The North America freight and logistics market is anticipated to register a growth rate of 3% during the period (2021-2026).
COVID-19 has severely impacted the market studied. North American airlines saw demand decrease by 1.8% in February 2020, compared to the same period a year earlier where capacity increased by 4.1%. Cargo traffic on the Asia-North America trade lanes decreased by 2.4% year-on-year as a result of factory closures in Asia due to COVID-19. Rising air freight rates, dwindling warehouse space and clogged cargo terminal arteries are among the challenges North American shippers face in the new pandemic economy. During COVID - 19, Railroad volumes declined by 20 % and have not recovered totally. Last-mile deliveries have surged more than ten times over, but ocean shipping is down by 25 %.The spillover to the logistics industry began in February 2020 as volume into US ports dropped significantly.
The North American logistics market is fragmented. Besides transportation and distribution services, numerous niche players offer specialized services such as reverse logistics, IT services, and consulting.
Moreover, owing to the rising environmental concerns, the adoption of green logistics solutions has been witnessed in recent years. At present, the United States represents one of the key markets for logistics in the region with highly integrated supply chain network that links producers and consumers through multiple transportation modes, such as air and express delivery services, freight rail, maritime transport, and truck transport.
Trade continues to improve steadily and the economy is growing consistently now. However, driver shortage, tight capacity, infrastructure, and regulations are affecting the industry. Ports and airports are investing in new capacity in order to cope with on-going demand.
The widening of the Panama Canal and the expansion of regional industrial activities are amplifying volumes in the southeast of the United States.
Rail and intermodal services are booming, although shippers across the region complain of poor rail freight service, tight capacity and labour disputes. Large fleet owners are investing heavily in new trucks, which is driving associated supply chains.
Competition is fierce among the North American ports. The United States ports are straining under increasing tonnage and in some cases the inability to service mega-ships. This has led, at several times in the past five years, to ships diverting to Canadian rivals. Many of the ports are seeking funding for dredging to deepen harbours and obtain the equipment needed to support the increasingly large mega-ships blamed, by United States West Coast ports in particular, for congestion problems.
USMCA (US-Mexico-Canada Agreement) entered into force on 1 July 2020, replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). USCMA presents both challenges and opportunities for transport operators. USMCA likely will not have the biggest direct impact on trucking compared with industries such as automotive and agriculture. The trickle-down effect of industries potentially producing and shipping more products is where carriers likely benefit.
Key Market Trends Growing E-Commerce in the region: During the pandemic, consumers have increasingly shifted to purchasing more goods and services online as governments both in the United States and abroad implemented lockdowns in an attempt to curb the spread of Covid-19. Some major retailers, especially those located in shopping malls, have suffered losses. Meanwhile online retailers, such as Amazon or Target Corp, which has scaled up its e-commerce business, have seen their fortunes soar as consumers became more dependent on online shopping.
In March 2021, Walt Disney announced that it will close at least 60 Disney Stores throughout North America in 2021. The company said it would focus more on e-commerce while reducing the number of bricks-and-mortar locations it operates.
Spotlight on United States Trucking Industry
In 2020, the trucking industry has witnessed tremendous changes when it comes to the manner in which they operate and the kind of trucks that are making their way to the market spaces. In the United States alone, the industry has witnessed ups and downs during the year 2020, all of which have impacted the overall production and development within this space.
There have been numerous things that have impacted in which the industry has functioned, and there have been numerous elements that have changed the way work is received within this industry. While a large number of companies within this industry are going under as a result of the harsh market conditions, many companies are choosing to go down the alternative route and merge with other companies.
Competitive Landscape The North America freight and logistics market is fragmented. DHL, XPO Logistics, UPS, FedEx, Ryder Systems are some of the prominent players in the market. The market is expected grow due to economic growth, growing population, growing industrialization. However, Lack of the government’s commitment to the development of seaports or road networks and reconfigured supply chains, with the growing local production and consumption units are thereby hampering the market growth.
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