8 Biggest Future Trends in Transportation and Logistics

by Danielle Gregory

As the world is becoming more and more interconnected, the traditional linear structure of the supply chain is also becoming more and more complex. The supply chains have become larger, more complex and denser than before. Because of this, the advancement and development in the various logistics sector is the need of every day business to provide better services to the customers.

Truck on Highway - Technology in Transportation

According to the analysts, the trends in the transportation field for the next few years might include increasing demand for smarter transparency solutions, efficient transportation solutions and modern warehousing. Some future trends that will make a logistics or a freight forwarding company distinctive are discussed below:

1. Blockchain Technology Revolutionized Logistics:

Blockchain revolutionized the logistics field by offering technological solutions to some of the biggest issues faced in this field by transforming the way information is shared among the parties of the supply chain. The problems faced due to the lack of transparency and visibility of goods can hinder the supply chain and logistics industry. These issues, however, can be addressed with the integration of the blockchain technology into the supply chain.

Decentralization

Blockchains have decentralized data structures which are shared among the parties involved. The data and any changes made in it are saved and confirmed by the parties included in the network. In this way, the accuracy of the data and transparency is ensured.

They can allow businesses to integrate big data approaches even if the record is unstructured to add speed to the whole process, which can save a lot of money.

Data Transparency

Because all the transactions are recorded within the ledger, the chances of counterfeiting or cheating are reduced. With the record of all the money exchange saved and shared, the transparency is maintained.

Reliable Access and Tracking

Not only this, the blockchain tracks the products and verifies the deliveries. With quick and accurate deliveries, customer service is improved.

Smart Contracts

They can evaluate and make sure that all the financial steps are in accordance with the pre-programmed rules of the agreement.

2. AI and Robotics Automated the Logistics

With the ongoing AI spring season, the current and future logistics trends will be dominated by the advancement in technology. Some of the areas in the logistics field where AI can bring transformation are discussed below:


Automated Warehouses and Vehicles

With the latest technology and advanced software like IoT, WMS Software and RFID, etc. the traditional warehouse role as just a storage room is evolving into a much more complex and multipurpose one. It has helped in increasing the transparency, tracking and efficiency of the warehouses. Moreover, in the near future, autonomous vehicles are going to redefine and revolutionize the traditional modes of transportation.


Robots

For a long time now, companies have been using the warehouse robots for assistance in the assortment, arrangement, storage, packaging, etc. of the parcels and packages. In this way, they have been saving a lot of time and money.  New ways are now being explored to further reduce the need for labour and make the jobs more cost-effective.


Smart Roads

The idea of smart roads suggests the use of solar panels to install LED lights on roads so that the chances of accidents are reduced. Some are even thinking to adjust fibre optic sensors on the road to evaluate and determine the volume of the traffic and to detect any hurdles.


Pre-Emptive Measures

Technology has also made it possible for the logistics companies to get rid of their working dependency on defensive mechanisms and has made it possible to help companies to take pre-emptive measures by analyzing the data to make predictions.


3. Electric Truck and Electric Ships will Transform the Transportation

Electric mobility has already made its way into our lives through subway, buses, Tesla cars, etc. Logistics transportation is also on its way to becoming electric and autonomous. Ideas are being presented to introduce the drive technology and electric charging options for sustainable future mobility by replacing  fossil fuel with sustainable sources of energy to avoid pollution and make the transportation cheaper, cleaner and quieter.


Electric Trucks

While truck production and transportation through trucks has faced a rise, new technologies are being introduced to control the pollution and control the amount of carbon in the air. It is predicted that the truck industry will move toward electrification in six to seven years.


Electric Ships

With low cost, reduced chances of the uncertainties of profits and payments due to fuel prices, the electric ships are surely going to transform the field of logistics. Not only will they save the high cost paid for fuel, but they’ll also make the environment cleaner.


4. IoT Improving Transportation and Logistics

The IoT shorter (due to the Internet of Things with its amazing technology of sensors) networking can streamline the whole logistics process. The information related to transportation among the different parties of the supply chain can be shared easily with IoT. It can keep an eye on the whole supply chain and can monitor the following things:

i. Tracking the vehicle

ii. Managing The Inventory

iii. Ensuring safe transportation

iv. Automation of warehouses and vehicles

v. Delivery status

Fleet Management

The IoT will assist in managing and making smart decisions for tracking the fleet. It will help analyze data to make quick and efficient decisions and ensure that the vehicles reach the destination on time. Customized vehicles for the transportation of temperature-sensitive goods are also being introduced.

Optimum Asset Management

The IoT can also help in keeping a track of the product until it reaches its destination and can help analyze and make order predictions to control the inventory.

5. SaaS as a Future of Supply Chain

SAAS or Software-as-a-Service could help the companies to improve their customer experience. It is a cloud-based system where the business owners, as well as the customers, can access the data and services through a simplified process. In this way, the companies can streamline their logistics process and have a smooth functioning of the supply chain. It has four main advantages:

i. Skills are easier to acquire

ii. It is cost-effective

iii. Automatic upgrading to optimize functioning

iv. Can increase in size to meet the demands of the customers


6. M2M Service Success

The concept of M2M communication is built around three dimensions which include:

i. Machine to machine

ii. Machine to man

iii. Machine to mobility

According to analysts, the M2M service adoption in the transport and logistics field might reach its peak in the near future as it has proven to be more profitable. To solve the problems arising in multimodal transportation, the IT with its latest technology could offer optimal solutions by bridging the gap between software and mobile apps for the logistics communities. This machine to machine interaction will not only increase the efficiency but also the transparency, security, tracking, enhance customer experience and can minimize the economic losses.

7. Urbanization and Consumption

According to analysts, more and more people will move from rural areas towards the urban ones for better opportunities in the future. With the urbanization increasing, the logistics expenditures in the cities worldwide will also increase.

Not only this, the consumers will have many devices that will be connected through a single touchpoint to make it possible for them to order the goods from any part of the world. According to a recent report, it will surely impact how the logistics companies work. The supply chain will have to become more:

i. Agile

ii. Having Efficient Connectivity

iii. Spontaneous

iv. Proactive

Moreover, the report also suggests that the major part of future marketing will be done online. The latest technologies like RFID, WMS, GPS, Bar codes, etc. will help companies to ensure the safe and sound movement of their products. They will also have to look for options that could offer them quick and fast responses.

8. AI and Public Transportation

The AI in transportation is expected to bring a great difference in the working of traffic. It will not only ensure public safety with autonomous driving of trucks and cars but will also provide better control of traffic for optimal business and consumer solutions while making sure that pedestrians remain safe.

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