The commercial transport industry is experiencing steady growth in recent years, with high demand as economies improve. This is evident in U.S. domestic shipping and specialty freight transport statistics. LTL freight services alone are moving goods to the tune of $35 billion, and in 2013 the trucking industry as a whole was transporting almost 15 billion tons. Those numbers are only expected to grow. The value of freight moved just within the United States is estimated by the U.S. Department of Transportation to grow in value from $882 per ton in 2007 to as much as $1,377 per ton in 2040.
The aerospace industry is contributing to this kind of demand increase, not only domestically, but particularly internationally as the global market expands and strengthens. Domestically, spending on logistics and transportation was $1.48 trillion in 2015, or about 8% of the gross domestic product. The international market for aerospace logistics is increasingly important for several reasons.
One key issue is companies sourcing components as cheaply as possible, which often means looking to foreign countries where items can be purchased at a savings. There is already a backlog in aircraft orders by the world?s two largest manufacturers, and efficient supply chain management by aerospace logistics services is necessary to keep things running smoothly when so many locations and connections are required.
Another issue is simply the increase in international air traffic. The 2014 Current Market Outlook believes the word?s entire aircraft fleet will probably double in size by 2034. This will be essential because cargo traffic is increasing 4.7% per year, and passenger traffic by 5%. Again, aerospace logistics services need to be poised to deal with these changes.
All this demand is being fueled primarily from emerging markets in the Middle East and Asia, and by interest in in North America and Europe in next-generation aircraft and more fuel-efficient planes. The emerging markets are investing heavily in order to take advantage of the global market, not only increasing the size of that market, but also the competition within it for things like aerospace logistics services and specialty freight services.
It is more important than ever that aerospace logistics services be strategic partners to help meet and guide this enormous increase in demand, as well as to assist shippers and aerospace manufacturing as they navigate an increasingly complex market. With parts coming from a dozen countries and longer and longer distances to be navigated for expedited fright companies and industrial machinery movers, the future of aerospace technology and development lies in embracing these changes and developing efficient and convenient ways of navigating them.