SUPPLY CHAIN: Five Trends Driving Supply Chain Logistics

Being innovative and on top of the latest trends has always been a key to success in the shipping and logistics world. Today, that is true more than ever. Technology advancements are moving at a lightning pace. Crowdsourced delivery options, warehouse automation, and cloud applications are just some of the latest innovations that companies are using. Check out the latest trends and innovations that we think will be influencing us in the coming year.

Crowdsourced Shipping Options

From crowdfunding to rideshare apps, the sharing economy continues to evolve. There is also an increase in crowdsourced shipping options; where travelers deliver items to people along their routes. The idea of companies declaring themselves the “Uber” or on-demand company of their industry is here to stay. Some freight companies are already experimenting with P2P (point to point) shipping internationally using an app. This allows consumers to specify an exact time and place for delivery. Other 3PL (3rd party logistics) companies are increasing their “on-demand” urgent shipping options by using couriers, movers, postal workers, etc… to get packages to their destination faster & more time specific.

Warehouse Automation

Warehouse management systems (WMS) and warehouse automation systems have been experiencing explosive growth driven by e-commerce’s dominance. To fulfill the enormous volume of orders, companies have to look at how they can be faster and more efficient in their processes. These fulfillment orders require increased agility and responsiveness compared to traditional methods. There are several companies meeting this need by developing and improving autonomous mobile systems that work with your WMS to fill orders faster and cheaper.

Cloud-Based Applications

Companies like Oracle are saying that virtually all enterprise data will be in the cloud by 2025. Technology is disrupting traditional operations because every business is now a digital business. With the world moving more to applications in the cloud, the trend that more supply chain management and planning software solutions will follow suit is inevitable. There’s no doubt that we’re going to see more applications developed around the cloud and across all three supply chain areas of execution, planning, and management.

Omni-Channel Logistics

Omni-channel continues to be a hot trend in supply chain management. Omni-channel logistics is all about enabling consumers to experience your brand in the same way, regardless of the sales channel – whether mobile, web, bricks and mortar retail, or catalog. This means that a retailer can brand and customize how a product is purchased and delivered to meet the needs of today’s customer. To be able to do this, companies need to operate as a one entity, as opposed to working in sales channel silos. With the explosive growth of e-commerce, more and more companies will be looking to implement omni-channel logistics in their supply chain strategy. Without a doubt this strategy will continue to change as supply chains evolve.

E-Commerce

E-commerce will continue to change the way customers shop and purchase products. More people are shopping online because of convenience, price breaks and, of course, the ability to have a product delivered anywhere at any time with the click of a button. More options have popped up over the last few years, including delivery to storage lockers and even to your car; either in the parking lot or on the road! Being able to manage the shipping process as more delivery options become available will be a difficult task on which many freight movers will need focus.

 

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