History has shown that we need to evolve to survive. The need to adopt and understand new trends are beginning to challenge supply chain professionals. The evolution of digital technology such as robotics, smart automation, the Internet of Everything (IoE), big data analysis, additive manufacturing and cloud computing will irreversibly transform logistics and supply chain operations, of both within the 4-walls as well as outside the warehouse operations.
As the new year begins, what are the latest trends in the logistics and supply chain scene? How can a working professional take advantage of the ongoing paradigm shift and be able to find a viable space to succeed in? How will Yojee’s Internet of Shipping revolutionise the future of shipping?
Here are the top 4 trends:
1. Automation and Autonomous Nature of Logistics Management Technology
When we talk about automation in logistics, we often think of sci-fi scenes portraying warehouses powered by robots weaving between shelves assisting order fulfilment. And we all agree that the main idea of automation is to make order-taking and fulfilment more efficient. With the help of technology that is capable of analysing millions of decisions at one go and providing the best possible solution, the future we seek is already here.
At the forefront of delivery and supply chain automation is Amazon. Amazon started its first drone delivery trials in the UK last year and has more than 45,000 of its Kiva robots moving goods around 20 of its warehouses just like you would imagine it.
Today’s technology helps ensures that every transition from the placement of the original order to fulfilment and delivery to the customer is smooth and well coordinated.
With the Yojee Software, dispatchers can manage new deliveries with minimal human interaction. When new deliveries enter the Yojee Software, they will automatically be assigned to the right asset, be it your in-house drivers or to your downstream partners, and dispatchers can track a parcels entire delivery process in real-time.
2. Technologically Enabled Trust - Blockchain
Many logistics operations are still done without accurate and transparent collaboration between each party. The lack of trust between companies is the primary driver that puts up big walls that separate and holds them back from achieving more significant opportunities.
The FBI estimates that cargo theft causes an annual loss of approximately $30 billion per year (U.S.), with an average theft value of $199,467. In effect, cargo theft can cost consumers up to 20 percent more for their goods.
Source: Freight Watch Report
Traceability and transparency are some of the essential foundations of logistics, and many multinational companies are trying to get their hands on a piece of that lucrative pie. For example, IBM launched IBM Blockchain which promises to optimise business transactions and trading relationships with robustly secure business networks on blockchain—both at scale and globally.
Another such multinational is UPS. Presently they are trying to leverage their resources and market share to establish themselves as a New Market leader by joining organisations as Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA), a forum for the development of blockchain technology standards and education for the freight industry. The alliance hopes to spur development standards for the shipping industry as a whole by implementing a secure blockchain system.
With advanced blockchain technology, customers will have visibility of the entire fulfilment journey, from the point of product purchase to arrive in their hands. The movement of goods typically not seen by the customer will no longer be hidden, giving customers more information and allowing them to make better-informed decisions.
3. Working Towards Collaborative Logistics
Consolidation centres, collaborative warehouses and hubs mentioned in the Collaborative Logistics Report are all just the starting point of an unstoppable revolution - the collaboration between companies. Companies like AirBnB, Uber, Lyft and many more proved the collaboration theory a success and highlighted the abundant potentials of collaborative economies, which is making its way into the logistics industry.
Startups in the Collaborative Logistics space are getting more and more traction. Turvo, Yojee, Synple to name a few, have raised tens of millions of dollars to enable collaboration between each stage of the supply chain.
4. Interoperability and Integration is king
Integration of various supply chain software has created an online freight booking software that allows traders to meet the needs of their customers as well as make connections with transport vendors. This dramatically reduces overhead costs by eliminating expensive freight intermediaries at various levels of the supply chain management in the course of shipment. Also, by incorporating state-of-the-art cloud technologies, logistics companies can pave the way for more effective and efficient operations management.
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