The transportation industry depends upon shippers’ need to transport products and components from one geographical location to another. Can 3D printing technologies eliminate much of that need?
3D printing technology is rapidly evolving and the advancement of this field could present a radical challenge to the transportation industry over the next 20 years. e-Commerce shipping volume may suffer as sellers recognize the capability to transfer their product designs electronically for 3D printing at a location near the consumer. To mitigate the risk of losing shipping business to electronic transfer of 3D printing blueprints, industry leaders need to incorporate 3D printing into their strategic thinking. They need to partner with both shippers and 3D printing service providers to optimize 3D printing use and logistics, and it is not unreasonable for these transportation companies to offer 3D printing services at selected customer-facing locations.