Across any industry there will always be disruptive forces at play to reshape the way you think about technology, conduct business and look to the future. This is especially true for the logistics industry, but what are the latest trends we see reshaping the nearby future?
Across any industry there will always be disruptive forces at play to reshape the way you think about technology, conduct business and look to the future.
This is especially true for the logistics industry where new market trends and technologies have a great impact.
From new technologies to explore and take advantage of, to shifting regulations that require new strategies and tactics to ensure compliance, logistics companies must stay plugged into new and emerging trends to stay at the bleeding edge and remain competitive.
Companies that succeed are the ones who embrace a combination of the latest trends and utilize them in a way that capitalizes on traditional and established technologies.
But what are the latest trends we see reshaping the nearby future?:
For over a decade, Radio-frequency Identity (RFID) chips have promised to provide real-time tracking information. However they have yet to provide a real ROI from the technology. Simply having RFID chips doesn’t mean you have better access to the data, because you need computers near the data to collect it and share it.
Companies also need file-based integration technology that is able to connect devices and edge computing systems back to the core enterprise systems to transfer reporting documents and where the data can be stored and analyzed for insight and business decision making.
Further, the logistics companies that do utilize RFID technology to a value-producing extent are the ones that are able to blend traditional line-of-sight technology such as barcode labels with RFID.
RFID in logistics has potential particularly in route optimization, and the real-time tracking of goods. When effectively integrated, RFID systems can provide precise location and quantity data in real-time. For instance, tagging trucks, pallets, and inventory provides multi-lateral views of what is happening across the supply chain.
The importance of knowing exactly where a specific truck is at any given moment can allow a logistics company to be more proactive, to change a delivery route given unpredictable events such as accidents and weather.
Omni-channel fulfillment is an increasing reality in the logistics industry, one that is being spurred on by a shifting approach to meeting customer expectations in the retail industry.
Companies like Amazon are driving traditional retailers to offer more omnichannel touchpoints to increase customer loyalty. The goal is to provide a seamless and easy way to shop, regardless of whether it’s conducted digitally or in-store.
In this context, successful logistics companies are those that have evolved to offer more creative approaches to shipping to navigate growing omnichannel complexities within the supply chain.
Here is a simplified look at possible omnichannel fulfillment and return order flows directly to (and from) the end customer:
Traditionally, the shoppers would travel to the purchased item. The “last mile,” so to speak, was thereby on the customer. Now, last-mile-logistics are falling on the shoulders of the retail logistics providers and their partners. Because of e-commerce and omnichannel trends, the last-mile evolution of shipping methods has increased the complexity of the supply chain. And further, no longer is one-way logistics enough to compete.
UPS may be the biggest success story for big data in the logistics industry. Through data collection, analysis, and demand forecasting, the company has made massive strides in operational efficiencies and cost savings.
Some 80,000 vehicles each have more than 200 onboard sensors that measure speed, braking, backing up, location, and idling time. Some of the sensors collect diagnostic data on the vehicle battery and tire pressure, allowing for preemptive maintenance. The goal is to maximize the time a vehicle is on the road versus in the shop. Further, big-data-driven predictive modeling is the basis for massive gains in route optimization.
Companies utilizing big data technology, create systems to allow them to change their route in real-time. This is done for a couple of reasons.
The first, of course, is to minimize fuel consumption.
The second big data outcome related to route optimization is to decrease mileage. The level of savings that companies in terms of mileage, impact the wear and tear on vehicles.
While some forward-thinking companies are starting to invest in greener technology as well as big data initiatives. Many supply chain companies are coming up with new techniques that parallel the outcome of route optimization through how a mastery of inventory logistics management, optimizing shipments for efficiency.
Logistics companies are also utilizing embedded technology to better connect with their customers. They recognize that they need a data movement solution to seamlessly share data reliably back-and-forth between their customers.
Organizations are taking advantage of modern services and solutions to take in data, process it, and provide insight to customers. The ability to be more dynamic than ever before by providing fast and critical information to and from customers is central to a business’ success.
Customers want to know everything, and information is of the utmost importance. You need to be able to connect, transform, and integrate data through capabilities that are already built into the solution. Service-level agreements (SLA) must also be met, and companies are taking advantage of embedded software with business-level dashboard views and 24/7 monitoring to extend visibility throughout the process to ensure compliance with tough SLAs.
Logistics companies are starting to recognize the importance of upgrading their legacy environment and evolving to a modern integration platform.
The allure of a modern integration platform is one that provides quicker onboarding of customers, trading partners, and suppliers, as well as provides end-to-end visibility so logistics companies can conduct business quicker.
Globalization is forcing many logistics companies to focus on a strategy of achieving delivery KPIs while keeping costs in check. The need for increased flexibility across the supply chain is critical along with recognizing that no single solution to the growing complexity will be one-size-fits-all. The landscape of global trade is one that is constantly shifting. There is an unwavering need for logistics companies to stay ahead of evolving compliance requirements.This rings especially true for all the ways the enterprise needs to manage critical customer and partner data.
Further, across the globe, the regulation calls for full auditability and companies need to provide full audit trails to keep track of their data and customers’ data throughout the process with built-in governance and control.Without the proper ability to comply with provable digital documentation, trucks could end up sitting at the dock, ships get stuck in the harbor, and goods are stranded on trains or tarmac – for hours or even days.
Today, the logistics industry looks entirely different than it did 10 or 15 years ago, the question now becomes... what will it look like in another 10?
Market trends, such as those outlined above, are going to continue to impact the logistics sector well into the future. However, the success of trend-shaping nascent technologies requires that they are integrated with existing solutions and infrastructure. Furthermore, the events of 2022 have disrupted the entire supply chain and the logistics industry is no exception. The logistics landscape is plagued by uncertainty and disruption, but it is also ripe for digital transformation.
Companies that succeed in 2022 and beyond are those that will embrace a combination of the top trends in logistics management to become resilient to supply chain shocks.
Does upgrading your Data Integration Logistics Software sound like the next step to ensure your business success? If you want to keep up with the current market trends, there is a solution. With a modernized Data Integration platform, logistics companies can keep things moving as they should be. With guidance from an expert at ECS, we can help ensure your compliance, and your success, when it comes to implementing trends and keep you competitive. Get in touch with us today to find out how.
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