The Trends in Sustainability, Predictions for 2024 by Freightera’s CEO, Eric Beckwitt.

A truck traveling by road between the sea and a hillside

On the cusp of the new year, Techcouver published predictions for 2024 by our CEO Eric Beckwitt. One of the main takeaways is that deglobalization will accelerate in the following year. 

Here are some of the key points below, but be sure to check out the full article at Techcouver

Prediction 1: Deglobalization will accelerate, and reshoring and localization of manufacturing will continue

We’ll see a surge in deglobalization, emphasizing reshoring and localizing manufacturing. North American companies, propelled by the strong U.S. dollar, are moving operations back home, with some even returning to Canada and Mexico.

Prediction 2: The economic rise of the BRICs will continue vs the West 

The dominance of Europe and North America is challenged by the economic ascent of China, India, Brazil, Russia, the MENA region, and Africa. We’ll see vast opportunities for new businesses tailored to these regions and their cultures.

Prediction 3: “Circular” economies will increasingly be recognized to work best at local/regional scales

There is growing interest in circular economies, where waste from one process is input to another, and products are designed to be returned to the manufacturer for 100% reuse or remanufacturing. This approach works best when regionalized. Circular economies will increasingly be sustainable, and local economies as well.

Prediction 4: Demand for local and organic products will increase

According to Export Development Canada, demand for organic foods is currently growing at 8% annually. Unable to keep up with demand, Canada is now importing 7 Billion dollars worth of organic foods per year. 

Canadian farmers are steadily expanding their organic acreage as they find new opportunities in the burgeoning demand for organic foods. Local and regional transportation of organic and non-GMO foods is expected to be a growing sector in 2024.

Prediction 5: “Sustainable” will increasingly be defined as stable, not requiring growth, and local/regional

Stability, not growth, is key to truly sustainable businesses. Local/regional production will be increasingly valued due to the freshness and quality of food products, and the benefits to the local/regional economy of spending the money close to home.

Prediction 6: High interest rates for a longer period will reward capital-efficient, sustainable companies

While it is widely expected (but by no means guaranteed) that interest rates will start to decline in 2024, it is unlikely that venture private equity firms will return to the easy finance days when interest rates were near zero. As a result, logistics startups that are extremely capital-efficient and profitable are more likely to survive in 2024 and are likely to outperform their venture-funded peers with real sustainable growth based on market-tested, profitable systems.

Prediction 7: Transition to zero-emission vehicles and renewable energy will accelerate, but for primarily cleaner air and sustainability, not climate concerns

The short and long-term benefits to air quality and human health alone, coupled with energy efficiency, decentralization of power production, and potential longer-term reduction in transportation cost all support the continued transition away from fossil fuels, even if the climate models are wrong in the end. 

Regardless of the urgency, a transformation of transportation and energy sourcing this large cannot be accomplished overnight, and we need to keep people warm and well-fed and economies running well as we make the transition.

Eric Beckwitt

Eric Beckwitt is CEO of Freightera. He is a specialist in software development and business automation who came into the world of business after extensive work in environmental leadership and nature conservation. For 25 years, he has successfully arranged funding for, designed, engineered, and managed diverse IT projects, ranging from reports to Congress and the President of the U.S. to global websites for international organizations and businesses.

Eric is an internationally recognized author and speaker on emissions reduction from freight transport. He wrote “A Green Future for Freight” in the 2016 and 2018 G7 Summit editions of Climate Change: The New Economy. He was a speaker at COP22, the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh. He is the creator of North America’s First Low Emission Freight Marketplace in cooperation with SmartWay and Natural Resources Canada. Mr. Beckwitt and/or Freightera have been featured in Forbes, Fortune, Inc. Magazine, NBC, ABC, and Entrepreneur, among over 300 news sites worldwide. He is the recipient of over 18 grants and awards, including the 2016 Technology Impact Award and the 2019 Clean50 Award.

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