Logistics is one industry that is constantly changing. Every logistics company must be continuously reshaping itself and considering the latest technologies while also staying compliant with shifting regulations. This is a lot to consider for any business and the companies that succeed will be the ones embracing a combination of the latest trends alongside traditional and established technologies. Here are five of the major trends happening in logistics right now and how they will impact the logistics industry.
For over a decade, Radio-frequency Identity (RFID) chips have promised to provide real-time tracking information. While many logisitics/delivery companies have invested in the technology they aren’t seeing the ROI they expected. Due mainly to the fact that RFID chips themselves don’t automatically mean better access to the data they are collecting. Companies also need file-based integration technology that is able to connect devices and let data be stored where it can be analyzed properly.
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 provide multi-lateral views of what is happening across the supply chain.
2. Omnichannel Shipping
Omnichannel 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. Retailers are being expected to offer a seamless way to shop whether that be online or in store, which means logistics companies have to get more creative to navigate the growing complexities of the supply chain.
3. The Big Promise of Big Data
Proven in a recent study by Dutch bank ABN Amro and a survey by Immarsat, the Transport and Logistics Industry ranked improving business intelligence systems for handling their (big) data as the most important. UPS may be the biggest success story for big data in the logistics industry. Through data collection via sensors on nearly 80,000 vehicles, analysis, and demand forecasting, the company has seen big improvements on operational efficiencies and cost savings. Big data driven predictive modeling supplies companies with a reliable basis for route optimization. Route optimization means less money spent on fuel and vehicle maintenance, and more time spent actually getting things delivered.
4. Embedded Integration Technology
An embedded data integration platform provides secure communications protocol flexibility that enables robust transactional business flows. You need to be able to connect, transform, and integrate data through capabilities that are already built into the solution. Providing SaaS companies in the logistics space with value-added services related to logistics and supply chain data. This technology also provides SaaS companies in logistics with value-added services related to logistics and supply chain data.
5. Globalization and Compliance
The landscape of global trade is one that is constantly shifting. There is a need for logistics companies to stay ahead of evolving compliance requirements. The need for increased flexibility across the supply chain is paramount along with recognizing that no single solution to the growing complexity will be one-size-fits-all.
Further, across the globe, the ability to comply with the large amount of data-related mandates is tied to how capable a company is in its ability to find, view, record, and report on the data. 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. When it comes to goods, being able to move them past customs and on to their final destination is absolutely crucial to the bottom-line of the business. With technology that provides the right digital documentation there is a lot less worry when it comes to global shipping and compliance.
Making the transition to new technology in the logistics industry doesn’t mean forgetting everything we have learned so far from legacy systems and existing infrastructure. New technology actually performs better when working with systems that are already established, standardized, and familiar to the people working with them. By considering these five trends, businesses can then create a next-generation stack that leverages previous technology investments while also considering big data, IoT, and omnichannel solutions. Read more about trends in logistics here!