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The 6 significant logistics technology trends your company should be watching

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The supply chain and logistics industries will be significantly impacted by technological innovations. The logistics sector is known for manual processes and troves of data that are stored in many formats and different locations. This sector stands to benefit the most if new technologies are implemented and the right technology trends are followed.

The logistics sector has made significant strides in recent years. Innovations like automation, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and augmented intelligence have been integrated into the sector. These technologies have advanced quickly. Startups with even more cutting-edge ideas and innovations keep springing up. 

However, new standards and expectations come with these innovations. This can force logistics companies to either catch up or get left behind. Both individuals and businesses put a lot of pressure on businesses to deliver their goods and services faster and cheaper than ever.

Businesses in the logistics and supply chain sectors need to keep innovating to prepare for all of these changes. 

The top 6 significant logistics technology trends your company should be watching include AI, blockchain, and real-time supply chain visibility.

Artificial and Augmented Intelligence

The logistics sector is beginning to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) solutions into operations. Areas like route, demand planning, and even pricing are being made more efficient. AI is having a real impact on logistics, from last-mile delivery robots and sustainability solutions to automated picking systems and predictive optimization software. These trends will continue and the benefits will be realized for shippers, carriers, suppliers, and customers.

Logistics companies will install more Augmented Intelligence solutions, which allow logistics professionals to do their jobs faster while reducing mistakes and creating cost savings.

Real-Time Supply Chain Visibility

It’s no longer just an advantage for logistics companies to have supply chain visibility (SCV). It’s now expected for this supply chain visibility to be available in real-time. Customers and carriers depend on this real-time data. This means logistics and supply chain businesses must concentrate on integrating real-time supply chain visibility solutions into their operations. These real-time insights enable quick responses to change. Data such as traffic patterns, weather, or road and port conditions call all be used to optimize routes, reshape demand, and change supply. Logistics companies with fully integrated supply chains operate more efficiently than those without integration.

Blockchain

Since its inception in 2008, blockchain has developed into one of the most overused terms in business. The general public has struggled to come to grips with this technology. Despite its incredible potential both inside and outside of logistics, there have been few successful applications. 

That said, there are pilot projects and small-scale operations in effect: TrustedTrucks has emerged, bringing blockchain to the logistics industry by using its own blockchain network to enable B2B logistics transactions in the EU road freight sector.

There is a live instance with 1000’s logistics companies running right here (application+utm)   

The blockchain is attracting the attention of other well-known companies. Warren Buffet’s BNSF Railway and UPS joined the Blockchain in Transport Alliance. However, there is still much work to be done on each of these brand-new projects.

The Growing Importance of Industry Newcomers

The future of logistics is being shaped by new business models as well as new technology. New systems incorporating aspects of the sharing economy are gaining popularity. Usually in the form of start-ups that concentrate on the “asset-light” components of the value chain. They are not required to have a strong asset base and opt to become digital freight forwarders.

Sustainability Powered by Technology

Logistics is not an exception to the trend of sustainability. Particularly last-mile delivery is notoriously time and energy intensive. This makes it ripe for innovative and clever solutions. Companies are using a wide range of technologies to reduce their impact on the environment. From electric vehicles to AI-based software that can determine the least emission-intensive route. 

The biggest courier company in the world, Deutsche Post, has pledged $552 million to the development of light cargo electric vehicles and micro e-mobility units. The multinational partnership will collaborate with a Chinese manufacturer to produce up to 100,000 street scooters annually.

Similar logistics technology trends can be seen across the entire shipping sector. These efforts are crucial because of their direct impact and how they inspire the whole industry to adopt a more sustainable mindset.

Autonomous Vehicles

Despite the fact that autonomous vehicles—trucks or drones—have come to be closely associated with the logistics of the near future, we are still likely to see them in only their trial stage over the course of the coming year. It still remains one of the most talked-about developments in logistics technology in recent years.

For instance, the autonomous driving company TuSimple has received a minority investment from UPS Ventures. Together, the two businesses are testing autonomous trucks on a route in Arizona. 

The aim is to see if there will be any benefit from increased service and efficiency. As a result, UPS and TuSimple join the group of businesses that aim to do away with the need for drivers in freight haulers, including Daimler, Tesla, Starsky Robotics, Einride, and Embark.


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