Global Logistics Outlook: 2019

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Guest Post: Mike Greco, Senior Vice President of Global Logistics

When you look back at some of the major trade decisions made in 2018, we see a continuing volatility in the global markets going into the new year. Heightened geopolitical tensions and the effects of new proposals by government and trade organizations meant to address the economic and environmental concerns of the future can be seen creeping into global trade.

Already we know that U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports have been postponed from their original January 1 launch, and the resulting import rush is causing higher rates, tighter capacity and general uncertainty in those markets. The 2020 low-sulfur fuel mandate coming into effect will further cause complexity on how fuel, transportation and consumer pricing will settle.

A reworked NAFTA agreement called United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) will still need to be ratified by the participating countries, so it remains to be seen where the supply and demand ratios settle for major industries like steel, automotive, and agriculture. In the meantime, there has been an acceleration in the shift of manufacturing operations to areas such as Southeast Asia, which will cause a surge in the demand for increased air and ocean capacity from those markets.

Taking all these factors, combined with the exploration and implementation of blockchain technology and the expectations and demands driven by ecommerce, the need for integrated supply chains coupled with transparent, proactive delivery services continue to be paramount. As supply chains continue to face significant disruption, the focus on flexible, modular solutions becomes essential. Being able to select the right partner that can provide the responsiveness and visibility required in a volatile and dynamic market landscape more important than ever.

Joining NFI in 2017, Mike brings years of industry expertise to the organization and is in charge of NFI’s North American global business where he works to seamlessly provide end-to-end solutions for NFI customers.