Top Five Trends in Project Logistics for 2024

From rising costs and labor shortages to market volatility, every shipper is facing some tough challenges as we kick-off 2024. But companies engaged in project logistics face even greater challenges as they transport their seasonal, large, bulky, heavy, unusually-shaped and high-value cargo.   

Today’s uncertain environments places extra demands on shippers — such as the need to pivot quickly — which are exponentially harder to meet when you’re managing special requirements such as white-glove handling or real-time GPS tracking. 

Redwood’s Project Logistics team has deep experience in supporting customers who work in one of the most demanding areas of supply chain, logistics and transportation. Redwood’s 4PL model includes a scalable, flexible, extended solutions portfolio that delivers customized  solutions for just about every project logistics need.

Based on Redwood’s work with some of the world’s leading shippers in this sector, we’ve identified five emerging trends in project logistics that companies need to be aware of. Project Logistics is never going to be an easy undertaking — but monitoring and preparing for these trends is a great way to increase your team’s chances of success in 2024 and beyond.  

1. Sustainability concerns are only growing. 

Not only are environmental regulations tightening in the transportation and logistics sector, but customers are also becoming increasingly aware of issues like climate change and carbon neutrality.

This places pressure on project logistics shippers to prioritize eco-friendly practices, as well as measure and minimize their environmental impacts via a customized solution like Redwood’s Hyperion. Shippers should look for an advanced, dedicated technology solution that provides automated, detailed load-by-load emissions calculations, access to a verified carbon credit marketplace and shareable progress reports.

To keep pace with growing sustainability concerns, this year project logistics teams should be increasing their use of biofuels and alternative transportation modes — including electric vehicles, hydrogen-powered ships and even drones. They should also be embracing circular-economy principles by re-using and recycling any materials they use, whether in packaging or at their project sites. 

One fundamental principle that won’t change this year? Shippers should keep focusing on reducing their carbon footprint via tried-and-true strategies like route optimization, modal shifts and green packaging. 

2. Automation and digitalization are becoming the norm.

This year, project logistics teams — like the rest of the shipping world — need to stop fearing artificial intelligence (AI) and start embracing its practical value. By leveraging the power of AI, it’s now possible to automatically and strategically optimize routes, schedules, and resource allocation — often without human intervention. This leads to faster and more efficient project execution, while minimizing planning time and effort.  

AI also enables real-time visibility and tracking, which is imperative when steering large, high-value goods through today’s volatile transportation landscape. Digitalization supports the transparent, secure tracking of goods in real time, improving risk management and decision-making.  

AI also enables project logistics teams to develop digital twins, or virtual models of their projects. By simulating and testing their transportation plans before those plans are actually executed, companies can minimize risk exposure, while maximizing both their cost and service outcomes.

3. Resilience has never been more important.

From the Panama Canal and the Red Sea to extreme weather events, physical transportation challenges are only becoming more commonplace, especially when you add in market volatility, labor shortages and other intangibles that can disrupt even the best-laid plans. 2024 looks like a tough year for any shipper, let alone project logistics teams with their special needs. 

While it’s difficult to pivot quickly and nimbly when it comes to Project Logistics, establishing resilience is a cost of doing business this year. The good news is that companies have a range of proven strategies for increasing their agility. 

First, organizations should be diversifying their supply chains, so they have access to multiple sources of materials and equipment when the unexpected occurs. Second, they should be investing in scenario planning and contingency measures — before a single disruption occurs. By proactively planning for potential disruptions, they can be prepared in advance to complete projects and deliver on customer promises.  

Finally, this is the year project logistics teams need to tackle the problem of cybersecurity head-on. Silent and invisible, these attacks have the potential to compromise both sensitive data and physical infrastructure. Any supply chain resiliency plan needs to consider and minimize the potential for cybercrime.

4. Talent is an increasingly scarce resource.

From the driver’s seat and the warehouse to the logistics planning function, human talent is becoming a precious commodity. With its need for precision and speed, project logistics teams must place a premium on attracting, training and maintaining a skilled workforce. 

While digitalization is driving incredible benefits in project logistics, it’s also placing new demands on team members at every level. This year companies need to not only adopt new technologies, but ensure their employees are prepared to comfortably apply them.  

The logistics industry has been embracing diversity and inclusion for several years, and companies need to increase this effort in 2024. Just as technology brings innovation to the tough challenge of Project Logistics, a diverse workforce also delivers increased creativity and new perspectives. 

Since the labor shortage doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, project logistics teams also need to apply new approaches in attracting and retaining skilled talent. Competitive compensation, benefits and career development opportunities will be essential in 2024. 

5. Finding the right partner is absolutely critical.

It’s nearly impossible for shippers to tackle all the complexities of project logistics alone — and these emerging trends are only adding fuel to the fire. That’s why collaboration is going to be especially critical in the coming year.  

By finding a trusted, proven logistics partner, shippers can maximize their sustainability, their use of advanced technology and their supply chain resilience. They can also increase the strategic contributions of their own workforce by turning many practical challenges over to a project logistics expert that masters these challenges every day. 

Project logistics teams should look for a partner with deep experience and a broad portfolio of services and solutions that can be applied to manage risks, solve problems and increase agility. Any partner should be able to deliver the most advanced technology, and should also have the ability to integrate systems and data transparently. By sharing real-time visibility and a single version of the truth, shippers and their logistics partners can identify and resolve disruptions, while simultaneously achieving the best possible cost and service results.  

In choosing a partner, shippers should look for a logistics service provider that has a long track history of success and hundreds of satisfied customers. In today’s volatile and ever-changing landscape, trust and reliability are essential to navigating any challenge — including the emerging trends described here — and achieving project success.


Why do it alone? Redwood has comprehensive capabilities to help project logistics teams optimize just about every aspect of their performance. No provider is better prepared to help you tackle the complexity of project logistics, from our specialized Project Logistics group to RedwoodConnect, our proprietary integration platform.

Whatever challenges emerge in 2024 and beyond, prepare to master them with Redwood by your side. Learn more by reaching out to Redwood today.