The Vital Role of Logistics in North Carolina’s Economy

In a recent feature by BusinessNC, the significance of the transportation, shipping, and logistics sectors to North Carolina's economy was highlighted through enlightening statistics and a roundtable discussion with industry leaders.

Industry experts including representatives from Piedmont Triad International Airport, Guilford Technical Community College, and the N.C. Department of Transportation, among others, discussed several pressing issues. Key points included the challenge of capacity exceeding goods, impacting business profitability and the necessity for industry adaptation such as mergers and acquisitions to achieve equilibrium.

Highlights include the following:

  • In 2022, North Carolina’s robust trucking infrastructure managed to move an impressive 478 million tons of freight, valued at around $741 billion. Projections suggest a 64% increase in freight weight and a 97% rise in value by 2050. The state is well-equipped with 17 cargo-active airports and the nation’s largest consolidated rail system, extending over 3,200 miles, providing direct shipping routes to 22 states.
  • A significant shift noted was the move from just-in-time to just-in-case inventory strategies, largely driven by pandemic-induced supply chain disruptions. This adjustment is partly why the industry currently faces overcapacity, as retailers reduce inventory levels, shifting the burden back to manufacturers.
  • Infrastructure needs also took center stage, with discussions on the importance of continuous investment to support the state's growth. North Carolina is praised for its foresight in infrastructure planning, which significantly benefits transportation efficiency.
  • Education and workforce development were also discussed, emphasizing the growing interest among students in supply chain and logistics careers, driven by the promising income and stability these jobs offer.
  • The roundtable also touched on technological advancements, including artificial intelligence's role in optimizing supply chain operations and the potential impact of autonomous vehicles and electric trucks on the industry.

This discussion underscores the critical role and dynamic challenges of the logistics industry in supporting and sustaining North Carolina's economic growth. After all, the state’s logistics infrastructure is a major reason why it continues to win “Best State for Business” accolades.

At Kanban Logistics, we’re proud to be a part of this infrastructure and to play a role in the supply chains of many companies that do business in (or from) the Tar Heel State. If you’re one of those companies – or you would like to be – contact us today to learn how we can put our logistics services capabilities to work for you.