The primary goal of technology innovation is to make tasks less costly and more efficient. This is particularly the case in the logistics field, where capacity is short, labor is scarce, and customer demands more stringent than ever before. There have already been huge improvements made in the logistics industry and things will only progress as modernization continues to evolve. Here is a quick look at 6 technology trends for 2018 and beyond, the roles they play in logistics, and how they may shape the future.
Trends for 2018 and Beyond
1. Robotics & Automation
Forklifts have been a vital component to warehouses for decades, and we’re now seeing a shift toward programming this share of the supply chain. The primary goal is improved efficiency. Amazon is a leading example in this space, thanks to its acquisition of Kiva Systems, now known as Amazon Robotics. As Amazon and other companies have shown, implementing robotics and autonomous machinery into the fold can condense delivery times to just a 24 to 48-hour period. Autonomous forklifts and robots can pick products much sooner than humans, which means companies don’t have to pay human forklift operators. The combination of lower costs and a speedier assembly is a dream come true for any business owner.
2. Safety and Cybersecurity
Safety and logistics will also be on the radar in 2018. Recent hacks into national companies have exposed potential cybersecurity threats throughout some of the most protected organizations on the globe. As a result, logistics providers will be concentrating more on safety. Amplified demand for faster turnaround will also have an inevitable result of increasing the risk of accidents in transportation operations. Workers are going to be functioning quicker, and doing things faster tends to result in less-than-safe practice. National governing agencies also recognize that logistics companies will be doing overtime in 2018, so it is more likely that they will pass protocols sooner rather than later. This will require the use of more innovative analytics to monitor employee performance and obey safety standards.
3. Mobile Apps
The growth of new technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) will promote logistics service providers and shippers to increase adoption of mobile apps. These types of apps exist for inventory management, barcode scanning, fleet management, shipment tracking, order management, customer service and more. Logistics businesses can pull information and capabilities via an app to manage capacity and satisfy demand. Freight sharing apps are one of the prime app groupings that will see a significant boost throughout 2018.
4. Transportation Management Systems
The adoption and implementation of transportation management systems (TMS) is anticipated to climb in 2018 and beyond. A TMS has the value of being a “hub” for all logistics communications and processes, including route scheduling and optimization, freight auditing and payment processing, carrier management and more. Furthermore, TMS applications have shifted from terminal-based installs to cloud-based platforms, reducing postponements in implementation, removing bottlenecks from downtime and refining cybersecurity simultaneously. As a result, more companies will adopt such solutions throughout the year to keep up with growing demand and to integrate into the amplified use of the other logistics technology trends.
5. Artificial Intelligence
The potential to utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve decision making, transform business models and networks, and modify the customer experience will drive the payoff for digital enterprises. A recent industry survey indicated that 59% of establishments are still assembling data to shape their AI tactics, while the rest have already made advancements in directing or implementing AI solutions. While using artificial intelligence appropriately will result in a great digital business reward, the promise of general AI to perform any intellectual duty that a human can do, and vigorously absorb and comprehend as much as humans, is uncertain.
6. Blockchain Technology
Blockchain is a public, dispersed, and decentralized archive that eliminates business friction by being autonomous of individual applications or contributors. The technology has the promise to transform industries, including the government, healthcare, content dispersal, supply chain and more. An applied approach to blockchain requires a clear understanding of the business opportunity, the draw backs, a dependable architecture, and a solid implementation strategy. BiTA (Blockchain in Transport Technology) is an organization that is leading the charge to help develop and set standards for blockchain technology within the transportation industry.
If you’re looking for world-class technology solutions, look no further than Logistics Plus. Our technology is built on industry-standard platforms with customized portals and unique functionality designed to provide our clients with valuable tools, information, and dashboards. Our team of development, integration and business intelligence (BI) experts integrate best-in-class and custom-built platforms to provide an overall ecosystem that can be seamlessly integrated into global supply chains.