The shipping industry has grown into a billion dollar business over the last couple of years. Not only are businesses shipping more items, but they are also shipping a greater value and to a wider number of people. There are a few causes that contributed to this significant growth.
The internet?s ability for convenience and speed
The internet is perhaps, one of the biggest, if not the biggest contributor to the increase and rise in the shipping and LTL shipping industries. Customers can shop over the internet easier than ever before. In many cases, their shipping costs are already included in the cost of the item or the business covers it. With large retailers offering quicker shipping times, people also expect their items to arrive at a speedy rate. Not only has the internet increased the shipping industry, but it has also increased the speed at which it operates.
Today, speed is one of the most important factors in a trucking company?s success. Without speed, businesses are unlikely to ship with them. It actually has taken over price as a comparison for better shipping. Expedited shipping services, fortunately, can be arranged in a few different methods. Shipment can be made via truck, boat, train, or even plane when expedited trucking transportation is not fast enough.
A trusted form of transportation
More and more consumers trust the shipment of large items. Before, many consumers would never dare order a TV or even laptop computer to be shipped. If it arrived broken, you would have to track down the company and hope to get a replacement. Otherwise, you were stuck with a broken electronic. Today, returns, tracking, and shipping are easier than ever. In fact, the three most valuable commodities moved by the U.S. freight transportation system include machinery, electronics, and motorized vehicles. Shipping has advanced so much that it can now handle actual motorized vehicles.
Smaller truckloads, despite more shipments
Another thing that has changed drastically in the shipping industry is the ability for less than truckload shipments. The LTL shipping definition includes trucking carriers scheduling shipments, even before the entire truckload is filled. The LTL market is a surprising $35 billion. Trucking companies used to prohibit less than truckload shipping, thinking that it might affect profits. Now, it has turned into its own form of business and is one of the biggest types of specialty freight shipping today.
What this means for the future of shipping
Many wonder what less than truckload shipping and faster required shipping speeds mean for the future of shipping. We have already seen a few glimpses of the future with potential drone shipping. Consumers can order an item and have it just a couple of hours later, even if that item is across the country. Some companies have already successfully experimented with this idea and it just a matter of time until it reaches widespread delivery. Less than truckload shipments have paved the way for increasing speed to unimaginable speeds.
Spending in the U.S. logistics and transportation industry totaled $1.48 trillion in 2015 and represented 8% of the annual gross domestic product. Although these trucking and transportation growths are unprecedented, they continue to grow at rapid rates. The shipping industry has seen many improvements and will only see an even greater rise in the next couple of years.