How will the logistics industry change in 2020, 2021, and beyond? The sector has already seen several changes in recent years, but as the global economy enters a new decade, even bigger changes will occur in logistics. Will businesses – large and small – be ready for these adjustments? Only time will tell, but if they are well aware of what is happening around them, then there is no reason why they shouldn’t survive and thrive next year.
Here are eight logistics industry trends to watch in the near future:
Trend #1: More Technological Integration
In 2010, the Apple iPad became an integral advancement in shaping the logistics industry trends. It was a huge leap forward for companies that specialize in this area. But, because technology is advancing so rapidly, it was just the beginning for how much of a role these developments would play in the sector.
Ten years later, there are so many things that are going to become crucial to logistics:
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Cloud computing
- Smart technology
Who knows what life will look like in a century? Perhaps logistics will consist of teleportation devices, time-traveling machines, and anything else that would prove imperative to the industry.
Trend #2: Increased Globalization
Increased globalization is one of the rising logistics industry trends in the near future. That’s because the global economy is only going more global.
With emerging markets only getting larger and more advanced, developed nations will certainly look to tap into these parts of the international marketplace. This also means that supply chains need to be improved upon, new investments will need to be made, and logistics will have to be properly prepared to handle other regions of the globe.
Globalization may have its detractors, but this is a reality now and the logistics industry will adapt.
Trend #3: It’s Time to Go Uber
Ride-sharing – Uber, Lyft, and all the other mobile apps – transformed the taxi business. What’s to say that it will not change shipping and trucking? In fact, it already has, but just not on a massive scale. Be sure to check in next year or the year after to see logistics has become Uber-fied!
Trend #4: Trade Spats Might Impact Supply Chains
The world is in the middle of a trade dispute between the two biggest economies. With no end in sight to the lingering spat, it is quite possible that international supply chains could be impacted heading into 2020 and beyond. Until these disagreements are resolved – not just between the United States and China but also between Washington and the European Union, Canada, Mexico, and a whole host of other trading partners – it is unlikely that logistics will be able to avoid it.
Trend #5: Will Blockchain Make a Play?
Blockchain is huge.
Companies that have just incorporated blockchain into their overall business model have seen their stock surges, likely because everyone is bullish on the technology.
So, where does blockchain stand in logistics? Here is how it will improve every step of the logistics process, from manufacturing to supplying to auditing:
- Track assets
- Manage documents
- Record transactions
- Boost efficiency
- Enhance transparency
Indeed, this is nothing to sneeze at!
Trend #6: Big Data and Data Analytics
Big data is already making its mark on logistics, but, suffice it to say, companies have yet to fully unlock its potential.
Thanks to big data and various data analytics, the logistics industry can prepare for busy times of the day or season, get ready for future supply shortages, and gain insights into the efficacy of strategic decisions. Overall, big data is expected to improve quality and enhance performance by providing stellar supply and demand projections, route optimization, and inventory management.
Trend #7: Security Becomes Priority
As pointed out at the beginning, security will be imperative for the logistics industry. With more and more data passing through the cloud, companies communicating through mobile technology, and smart devices being crucial to operations, the industry might be more prone to cyber threats and attacks.
Indeed, any data infiltration is bad for a company’s reputation and public image.
Ultimately, security will be huge.
Trend #8: Customer Segmentation
Customer segmentation coalesces with big data because logistics firms can identify customers needs more efficiently and effectively by segmenting customers into groups. These groups can be formed using a diverse array of characteristics and trends. There is no one-size-fits-all or broad generalization in logistics!
ResearchAndMarkets.com offered an interesting piece of analysis about the logistics industry:
“In 2019, shipping lines will prepare in large for compliance with the IMO 2020 sulfur regulations, impacting contract terms, demolition of fuel-inefficient vessels, disruptions in vessel deployment, and fuel surcharge structures. Industry consolidation is likely to continue with strategic alliances and mergers to facilitate operations at reduced costs through asset sharing.”
This is indeed sound analysis about the logistics industry trends. Adaptation and adoption will be key to survive the shifting market next year and beyond. The status quo will not suffice.