AFN State of the Industry Survey Reveals Challenges and Opportunities Faced by Shipping and Transportation Executives

July 02, 2012 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
AFN, an award-winning logistics and supply chain company, has released the results of a "State of the Industry Survey" uncovering the challenges and opportunities faced by transportation companies and their customers in the next 12 months. The survey was conducted at AFN's annual Strategic Partnership Summit held June 20-22, 2012, in Chicago. Participants included supply chain, logistics and transportation executives from over 50 leading transportation carriers and retail/manufacturing companies including several of the biggest chain stores in the U.S.

Topping the list of concerns for both the retail/manufacturing shippers and the transportation carriers who serve them are rising costs. Thirty-eight percent of shippers and 33% of transportation carriers surveyed anticipate that rising costs will be one of their three biggest challenges in the next 12 months. "Costs for fuel and equipment are increasing and we also expect that the cost of labor will rise as it becomes more difficult to hire qualified truckers. This is reflected in the price tags of the items consumers see on store shelves," said Michael Nervick, CEO and Founder of AFN. "Everyone in the industry has a vested interested in keeping transportation prices as low as possible, so it's not surprising that both transportation companies and the retailers whose goods they ship say this is their top concern." The challenges are shown and ranked in the charts in the upper left hand corner.

Respondents also cite a number of opportunities they plan to pursue in the coming 12 months. Forty-two percent of the retailers/manufacturer shippers surveyed plan to capture opportunities offered by a greater reliance on intermodal transportation using a combination of channels such as rail and truck. Carriers, on the other hand, see opportunities in investing in technology (26%) and monitoring compliance with new regulations (21%). "The carriers we work with are using new technologies, such as truck tracking devices, to save fuel, increase communications and minimize theft. The same technology can also be used to ensure compliance with rules that, for instance, regulate driver hours," said Jared Palmer, General Counsel, AFN. "Transportation companies see the benefits that new technologies offer and are more than willing to invest in them to save costs, increase compliance and get customers' goods to stores more efficiently and more securely."

Serving motor carriers, manufacturers and retailers since 2003, AFN (formerly known as Advantage Freight Network) is an award-winning leader in freight brokerage, third party logistics and transportation management services. Currently, AFN counts 8 of the 10 largest retailers among its clients. We are known for our commitment to client service, our proactive approach to fighting cargo theft and our expertise in retail compliance.

To learn more about AFN, visit or call 877-LOAD-AFN.