The logistics industry is the backbone of any business, helping it to run smoothly by creating a fine balance between its suppliers & distributors. And like any other industry, it is undergoing rapid change. 2017 was a challenging year for the industry, and we saw it grappling with some interesting trends that have the potential to transform the future. So what are these new developments that are changing the way things are done? Let’s find out.
1. Automated Warehouses
What we used to see in futuristic movies is becoming increasingly real. In 2017, a French company developed robots that can climb warehouse racks and pick parcels from any level and communicate with human workers as well! Many companies are in fact embraced fully automated warehouses and reducing human workforce to the minimal.
2. Boost for Augmented Reality (AR)
We witnessed greater integration of AR in certain areas of logistics like packaging & warehousing. For example, workers are using AR-enabled “smart glasses” to scan product information and bar codes that has improved accuracy and efficiency of product handling.
3. Self-Driving Vehicles
This was one of the most talked-about trends of 2017. Otto, a self-driving solutions provider, acquired by Uber, ran a promo with Budweiser delivering their goods in a driver less truck. Though mainstream adoption of this technology might take time, we can’t deny that it can change the way the industry operates in future.
4. Focus on Omni-Channel Solutions
As retailers are becoming more adept at managing both online and offline demand for goods, the logistics industry is also refining its omni-channel delivery capabilities. Hence we saw it focusing on digitization and data-driven systems for better consolidation and delivery of products.
5. Deployment of Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT was another technology that added value to the logistics industry. From detecting risks to providing visibility to in-transit carriers through technologies like RFID and AIDC, it’s making the whole process transparent and safe.
6. More Hyper-Local Delivery
We saw a more significant demand for locally produced, sourced and designed goods and same day delivery. Logistics companies, therefore, emphasized on bringing products closer to the customers to ensure faster delivery.
7. Greater Demand for Responsible Logistics
2017 saw an increased demand for socially and environmentally accountable logistics. Some of the industry’s customers, in fact, led the way. For instance, Walmart launched Project Gigathon, a GHG reduction program involving suppliers.
Though these trends have the potential to shape the future of the logistics industry, more needs to be done in this sector. At present, it is facing challenges in certain key areas including infrastructure, delivery time, and safety and security. The trick is to evolve with time and embrace innovation to mitigate the risks. If you’re looking for a logistics partner that is adopting new technologies to offer maximum value to customers, contact DTDC. To know more, visit DTDC International