Trends in the courier industry via ECA Marketplace
Whether it’s the retail business or the logistics industry, every industry has a network and a need to build relationships. For shippers, carriers, and suppliers, this networking event is called the Express Carriers Association (ECA) Marketplace. We attended the latest event last month and were excited to hear more about the latest trends in our industry and have the opportunity to make excellent connections.
What is the ECA Marketplace?
The ECA Marketplace is a three-day, annual event that happens each year! On Time Logistics attended the 2018 conference which was held in Orlando at the end of last month. More than 65 shippers, 160 carriers and 35 suppliers attended this year’s event with the 2019 conference scheduled to take place in Tucson, AZ next April.
In preparation for the event, each carrier, shipper and vendor representative rate the companies that they would like to meet with throughout the event. From there, the representative is assigned 15-minute “speed-dating” type sessions where they present delivery needs and what they have to offer.
For On Time Logistics, this event provides key sales opportunities with industry partners all in one locale. This year we met with 20 current and potential customers as well as 15 suppliers in “speed dating” sessions.
In addition to these “speed dating” sessions, there are additional education and networking meetings on the agenda. These additional events allow the individuals at the conference to learn more about industry trends, attain new best practices and to meet new contacts and build stronger relationships.
Some of the trends and educations topics discussed
One of the biggest issues in the industry is a driver shortage. This shortage of drivers is a continuing issue and carriers across the country are struggling with it. In response to this shortage, some carriers are increasing their trucking wages to lure in new drivers. There has also been talk about instituting new programs to attract younger drivers into the industry.
Recently, there has been a move to increase integrations between shippers and 3PLs with the carriers or agents. Primarily, this is accomplished through EDI or API data transfers with the main goals being improved efficiency and accuracy. We recently posted a blog about 5 Trends to Watch in Last Minute Delivery discussing the use of EDI data transfers.
Another focus is on overall improvements in technology including the tracking of each item on each shipment. This focus on technological improvements will help cut down on overages, shortages and damage claims. We have talked about this at OTL as we use the EDI system to improve efficiencies. Our blog has also featured a piece on the presence of technology and how it is changing the logistics industry.
A financial trend in the industry revolves around the rapidly increasing insurance costs for transportation companies. One of the main reasons for this increase in costs is because of the higher freight volume due to e-commerce. Included in this increase in online orders and greater demand for deliveries is a larger amount of delivery vehicles and trucks on the road. With a larger number of drivers and truck traffic, there is a corresponding increase in accidents.
Finally, on a positive note, the health of this industry is very strong with projected increases in shipments, revenue and overall profit. This is great news for us and our customers!
At the 2018 ECA Marketplace, we took advantage of the opportunities to network and to build new relationships that only serve to make us a better option for our clients. From last-minute deliveries to warehousing services, On Time Logistics is here to serve the Northwest Arkansas, Little Rock, and Tulsa areas with our variety of logistics services.