line graph, bar graph, two women looking at data on a computer, large group of people walking and wearing masks in a city, and two males a manager and frontline employee checking on products in a warehouse
July 11, 2022
Supply Chain

The Freight Recession is Here: 6 Key Considerations

What matters most to transportation, logistics and supply chain leaders right now [according to the experts]

According to, 40% of the global economy is tied to logistics-dependent industries, and millions of logistics firms keep supply chains moving.

Essentially, when it rains in the supply chain, it pours for logistics firms.

And, with a global pandemic, the ups and downs of recent product shortages, and fluctuating oil prices, there has been no shortage of concern. The question remains: “What does all of this mean for the supply chain?” While no one can predict the future in its entirety, some trends are worth following and some changes worth considering to improve processes, lessen the economic impact, and scale through innovation.

To help you navigate these waters, we want to share six supply chain considerations our experts have been exploring: 

1. Macro-Economic Impacts on Supply Chain

Instability in the geopolitical environment is causing companies to re-think massive pieces of their supply chain. Industry experts are advising companies to look for ways to make their supply chains more resilient and add redundancies, despite the risks of increased complexity.

Consideration: Do you have enough data on your redundancies so when a switch needs to be made, you are able to make it quickly? 

2. Capacity Changes

Over the first two quarters of 2022, capacity has flipped, where we are now experiencing an excess of capacity and not enough demand to fill that capacity. This reality has been coined the “freight recession.” Rates are falling and margins are shrinking for transportation and logistics companies. Many predict this is not necessarily a long-term situation, and balancing could come in two to three quarters, but those quarters could get ugly. 

Consideration: How are you planning NOW to better predict demand changes in the future? 

3. Customer Centricity

As capacity flips, companies that provide the best customer service will be positioned to take advantage and retain business through the current downturn. Customers are looking to digital tools to accomplish this, whether that means better tracking, compliance reporting, or providing more customer communication options.

Consideration: Is your customer experience giving customers what they need and how is your technology enabling that? 

4. Visibility

The need for visibility in the supply chain continues to prevail because of the demand shortage in the industry. Companies are trying to streamline operations using data to extract as much margin as possible. 

Consideration: How could you improve your
data management for more visibility across your business?

5. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG)

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) are at the forefront of many minds in the transportation and logistics space. Sustainability continues to be a major priority — alternative fuel and electric vehicles, one way to make operations described “greener” is through Intermodal shipping options and increasing route efficiency. 

“Ultimately, reducing emissions is great for us because that means we are running a more efficient operation.” - Chief Customer Officer at a National Transportation Company.

Consideration: Where can you improve operations while also improving sustainability?

6. Crowded Startup Ecosystem

The past two years of instability in the supply chain have led to much growth in the SaaS product area for supply chains. Many of these products are solving small and insulated problems. But while many of these SaaS products are helpful, integrating these apps and data remains an issue as they create further islands of technology and data. The need to provide a single, consolidated view of enterprise-wide data remains.

Consideration: Do you need another tool? Or do you need more connection? 

Bottom Line:

When it comes to innovation during a freight recession in the supply chain, it is undeniable that tools integrated to help wrangle data from disparate systems will be extremely important as companies look for ways to become more resilient and effective. 

We’ve recently written about 5 Changes in the transportation and logistics industry powered by better data to discuss a few areas we are seeing transportation and logistics leaders focus on when it comes to leveraging their data to run their business better.

Data Studio
Google Cloud Build
App Engine
Cloud SQL
Cloud Storage
Cloud Functions
BigQuery ML

Still not sure where to start?

two females, one white, one black, and one white male, all gathered around a laptop discussing workflow

Set up a one-day workshop to nail down your data strategy with RevUnit data experts.

A one-day strategy workshop brings all of your stakeholders into one room, along with our data experts, to build an innovative data strategy (and then you can delete the months of email chains trying to figure it out).

Learn more →
RevUnit icon
RevUnit is a technology studio that helps supply chain clients identify and implement data solutions that actually prove ROI. We help organizations across industries like transportation, freight, logistics, retail, and manufacturing achieve business results through innovative data solutions — powered by AI/ML and the cloud. We’ve done it for clients like ArcBest, J.B. Hunt, and Walmart.

Related Posts