Logistics costs at peak, report finds

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by Emily Atkins

Logistics costs in the U.S. are at their highest ever, representing 9.1 percent of GDP, according to the 2023 State of Logistics Report. In real numbers, that’s a record US$2.3 trillion, up from $1.85 trillion last year.

The report also found that e-commerce sales are not slowing down. In 2022, the U.S. e-commerce market grew by eight percent, to $1.03 trillion, up from $871 billion. It now accounts for 14.5 percent of the entire U.S. retail market.

Third-party logistics providers are investing more capital into their technology offerings than shippers. Respondents indicated that 96 percent of 3PLs have migrated to the cloud, while only 86 percent of shippers have. Likewise, 80 percent of 3PLs are investing in IoT, versus 77 percent for shippers.

The reshoring movement continues. For a number of businesses, reshoring has gone from a strategic possibility to a market reality. According to the Kearney Reshoring Index, American imports of Mexican manufactured goods have grown by 26 percent since spring 2020.

“As the logistics sector moves forward from years of supply chain challenges and bottlenecks, our report shows that now is the time to begin thinking seriously and proactively when it comes to building strategic capacity,” said Balika Sonthalia, senior partner at Kearney, and co-author of the report.

“Although the market has swung back in shippers’ favour – to the detriment of carriers – we cannot emphasize enough the importance for all industry participants to begin planning for geopolitical tensions, cybersecurity threats, climate change and related natural disasters, slowing e-commerce growth, and global recessionary factors.”

Produced annually for the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) by global consulting firm Kearney and sponsored by Penske Logistics, the annual report offers a snapshot of the American economy through the lens of the logistics sector and its role in overall supply chains.