Logistics has undergone significant changes in the last two decades, particularly since the emergence of business models based on the use of new technologies, especially the social media and the Internet in general, which have radically changed the way things are done. Of course, these changes and transformations of the logistics sector, propitiated by what is being an unprecedented technological development, has left obsolete many of the foundations and principles on which logistics traditionally was based, from its very conception to the operations management carried out under its auspices. For this reason, it is extremely important to stay updated and thus adapt to the constant changes of this industry.
Let’s see some of the logistic trends for the current year.
The headache of many companies is about to disappear (and we all pray for it, by the way.) Today there is a variety of smartphone apps that allow shippers to find nearby trucks with free space for freight. The optimization of the capacity of delivery trucks is, by far, a business model in which both parties win, since it eliminates the unused load capacity and, at the same time, saves money for all parties. There are also several apps that can help you to track shipments and even manage billing and collection processes (and from your very mobile.)
Artificial intelligence and personalization
According to last year’s Logistics Trend Radar report, these are two factors that underlie many of the most transformative trends in today’s world, and it seems that they both will continue to trend during 2017. Implementing artificial intelligence and personalization of products and services include intelligent supply chains using self-teaching or self-learning systems. The impact of this provides an opportunity to implement previously unthinkable optimization levels in manufacturing, logistics, warehousing, and door-to-door deliveries that may become real very soon.
Automation in logistics processes
It is clear that logistics is not the only sector that has been and will be affected by automation (in fact, all industries, from medical to the entertainment business have been increasingly affected by automation.) And more innovations are being seen, indeed. Drones or stand-alone cars are clear examples of how technology is affecting the way logistics are understood. Of course, this sounds like science fiction, but such innovations are already taking place in some industries: Amazon, for instance, which is the best-known e-commerce company in the world nowadays, made its first delivery using a drone as a means of transportation last year.
The use of magnetic fields
Avoiding accidents is such a relevant issue in the logistics world that it is possible to speak of a sub-industry in this field. Human error is a key factor in logistics so far since it not only causes large daily economic losses (and human,) but because virtually all warehouses are run by automated, controlled vehicles through the cloud. For this reason, one of these innovations manages magnetic fields to detect approaching humans and, in turn, helps vehicle drivers to avoid collisions with pedestrians. A stolen idea from nature: the sonar of bats, whales, and dolphins.
Interactive user services
Users are increasingly accustomed to digital interfaces and they need online support to get real-time information on their online purchases. Websites are no longer enough for this matter and new platforms are needed, capable of providing more information. For this reason, hundreds of courier companies offer information through their own software that locates, at any time, the status of packages and the estimated time they take to get their destinations. In addition to a device that allows locating the purchased merchandise, users also value very positively that logistics companies have a good customer service.
This trend is essentially linked to the previous one. There are more and more users around the world who buy through the internet. Today it is not necessary to pick up the phone to order a pizza or book an airplane ticket: it only takes a few clicks. The turnover of e-commerce has increased almost two hundred percent during the first half of the current decade, and that’s not all: this trend is expected to continue rising in the coming years. Therefore, e-commerce logistics will become increasingly important and personalized services will be needed to meet the growing demand online.
Moreover, deliveries on the same day that a product is ordered is another trend that will be highlighted this year (and during the following years, for sure.) From the order to its delivery in just hours: it is a great step for online retailers. It could be considered as a premium service that retailers may include as part of their online services. It is important to keep this in mind.
I hope it was useful for you and your business. See you next time!