5 Trends that are Transforming Logistics and Shipping.
Development and implementation of technology, automatization of shipping process and digitalization are just some of the areas which are changing the freighting industry. This industry is evolving and companies that fail to keep up with the tendencies could confront uncertainty and lose advantage in the future. Logistics companies have to build partnerships with different providers to enhance performance and exceed customer expectations.
Today we bring you 5 trends in this industry that you should have in mind if you want to run a successful business in the future.
Technologies such as artificial intelligence, internet of things, big data analysis or software-driven processes are changing the landscape for the shipping and logistics industry. They are expected to grow vigorously over the next years, generating even more benefits for businesses that can implement them. However, some of these solutions are still not mainstream in the market, and probably one of the reasons is the price tag attached to them, as it is the case of AI.
Nevertheless, these new technologies allow to work smarter, faster and with fewer human resources. For example, the use of equipment such as drones or augmented reality, are developing the process in logistics even more.
Other examples that will reshape the business are intelligent transportation systems, robotic process automation technology or predictive solutions for maintenance and delivery. This last one could benefit and increase exponentially the advantages for shipping companies by avoiding errors and lost, for instance. On the other hand, the development of the robotic technology mentioned before is being driven by the growth in the e-commerce market, and it will bring in a new generation of robots that will closely collaborate with humans to execute majority of tasks. Actually, by 2021 the global logistics and warehouse robot market is expected to reach USD 14.43 Billion, according to Research and Markets.
Companies are expected to run those new technological advances to build cost and quality advantage and a better insight, allowing consumers to experience better convenience and stay ever more informed about the industry.
Elastic logistics is a new concept in the logistics environment. As WNS puts it, it refers to the ability of a company to expand logistics competences to adjust with the demands of the industry in response to market fluctuations, changing consumer preferences, and socio-political adjustment.
Mainly, this new type of logistics consists of gathering more distribution channels, prioritizing deliveries and entrance in new markets, including collaboration with other agents in the fields if necessary. It could help companies in getting visibility, connections, enhancing resources and reducing operations costs.
To be elastic, they will have to open their minds and consider the advantages of collaboration, making it in innovative ways. The main reason for that is because the strength to scale operations in real time through increased distribution channels, prioritized deliveries, and efficient technology will help companies overcome geographic restrictions. In a certain way, it is the new move for shipping and logistics companies.
Thanks to this elastic logistics strategies, companies will be able to answer to uncertain variations in customer demand. Such operations will grant the capacity of planning and adaptation to new situations. Besides, the technological advantages mentioned in the previous point will help these logistic chains as well to stretch its elasticity even more. Flexible, automated technologies will maximize the impact of elastic logistics – making possible to reach superior customer service and to minimize costs.
Today, customers are not only looking for companies that can help them to ship their products but also companies that show and prove they care about customers. The perfect deliveries are now becoming the ultimate standard to measure customer satisfaction. These are orders with the perfect combination of place, product, time, quantity, quality, and documentation, plus perfectly handed over to the right customer.
In such a business environment, the future will belong to companies that can demonstrate consistently their digital adequacy and accuracy when delivering their orders. And of course, in the way customers are demanding them more and more.
From the largest logistics providers to small ones, being customer-focused is more important than ever. Companies must invest in improving their internal methodologies to support customer needs, preferences and demands. In order to create customer loyalty, investments in both technology and trained customer service agents are a must.
Companies having this trend as a priority will make a difference in the logistics industry and the market, and they will survive longer than their no customer-focused competitors.
Digitalization is here, and it is essential for any company. It might threaten to somehow disturb or even break logistics but could also help the industry reduce its inefficiencies and diminish its environmental impact. In fact, even though it could have been a jolt to the logistics industry, something significant has happened – more packages than ever before are now being shipped.
Digitalization is about designing completely new business plans and models, with integrations and applications across the value chain of a corporation. And let us tell you, this digital transformation of the industry is already happening, and it is visible in business processes, from administrative tasks to negotiation and of course, shipping.
The problem might be that logistics has begun this digital innovation at a slower tempo than other industries. This slower adaptation might produce issues that could become fatal, if ignored, even for the biggest established players in the business.
Digitalization will become more critical when it comes to track changes in consumer behaviours, address the talent shortage or meet compliance requirements for data protection. However, it could also help companies to simplify their processes, redesign their products or services, and improve the customer service and experience because it is reshaping the way consumers interact with business, which is already visible in the online world. One big example of this is ordering of transport, ranging from personal transport services, through taxi services, to car sharing and public transport ticketing.
And of course, no digital transformation can occur without interconnection and exchange of information as a fundamental objective. The logistics industry is already seeing the use of digital applications skyrocketing in 2019 and beyond.
Environmental sustainability is a term that has increasingly gained popularity over the past couple of years among consumers and brands, influencing their purchases and business choices, respectively.
Regarding this, logistics companies are progressively introducing sustainable development objectives into their business. They are turning to green logistics. But what is Green Logistics? It is the process of minimizing damage to the environment due to the logistics operations of an organization, with the aim to decrease the environmental problems of transportation and supply chains which the logistics and shipping industry are generally related to.
According to a Nielsen study, 73% of global consumers say they would definitely change their consumption habits to reduce their environmental impact. This means that companies that are more willing to integrate green logistics into their business process could achieve certain advantages over companies that don’t implement this type of logistics. Some examples of those advantages are stronger company reputation, lowered supply chain costs, increased process, and product innovation, generating additional revenue streams and increased customer loyalty.
Newcomers, new technologies and new scenarios will continue to reshape traditional business models in the shipping and logistics industry, therefore it is better to keep up with it and make your business grown than not adapt your company to the new advances in the field and stay behind.