up 6.2%. This is according to the 29th Annual State of Logistics Report. What had the biggest impact on costs? The main contributors were a prosperous economic climate combined with demand, a strong job market, increased wages and a shortage of more than 50,000 truck drivers. This all resulted in a 7% increase in freight transportation costs over the previous year.
Experts are using these numbers and behaviors to predict what may happen in the future of the logistics industry. They believe costs will increase again due to interest rates, tight labor and higher fuel prices. In addition, they feel corporate tax cuts will boost the demand for logistics services.
New technologies could also impact the logistics industry, with more companies challenging old business models. A trend that could shape the future of logistics will be a fully digital, connected and flexible supply chain. This next-generation software will drive efficiencies through big data-type of technologies such as predicative analysis, artificial intelligence, robotics and smart vehicles.
Panelists at the press event related to the release of the report was mostly in agreement that the logistics industry is entering a new era, where innovative technology may temporarily help companies lower costs.
Another variable contributing to increased logistics rates is cargo theft. According to Port Technology, the average value of a single theft in North America is more than $65,600 USD. Experts predict that cargo theft costs business billions of dollars every year.
Cargo thieves are opportunists. So, what can management do to help deter them? Because many cargo thefts are committed by people on the inside, one of the first things businesses should do is to thoroughly screen employees. Another recommendation is to utilize technology for shipment tracking, vehicle immobilization, as well as proactive security.
A proactive security solution combines technology with human intelligence. Strategically placed surveillance cameras are equipped with video analytics that will alert trained security operators of unusual activity on a property. The operators can make judgement calls on how to best handle the situation. They can activate speaker warnings to let trespassers know they are being watched, contact an on-site guard or call local police. An added benefit of Stealth’s proactive security solution is access control capabilities. Click the video to see how access control can help decrease theft and property damage at logistics sites.
The logistics industry is facing many challenges. Among them are higher rates and cargo theft. Live video surveillance may help offset some of the costs associated with theft and mismanagement of inventory.
If you would like more information about what this proactive security solution can do for you, contact us here.