Cost of Transporting, Storing Goods Highest Since Before Recession, CSCMP Report Shows

Wilson by Tim Schoon for Penske Logistics
The cost of moving and storing goods in the United States rose 3.1% in 2014 to $1.45 trillion, the highest level since before the recession, according to an annual State of Logistics report presented  by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals in Washington, D.C., on June 23.

Logistics cost as a percentage of gross domestic product fell to 8.3% in 2014 from 8.4% in 2013 and 9.8% in 2007, when spending on transportation and warehousing peaked at $1.42 trillion.

Total logistics cost fell to $1.11 trillion during the depths of the Great Recession in 2009 and then began a slow recovery.

The cost of transportation, which includes goods moving by highway, rail, water, air and pipeline, increased 3.6% to a record $901 billion in 2014 from $885 billion in 2013, according to data compiled by Rosalyn Wilson, an economist and author of the report.

Trucking accounts for the biggest share of transportation costs with spending on local and intercity freight hauling rising 7% to $702 billion in 2014 from $657 billion in 2013.

Wilson said freight volume is expected to continue growing at a moderate rate in 2015 and that capacity is not expected to keep pace.

“It is likely that most of the freight logistics industry’s problems over the next three years will relate to capacity issues,” Wilson said. “For 2015 specifically, industry experts expect bottlenecks across almost every mode of transport.”


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