What Keeps Transportation & Logistics CEOs Up at Night?

By May 13, 2014News
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A survey by PwC reveals the major concerns of T&L CEO’s across the globe.

In February, global consulting firm PwC released its 17th Annual Global CEO Survey of 1,344 business leaders worldwide. A separate key sector key findings report is based on 101 interviews with transportation & logistics CEOs in 43 countries.

The general findings shouldn’t come as a big surprise. T&L executives worry about rising fuel costs, a shortage of skilled labor, government regulations, national debts, deficits, and lack of infrastructure readiness, among other issues. The positive note is that these same executives are more positive this year than last that things are getting better. Part of this positive attitude is that the companies themselves are taking a more proactive role in responding to their biggest concerns.

The biggest threats to growth

In the survey, respondents were asked how concerned they were about a variety of issues that might threaten their growth prospects. Eight of those concerns scored above 60%:

  • 82% – Continued slow or negative growth in developed economies
  • 76% – High or volatile energy costs*
  • 68% – Over-regulation
  • 68% – Increasing tax burden
  • 66% – Government response to fiscal deficit and debt burden
  • 66% – Slowdown in high-growth markets
  • 62% – Availability of key skills

*Last year, 61% of T&L CEO’s were somewhat or extremely concerned about energy costs, so this year sees a significant leap.

Transformational trends

It’s clear what T&L CEOs see as the major threats to growth, but what do they see as the major trends that will transform their business over the next five years:

  • 79% – Technological advances
  • 59% – Shift in global economic power
  • 53% – Demographic shifts
  • 51% – Resource scarcity & climate change
  • 50% – Urbanization

These potentially transformative trends echo the concerns listed earlier. Technological advances reflect a need for workers with different skill sets than before, especially when it comes to advanced logistics support, advanced truck technology, and the ever-growing need to properly utilize big data. The changing demographics are directly related to the aging out of diesel technicians and over-the-road drivers and the lack of skilled people to replace them. For T&L CEOs, urbanization is ranked higher than among CEOs in other industries. The reason should be apparent: the number of city dwellers is expected to rise by 72% in the next 40 years and that will have an enormous impact on transportation as urban areas become more congested.

In the end of this sector study, PwC reveals that T&L companies really focus on solid corporate social responsibility (CSR). Sustainability is of major importance, with a full 93% feeling it’s important to ensure the integrity of the supply chain. And 88% of T&L CEOs (higher than the overall CEO ranking of 80%) believe it’s important to measure and reduce their environmental footprint.

This is a fascinating survey and well worth exploring in greater depth.

Patrick Moynahan

About Patrick Moynahan

Patrick Moynahan is Marketing Director for AmeriQuest Business Services and oversees marketing for AmeriQuest and its additional brands.

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