We see international freight as an increasingly exciting market to invest behind. Globally, we ship 11 billion tons per year. That’s 1.5 tons per person. Layer on top of this that you now want your West Elm coffee table in two weeks and your Lululemon running top in 48 hours. Suffice to say, the expectations keep rising which have caused shipping and logistics costs to explode (now 8% of GDP in the US…). Depending on where your coffee table is manufactured, it might cost 2–5x less than it would have if manufactured in the US. For all we hear about “deglobalization” (the movement towards bringing manufacturing stateside), it remains highly improbable, and disadvantageous to slow down the overseas production of goods. With 1) the volume of goods, 2) manufacturing hubs and 3) consumer expectations not changing anytime soon, we should all buckle up for continued international trade for the foreseeable future. All aboard!
At PeakSpan, we see these trends as ample support for the continued investment in international supply chain infrastructure. This includes physical infrastructure, but also technology investment to support international freight sales, procurement, operations and payments. We see opportunities for BCOs (shippers like West Elm), freight forwarders (providers of logistics services to shippers), and carriers (the ports, planes, trains and automobiles) to further digitize in the coming decade. Further, we continue to see dozens of startups come to market each year to support this incoming wave of digitization. The PeakSpan team has canvassed the universe of international freight-related solutions and are excited to release our International Freight Technology Landscape. We look forward to your feedback and are happy to discuss anytime!