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Operations and Logistics

Industry Outlook

The coronavirus pandemic, which started in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, caused major disruptions early on to the operations and logistics industry. The disruption started in manufacturing in China, which then impacted supply chains around the world. A combination of factors contributed to this: backlogs of cargo at major container ports, travel restrictions that led to shortages of truck drivers, and cancellations of ocean carriers that would have transported the containers. The operations and logistics for various major industries were affected by this, including medical equipment and supplies, pharmaceuticals, automotive, electronics, and consumer goods. Lockdowns and border closures impeded the movement of goods, and freight bottlenecks occurred due to pandemic protocols such as social distancing requirements at warehouses. The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in 2021 will boost the economy and loosen pandemic-induced restrictions. As of late 2020, the U.S. freight packing and logistics services industry was valued at $3 billion, with 7,458 businesses employing 22,515 people. The research group IBISWorld predicts continued growth in this industry through 2025. Trade continues to expand and as the global economy finds support, consumption levels will resume.

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