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Current Trends in Logistic Services

Blockchain Technology

The emergence of blockchain technology has enabled logistic companies to failsafe digital contracts. The use of this upcoming technology allows the different stakeholders of the logistics industry such as manufacturers, suppliers, customers, auditors, warehouse managers, and others to create a transparent and efficient system for recording transactions, tracking assets, and managing all documents involved in the logistics process. The implementation of the blockchain technology is one of the most prominent logistics trends gaining traction in the global blockchain technology market in transportation and logistics industry as it can increase the efficiency and transparency of supply chains and is expected to impact everything from warehousing to delivery top payment positively during the next few years.

Digitalization of the Logistics Industry

With digitalization shaping almost all the industries across the globe, logistics industry is no exception. Rising digital literacy and consumer awareness about the usage of different online platforms for making customized purchasing decisions, the digitalization of the logistics industry has emerged as the key trend gaining utmost traction. The use of digitization in the logistics industry is further expected to bring about significant reduction in procurement and supply chain costs while giving a considerable boost to the overall revenues. The integration of digital channels in the logistics industry is another critical logistics trends further allowing the logistics service providers to lend transparency to the customers while optimizing solutions for increased safety and efficiency.

Emergence of 3PL and 5PL

The proliferation of third-party logistics (3PL) and fifth-party logistics (5PL) is expected to accelerate the global logistics market during the predicted period. During 2017, the 3PL was able to contribute the highest to the global logistics market share. 3PL is responsible for encompassing a broad range of end-to-end transport and logistics needs including transporting goods, maintaining inventory logs and travel insurance, and offering a shield against property loss. Furthermore, according to Technavio’s express delivery market in Brazil, 3PL is one of those advancements in supply chain outsourcing, which provides decreased procurement expenses as well as reduced delivery times.  The rising complexities in the global supply chain market are further ensuring the adoption of 5PL, wherein, providers of 5PL solutions often link e-businesses to achieve minimum cost targets.

Efficient Last Mile Deliveries

With the continuously increasing proliferation of e-commerce companies, the provision of efficient last mile deliveries is witnessing a major upswing to become one of the most critical aspect of creating differentiation of services among the competitors. Furthermore, getting a package within the same day of delivery is almost common in the present days, resulting in the growth of the same-day delivery market in the US. Businesses are also witnessing a greater emphasis on including same day delivery options across industries including pharmaceuticals and food and beverages. Furthermore, along with the same-day delivery, the consumers are also expecting a higher level of services while encouraging large retailers including Walmart and Amazon to add DIY last mile delivery divisions in their own companies instead of outsourcing. Consequently, the continuous efforts of logistics companies to offer efficient last mile deliveries is another logistics trends expected to offer promising logistics market’s growth during the predicted period. The need for getting the orders not just right but perfect will also allow companies to offer ultimate customer satisfaction.

Integration of Drones and Smart Glasses

The rising integration of drones and smart glasses in the logistics industry has improved the flexibility and speed of delivery, in turn, impacting the growth of last mile logistics market during the predicted period. Self-driving vehicles, autonomous vehicles and trucks have been able to maintain high reliability and same-day delivery in both urban and rural areas. Furthermore, integration with smart glasses backed by augmented reality will make deliveries in the transportation and logistics industry much easier by hands-free route searches, face recognition for error-free deliveries and personalized deliveries. The adoption of AI integrated smart glasses will increase the operational efficiency of first and last mile logistics along with flexibility and speed of delivery.

Logistics Automation and IoT

Automation has been gaining traction in the logistics industry as well with the continuous adoption of Internet of Things (IoT). The inception of logistics 4.0 is one of the key logistics trends transforming the global supply chain market.  Shortcomings including transportation delays, operator errors, poor monitoring of cargo, outdated IT failures, and thefts are being overcome by the integration of IoT in the logistics industry. Furthermore, this next generation of successful supply chain management is expected to leverage IoT and edge computing for yielding real-time automated insights. For instance, US-based Union Pacific has introduced an IoT-based system to predict equipment failures and reduce derailment risks by using visual and acoustic sensors on tracks. Such rising adoption of logistics automation and IoT has boosted the emergence of connected logistics.

Logistics Safety Becomes the Topmost Priority

With greater connectivity to the internet, there have been rising concerns among the companies pertaining the cybersecurity and logistics safety. Furthermore, the protection of consumers’ private data is another key concern making the safety of logistics solutions as one of the topmost priorities. Continuous hacks into the websites of e-commerce companies including Amazon, Walmart and others have revealed potential cyber security threats. This has further encouraged logistics providers to focus more on offering secure logistics solutions. According to Technavio’s global secure logistics market, various logistics companies including FedEx and International Post Corporation are using technologies like automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) for keeping a track of the shipments in real-time, in turn, resulting the market to register a CAGR close to 7% by 2022.

Elastic Logistics

Elastic logistics is expected to emerge as the latest conceptual buzzword in the logistics and supply chain industry. It basically refers to the flexibility of expanding and shrinking capabilities for aligning with the demands within the supply chain during a timeframe. The use of elastic logistics is one the latest logistics trends that can help companies across the globe by enhancing customer experience, providing agility and scalability, adding real-time visibility, and connecting all business processes.  The changing demand and fluctuations in orders are being handled by the 3PL companies by making their operations much elastic for planning the capacity according to the requirement.

Implementation of Chatbots and Collaborative Robots (Cobots)

According to the Logistics Bureau, the use of voice-controlled chatbots for interacting with users to perform specific actions at several purchase points in a supply chain including shopping, ordering, picking and others are expected to trend continuously in the global logistics market. Furthermore, robotics is also set to revolutionize the logistics industry with e-commerce giants including Amazon engaging in the increased development of logistics robots for several functions in warehouses including packaging, storing, and picking. In addition, various players in the market are leveraging the inception of collaborative robots or cobots which will be used for effective order fulfillment warehousing and delivery operations. Consequently, the rise of Robots-as-a-Service (RaaS) subscription business model will allow retailers, third-party logistics firms, and e-commerce sites to use robots for addressing their fulfillment needs, in turn, resulting the global logistics robots market to witness significant growth throughout the predicted period.

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