The global logistics and express market will shake off the effects of the recession and reach $4 trillion by 2013, up from its current value of $3.5 trillion, according to analyst firm Datamonitor.
Following the severe slump in 2009, logistics and express spend as a proportion of global GDP will regain its 2008 peak of 9.3% in 2013, predicts Datamonitor. However, before those good times return, a number of current trends will create a challenging environment in which it will be harder to uncover opportunities for growth.
Demand will continue to shift away from North America and Europe to the emerging markets of Latin America, BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and the Middle East. This trend is reflected in the fact that North America and Europe are expected to lose a 2.2% and 1.5% share of the global market by 2013, while Asia Pacific is expected to gain nearly 1.5%.
Datamonitor believes sustainability and cost effectiveness will be two of the main drivers of the industry’s development between now and 2013. This will result in a modal shift, with air freight losing ground to rail, motor and ocean carriers.
“The global logistics and express market saw $300 billion of its value wiped out in 2009 alone, and even if the industry has started to enjoy a recovery in volumes, changing customer preferences, modal shifts, technological advancements, environmental concerns and other trends have fundamentally changed the landscape in which service providers have to re-establish themselves,” says Erik Van Baaren, senior logistics and express analyst at Datamonitor.
“Customers are looking for cost effective solutions and, at the same time, shippers require sustainable transport solutions without compromising on quality of service,” Van Baaren adds. “Sustainability measures will have a significant impact on shipping and transportation companies’ services and costs, and a holistic approach must be adopted which takes into account all aspects of sustainability and associated supply chain costs. However, these strategies need to take into account the inherent risks of reducing the performance of the industry for the sake of sustainability.”