5 key Logistics Technological Trends
The five key technological trends to follow-up on in 2017 as the blend between digital and physical presence of companies within the supply chain and logistics sectors becomes increasingly important. You will find them outlined below:
1. Warehouse Robotics in the Supply Chain
Automation within distribution centres is globally well-established and extremely efficient, yet it is limited to system-guided manual processes. Change is coming as more and more MHE manufacturers bring warehouse robotics to the market. The real tipping point will then be when technology enables the mastering of true robot picking, where robots are able to pick orders from conventional racking.
2. Autonomous Road Transportation
Autonomous truck development has made headlines several times, yet progress still lies ahead before autonomous goods vehicle are used. Many vehicle companies have taken on the challenge of developing autonomous cars and trucks.
"The blend between technology and service is starting to also blend into the B2B markets, especially the logistics services."
3. The Blur between Logistics and Technology Services
Today in the consumer markets, companies, such as Uber or Airbnb, are difficult to define as either business entities or as software platforms. The blend between technology and service is starting to also blend into the B2B markets, especially the logistics services.
For instance, fleet managers can easily find space for their goods on a truck using "Convoy", a form of crowd-sourced freight service.
4. The Last Mile
In 2017, we can expect a rise in crowd-sourcing and specialist last-mile fulfilment providers, as logistics providers seek to provide their customers with more and quicker delivery options. Moreover, similar solutions arise, such as locally situated public "smart lockers" into which deliveries can be made for later collection or early returns by consumers.
5. The Rise of the Virtual Logistic Team
In previous years, many logistics companies operated through regional distribution centres, yet the management of these operations soon shifted to a centralised planning. The next step would be to recognise that with online access, route planners can realistically deploy all software and real-time communication from their homes. This home-based route planner could easily send load and route plans directly to management and truck drivers' hand-held devices.
For more information about these trends, visit the Logistics Bureau's website.