Four-in-ten logistics firms plan technology investment

  • June 17, 2024
  • Steve Rogerson

Around 40% of shippers and logistics services providers are planning to invest in transportation technology to prepare for industry and regulatory changes, according to Descartes.

For top financially performing companies where senior leadership view transportation as a competitive weapon, this number rose to 44% compared with 32% for poorer financial performers.

Canadian firm Descartes specialises in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce. It has released the results of its eighth Annual Global Transportation Management Benchmark Survey of more than 630 companies.

In terms of areas of focus, for the seventh consecutive year, real-time transportation visibility held the top spot for greatest transportation IT investment. Visibility was cited as the priority technology investment by 36% of respondents and was closely followed by order management at 35%. Jumping into third place, fleet routing was noted by 29% of respondents as an important technology investment, compared with being eighth in 2023.

Carrier sourcing continued to decline as an IT investment area for the third year in a row, cited by only 20% of respondents and landing in the tenth spot in the capabilities rankings.

“This year’s study once again shows a correlation between business performance and management’s perception of the importance of transportation, as companies that place a higher strategic value on transportation realise stronger financial performance and growth,” said Mike Hane, director at Descartes. “Top performers continue to take more aggressive actions to grow and expand delivery options for customers, which requires increasing technology investments such as visibility and order management. By contrast, poorer performers are more focused on cost cutting and are ten times less likely to expect growth greater than 15% annually than top performers, according to study findings.”

Descartes and Sapio Research surveyed 630 participants representing the logistics community including brokers, forwarders and third-party logistics providers, and shippers such as manufacturers, distributors and retailers from a wide variety of industries. The goal was to understand how companies view the role of transportation management; uncover which capabilities, technologies and competitive strategies or tactics are having the greatest impact on transportation operations; and provide an outlook on future transportation IT investment.

Respondents were based in the USA, Canada and Western Europe. To learn more, read the full report at

Descartes ( provides on-demand, software-as-a-service focused on improving the productivity, security and sustainability of logistics-intensive businesses. Its headquarters are in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and it has offices and partners around the world.