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Transport and Logistics of the Future


How will the TFL sector develop in the coming years? What trends and solutions will prevail? How can we avoid threats faced by the industry? These questions are largely answered by 2 reports prepared by the advisory company PwC.

The report “CEE Transport & Logistics TrendBook 2019” presented last year suggests unambiguously that in the coming years the transport and logistics market will be subject to a profound transformation. Data included in the report show that 68% of CEOs of T&L companies worldwide expect changes in core technologies of service provision while 65% expect changes in distribution channels. According to PwC experts, the sector will transform due to digitalization, shifts in international trade, software solutions, shifts in markets’ domestic commerce and technology development as regards machines and equipment.

Trends mentioned in the PwC report can already be noted in the Polish market, starting from modernization of transport routes, through dissemination of technological tools, all the way to modern procurement solutions. Experts indicate that digitalization, if used skilfully, may not only contribute to process simplification or business model changes, but also reduce negative effects of staff shortages and increase revenue.

On the other hand, “Transport of the Future” - a report published in September this year, prepared by PwC analysts in cooperation with Transport and Logistics Poland Employers’ Association - focuses on challenges faced by road carriers. This sector makes constant progress and the foreseeable increase in the tonnage transported by road in the years 2018-2022 is to reach almost 23% (from 1.17 billion tons in 2018 to 1.44 billion tons in 2022). In comparison, an increase in the tonnage handled by the entire Polish transport sector in the said 4 years is supposed to amount to about 20%. This includes, apart from the road transport sector, for instance also growth of the maritime and railway segments (10.4% and 9.7% in the analysed period, respectively). According to the report, the dynamics of volumes handled by Polish carriers in the years 2018-2022 will be positive, but will start to slacken in comparison to the ones so far because of projected slowdown of economic indicators affecting the industry. Data and analyses gathered in the report suggest that factors such as: provisions of the Mobility Package, constant shortage of drivers in the labour market, increased costs due to environmental regulations and increased road toll rates will result, till the end of 2020, in an increase of 7-15% in costs incurred by the industry compared to 2018.

Experts point out that reduction of transport performance in international transport services for instance by 20% would lead to reduction of the total transport performance by Polish carriers by nearly 13%. Polish companies’ foreign transport performance constitutes as much as 64% of their total transport performance, so the major part of the Polish carriers’ activities is threatened by changes in the law.

A very pressing matter is staff shortage. The shortage of drivers with desired skills will deepen and in 2022 it may reach even 200k drivers (20% of the labour demand). A true revolution for the industry will be introduction of autonomous vehicles, although it will not make up for the staff shortage in the short term. It is estimated that solutions regarding full autonomy will appear in the market no sooner than after 2025. In the beginning, implementation of autonomous solutions will require investment spending, but in the long term it will enable to increase a cost advantage.

In the long term, growing autonomization and digitalization will require development of staff with new skills, including for instance IT specialists. This provides also an opportunity to make working for the transport sector more attractive for young people.

Article developed with "Namiary na Morze i Handel" magazine


phot. Namiary na Morze i Handel

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