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8 Big Trends Bringing Digital Revolution in the Logistics Industry Landscape

By ESOutlook | Thursday, September 19, 2019

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Logistics has evolved as a way to supply troops with weaponry and other goods needed for warfare and later developed and cherished as a unique business concept. Since then, it has been undergoing a revolution and expanded beyond the boundaries of the conventional distribution norms and services.

FREMONT, CA: The global logistics industry is experiencing fast-paced growth with the emergence of e-commerce and rising digital literacy among consumers. The increasing demands and the byzantine nature of the supply chain process, including the transportation of large quantities of goods to faraway places, in compliance with the globalization of trade are also galvanizing the growth of logistics, in a significant manner. The state-of-the-art technologies, collaborative operating models, and upgraded scalability have outlined this lucrative industry and created a unique space for it, among others. 

Factors such as rising disposable incomes, constant urbanization, and dual-income households have encouraged consumers across both developed and transitional economies to move according to the upcoming logistics trends. This strive of the people to adore the ever-evolving logistics trends has further resulted in the rapid development of retail channels, requiring efficient inventory management and warehousing solutions for helping the former to make informed purchase decisions. 

Here are the ten most decisive trends revolutionizing the future of the global logistics industry.

Digitalization

Heretofore, the logistics and manufacturing industries have been considered as less digitally advanced than other sectors. The logistics operations were circumscribed by the rigid and slow legacy systems such as antiquated accounts payable processes and often ended up in long delays for the carriers to receive cash. The induction of modern online payment methods has eliminated this delay and helped the parties involved in the supply chain operations to proffer improved services to the customers and to enhance the former's credibility among them. 

Rising digital literacy and consumer awareness about the utilization of different online platforms for making tailor-made purchasing decisions, the digitalization of the logistics industry has evolved as the pivot trend gaining utmost traction. 

The proper use of digitization in the logistics industry is further expected to bring about a significant reduction in procurement and supply chain costs while boosting the overall revenues and expenditures. It will also enhance the speed, dynamics, and resiliency of the supply chain operations. The timely embracement of digitization will allow the logistics providers to lend transparency to the customers while promising safety and efficiency at scale.

AI 

AI is aiding the companies to ramp up their efficacy in the areas of predictive demand and network planning. Advanced AI solutions have myriads of applications in the supply chain, especially the warehousing segment. 

The AI is being used for collecting, assembling, and analyzing operations and adding a Midas touch to the entire logistics operations in the supply chain network.

Rather than the automation of robotics replacing the labor input, however, increased efforts are being made to integrate robotics in a nature that is supportive to the existing workforce as opposed to an innovation supplanting it. 

Blockchain Technology

The advent of blockchain technology has widely enabled the logistics companies to fail-safe their digital contracts. This nascent technology also allows the different stakeholders of the logistics industry such as manufacturers, customers, suppliers, auditors, warehouse managers, and others to create a transparent and efficient system for recording transactions, tracking assets, and handling all documents involved in the logistics process.

Leveraging blockchain distributed ledger technology will not only ameliorate service levels by offering end-to-end visibility of the status of every shipment but can also better on-time rates. 

IoT

IoT is revolutionizing the logistics domain by extending various advantages and opportunities. It can create a smart location management system in the logistics domain that will enable the organizations to easily track driver activities, vehicle location, and delivery status. This advanced location management system will empower the companies to streamline their business processes and save time and efforts.

Globalization

Multi-nationals require logistics management partners with a global presence to help them adapt the supply chain and optimize the perks from tariffs, rules, and standards in new trade zones.

In the global market place, manufacturing firms are increasingly seeking partners experienced in the local culture, communications, and logistics trends in the key overseas locations. They are also striving to choose firms that can manage all facets of logistics, stay updated with the new technology innovations and offer flexibility at every stage.

The emergence of 3PL and 5PL

The breakneck development of third-party logistics and fifth party logistics is expected to accelerate the global logistics market during the forecast period. 3 PL is one of those advancements in supply chain outsourcing that offers decreased procurement expenses as well as reduced delivery times. The rising intricacies in the global supply chain market are further emphasizing the adoption of 5 PL, wherein, providers of 5 PL solutions often link e-businesses to achieve minimum cost targets.

Elastic Logistics

Elastic Logistics is gradually emerging as the new conceptual buzzword in the logistics and supply chain industry. It can be comprehended as the flexibility to expand and reduce the capabilities to accommodate changing demands within the supply chain. In other words, it is the agility to handle sharply increased and decreased requirements in production, warehousing and shipping, while controlling costs, efficiency, visibility, and customer experience. 

The use of elastic logistics is one of the most recent logistics trends that can help the companies across the globe by improving customer experience, providing agility and scalability, adding real-time visibility, and connecting all business processes.

Data Analytics

Informed data-driven decisions are becoming the norm across logistics for the minute and the stakeholders across the entire supply chain ecosystem. The data gathered from daily operations can best inform companies of impending peak demands or fluctuations, and more importantly can provide insights into supply and demand forecasts, route optimization, fuel consumption, and turnaround times, each of which can boost the competitive advantage within the marketplace of third party logistics.

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