The logistics industry continues to undergo digital transformation throughout peak season. Shipping capacity is near historic strain. Carriers are refusing pickups beyond set limits. Clearly, it’s time to start thinking about the logistics trends behind supply chain challenges next year. That goal amounts to knowing what logistics trends to expect and their implications.
As reported by Frank Hamilton of Manufacturing.net, “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. It is the stepping stone to most supply chain efficiency trends.
Automation encompasses any repetitive process that can be successfully replicated through software. In the supply chain, automation amounts to reducing re-keying, reworking and inefficiencies. As a result, automation continues to drive all logistics trends in 2021 and beyond.
2. Machine Learning, Analytics Will Improve Logistics Execution
Beyond automation, the combined use of machine learning and analytics, relying on data and advanced algorithms, will improve supply chain execution. Increased execution of every day processes reduces the burden on logistics and supply chain managers. That helps 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 continues 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 Source Capacity
Logistics service providers (LSPs) and shippers will also 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’s transportation management system (TMS), will be essential to expanding access to new lanes, LSPs, suppliers, and beyond.
5. Multi-Modal Optimization Gets 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: 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 working to reduce landed costs. And it will also have an impact on carriers trying to meet those capacity constraints.
Align Your Brand With 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. Monitoring 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 these trends by upgrading or implementing a new TMS today.