We have noticed a lot of headlines lately about the state of the logistics market & wanted to share some of what we’ve found. You may not have time to cull through every article, so we’ve started that process for you. We’ll try to update this & add to it as news comes in, so if you found a different article that deserves some space on this page, let us know in the comments below.

The State of Logistics Report

First, you might be wondering, what is the State of Logistics report? The following was taken directly from the Council of Supply Chain Management’s website:

The report was delivered by transportation consultant, Rosalyn Wilson, with additional commentary provided by a panel of industry leaders representing various areas within the supply chain at the press conference launch and during a Tuesday morning session during CSCMP’s Annual Global Conference this September in San Antonio, Texas.

The “State of Logistics Report®” is widely used by supply chain management and logistics professionals and organizations as the premier benchmark for US logistics activity.

According to expert analysts, the market outlook for logistics is positive. In fact, Rosalyn Wilson, author of the 25th Annual State of Logistics report, said: “This will the best year we have experienced in the last eight years. The first five months of 2014 have been the strongest since the end of the Great Recession.
The report was presented by Penske Logistics at Washington, D.C. press conference. You can watch the 45 minute video on YouTube or scroll down and find it at the bottom of this page.

Synopsis + Reaction

Thankfully, a few trusted voices in our industry have also provided good synopses/reactions on the report. Supply Chain Digital provides a nice synopsis, which you can read here. In their summary, they state that there may still be rough patches ahead:

While Wilson expects to see continued freight improvement, she said she anticipates a few stumbles along the way. She is also anticipating more capacity problems, higher rates and a worsening driver shortage, most of which also affected the industry in 2013.

But, we’re still left wondering what has given such optimism to a report that hasn’t been so positive in recent years. For that answer, we turn to DC Velocity’s article which gives a summary of the report and some valuable insights for us to think about.

The big surprise came in April. Based on the pattern of shipment activity over the past four years, April should have seen a contraction. Instead, business took off. Freight payments rose to their highest point in 15 years. Shipment volumes hit their highest levels since June 2011, according to the report.

The momentum continued in May. By the time the month ended, anyone who was moving freight for a living was sitting pretty. Shipments through the first five months were up 13.1 percent over 2013 levels. Payments jumped 11 percent during that span. The surges in March, April, and May led to the strongest freight demand since the recession ended, the report said. More tellingly—given that she generally does not go out on a limb unless she’s sure it can’t be cut down—Wilson forecast that 2014 would be the best year for freight since 2006, the industry’s last good year before a protracted recession took hold.

Does all of this positivity give you more optimism about the short-term outlook of logistics?
As promised, below is the video to the full 45 minute presentation of the report. Just click to play.