Transportation Execution and Visibility Systems: A Market Poised for Growth – Logistics Viewpoints – Chris Cunnane

I am currently finishing up my latest market study on global transportation execution and visibility systems solutions. Transportation Execution Solutions (TE) allow shippers to connect to multiple carriers and then tender, track, and pay in the system. Visibility solutions allow real-time asset tracking across the entire distribution network. This enables improved estimated arrival times of goods. Visibility solutions are playing a larger role in the market, as real-time tracking of assets becomes more important. Suppliers of visibility solutions continue to bring in additional data streams for better ETAs.

While there are specific inhibitors to growth in the market, including a political climate that is increasingly in favor of increasing trade restrictions, the competition from transportation management systems, and managed transportation services suppliers, the transportation execution and visibility systems market has seen significant growth over the last two years, and does not show any signs of slowing down. The major growth factors for the market include:

A strong ROI: Transportation execution and visibility solutions can lead to the selection of lower priced, higher service level carriers. The automation can decrease workloads in the transportation department. Visibility can increase service levels for customers, which increases revenues. In addition, parcel solutions have new features and functions that can be used to increase e-commerce sales.

Driver shortage: The driver shortage, which according to most reports has surpassed 50,000, is a growing concern in the trucking industry. However, from a solution standpoint, the driver shortage, which is expected to continue to grow, can be a growth factor. The shortage can help to fill backhauls and help to shift capacity to fill demand. This backhaul optimization can result in more efficient round-trips.

E-commerce: The continued growth of e-commerce is putting more emphasis on last mile deliveries, and parcel execution is becoming more important. This also means companies need more visibility into where products are for more accurate ETAs. The rise of e-commerce has also made the economy more global in nature. This is turn has led to the need for consolidation and de-consolidation of shipments in an efficient manner. Transportation execution and visibility solutions can provide these efficiencies.

New types of carriers: The emergence of digital freight matching services and crowdsourced last mile deliveries has opened up a whole new kind of carrier.  On top of that, for larger packages, LTL carriers have begun to move into the parcel space.  For last mile, the driver is no longer just a delivery person; instead, they are putting items together taking away packaging when they leave. All this requires an additional level of efficiency from shippers and carriers.

The new middle class: The new growing middle class of consumers in developing economies will continue to demand more consumer products.  E-commerce is growing quickly in many developing nations. Consequently, there will be an increased need for parcel solutions that support e-commerce.

As the economy continues to become more global in nature, and e-commerce continues to grow, the transportation execution and visibility systems market is poised to continue on an impressive growth trajectory. Digital freight matching services, the new middle class, and of course, the strong ROI associated with these solutions will continue to help the market grow as well.

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