By Bart De Muynck

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of FreightWaves or its affiliates.

With 2024 just a few days away, I’m looking forward to what the new year has in store. At the same time, it allows us all to reflect on 2023. But most of all, it’s a way to give thanks to an industry that has provided so much insight, collaboration, networking and passion.

Here are a few of my observations looking back at 2023 and my predictions for 2024. 

2023 was another year full of challenges, disruptions, some endings, as well as new beginnings. 

Personally, I began a new journey in August when I started my own advisory company. 

But as an industry, we observed some larger companies, which had received a lot of private equity backing, go out of business. We even saw some large logistics providers going bankrupt. But at the same time, we also identified a lot of new startups gaining traction and becoming more visible in that same complex and challenging market. 

In hindsight, 2023 was a reset year in many ways. Rates hit rock-bottom and it forced companies to focus on survival. With that came a hunger to change the way things were done. In some cases, that meant letting go of people. In others, that meant more adoption of technology. And for some, it was a combination of both. We will continue to see this appetite increasing in 2024, which will have a positive impact on the further adoption of logistics technology.

As an industry, we came together, which was witnessed not just at the networking at some of the larger events like Manifest or FreightWaves’ F3: Future of Freight Festival. Behind-the-scenes, there was a lot more communication going on between established players partnering for survival, as well as startups collaborating to gain insight to become more efficient in order to grow their enterprises. 

I expect 2024 will bring more collaboration and with great events as well as logistics community groups like Ballast, we all can contribute to connecting and become a tighter community.

All of that gives me confidence that we are well positioned to hit the ground running in 2024. Don’t get me wrong, 2024 will have its own challenges, and although we are on the way to economic recovery, it won’t be a walk in the park. 

The past year has hardened as well as prepared us and equally allowed us to collaborate in a way that we can beat any obstacle that is going to be thrown at us in the next year. 

My professional and personal wish is that 2024 will be filled with industry collaboration and positivity that will allow us as an industry to grow, strengthen and lead us to success for all. 

Our nation is counting on the logistics industry to continue providing the services that bring materials and products to every industry, to deliver the food that we have on our tables and mostly to remain that key function that is core to supply chains all over the world.

So let me finish off my last article of the year by thanking the women and men on the front lines: our drivers as well as the folks in dispatch and operations. And finally, to the managers and executives: keep the faith and stick in there. People are relying on the logistics industry. 

Thank you and have a great start to the new year.

Look for more articles from me every week on

About the author

Bart De Muynck is an industry thought leader with over 30 years of supply chain and logistics experience. He has worked for major international companies, including EY, GE Capital, Penske Logistics and PepsiCo, as well as several tech companies. He also spent eight years as a vice president of research at Gartner and, most recently, served as chief industry officer at project44. He is a member of the Forbes Technology Council and CSCMP’s Executive Inner Circle.

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