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How will supply chains evolve in an energy-constrained, low-carbon world? For one thing, they will go much further in the direction of ensuring that the cost of emissions is paid by those who reap the benefits, spurred not only by regulation but by changes in consumer behavior. Supply chains will benefit from improvements in technology which enable significant real-time control, allowing greater flexibility. And although in some sectors regional supply chains are likely to grow in importance, overall the supply chain of 2030 will remain primarily a complex global system - but one where transport costs and emissions are increasingly key constraining factors.
These are some of the major takeaways of the first release of PricewaterhouseCoopers' Transportation and Logistics 2030 series. This study, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Supply Chain Management Institute is based on a multifaceted analysis of the ramifications of energy scarcity for the transportation and logistics industry. The methodology draws upon a rigorous mix of desk research and the results of a RealTime Delphi survey among 48 selected experts from 20 countries. Interviews with two top industry CEOs provide an additional practical perspective.
The report finds that oil price volatility is a significant risk for the sector, but soaring oil prices are unlikely to be the primary driver for fundamental change. Alternative energy may take up some of the slack engendered by diminishing oil reserves; while a major energy turnaround is unlikely to be achieved by 2030, the experts surveyed do expect to see notable growth in renewables.
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