The Top 5 Logistics Trends to Know for 2021

Top 5 Logistics Trends To Know For 2021

The logistics industry continues to undergo digital transformation throughout peak season. Shipping capacity is near historic strain. Carriers are refusing pickups beyond set limits, says Paul Ziobro of the Wall Street Journal. Regardless, it’s time to start thinking about how companies can meet the next year’s supply chain challenges. That goal amounts to knowing what logistics trends to expect and their implications.

As reported by Frank Hamilton of, “Some of these trends include adopting big data, AI, sustainability, and omnichannel marketing. They are trends that go to show the vital role of technology in supply chain management. The use of such technology has grown beyond stock taking, order, and delivery. It has grown into other aspects like security and risk management, process automation, and customer service.” However, the most significant factors will surround five core uses of technology and strategic advantages in supply chain execution. Let’s investigate these trends and see how they’ll impact your enterprise in the coming year.

1. Automation Will Define All Logistics Trends in 2021

Automation remains a vital part of modern logistics trends. Automation is the stepping stone to most supply chain efficiency trends. Automation encompasses any repetitive process that can be successfully replicated through software. In the purview of the supply chain, automation amounts to reducing re-keying, reworking and inefficiencies. As a result, automation will continue to define all logistics trends in 2021 and beyond.

2. Machine Learning and Analytics Will Stimulate Improved Supply Chain Execution

The application of automation is just one of the top logistics trends to be aware of for 2021. Beyond automation, the combined use of machine learning and analytics, relying on data and advanced algorithms, will stimulate improved supply chain execution. Increased execution of every day processes will lessen the burden on logistics and supply chain managers and help businesses stay competitive. The ability to execute and win new revenue is a crucial aspect of continued investment into e-commerce and the expansion of supply chain networks.

3. E-Commerce Integration and Optimization Will Become the New Normal

E-commerce integration and transportation optimization are not necessarily new concepts. However, these logistics trends will become the backbone of supply chain efficiency as they will require new processes and innovations by businesses. In turn, this lends to an adoption of new technologies that will impact other traditional logistics processes. Integrated systems and optimization efforts create opportunities for improvement. As the expansion of e-commerce only looks to continue growing in 2021, building newly integrated, optimized capabilities within everyday systems will be crucial to meeting demand.

4. LSPs and Shippers Will Expand Use of SaaS-Based Platforms to Strategically Source Capacity

Logistics service providers (LSPs) and shippers will also look to expand the use of software-as-a-service (SaaS) based platforms to source capacity strategically. Limited capacity is among the top challenges for today’s supply chains. Capacity problems will only grow worse as disruption continues. Recent months and years have taught supply chain professionals that disruption is the only constant. Therefore, leveraging expandable, cloud-based resources, such as the MercuryGate transportation management system (TMS), will be essential to expanding access to new lanes, LSPs, suppliers, and beyond.

5. Multi-Modal Optimization Will Get a Bigger Focus as Enterprise Shippers Look to Reduce Landed Costs

Another logistics trend in the spotlight for 2021 is caused by the tight capacity environment 2020 brought to the world of transportation: multimodal optimization. Multimodal transport involves using one or more modes from within a single carrier to derive a savings value. Multimodal transportation may require the use of consolidation and deconsolidation strategies. For that reason, multimodal optimization will become a more significant focus for enterprise shippers that are looking to reduce landed costs. And it will also have an impact on carriers trying to meet those capacity constraints.

Align Your Brand With These Logistics Trends by Partnering With MercuryGate

Supply chain leaders need to start thinking about how to prepare for the future of the network. Disruption is indeed the new normal, and the top logistics trends of 2021 will help managers find and utilize capacity more effectively. Fortunately, leveraging an advanced TMS is the common denominator in these logistics trends. Ensure your brand aligns with them by upgrading or implementing a new TMS today.

Get Ahead of the Trend, Request a MercuryGate Demo to Advance Your Organization for Next Year

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