Due to increased digitalization, the logistics industry is getting a complete makeover in 2018 and beyond. As logistics becomes the backbone of every industry, the business world is aligning its strategies concerning the ongoing and upcoming logistics trends.

We’ve put together some of the most important logistics trends to watch in 2018:

Big Data and Advanced Analytics in the Cloud

Companies are becoming less afraid of the cloud. They are not as concerned about data security, and they are now hoping for fast, flexible, high-powered computing.

Many companies are investing in on-demand, cloud-based data solutions, and services. This trend is driven by the need for supply chains to become more responsive and for management teams to better understand cost drivers in logistics activity.

Automation Is Here To Stay

Labor shortages and capacity constraints are driving deep investments in technology and automation, such as load matching, robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and APIs.

Most major companies, including Uber, Facebook, Google, and Amazon, have launched autonomous vehicle and truck pilot programs to improve logistics in 2018. These self-driving vehicle programs will give supply chains access to a new inexhaustible resource for moving products, overcoming the challenges inherent in the driver shortage and capacity crunch.

While the technology is tested and improved, most automated vehicle systems will work in tandem with drivers to enhance safety and maintain vehicle control.

Shipping Technology

BlackBerry Radar is making a big impact in logistics, and you should expect more package tracking innovation in 2018. Tracking shipments with RFID, GPS, and other connected sensors are making shipping more efficient and automated.

By keeping an eye on shipping technology, logistics businesses can make better decisions about routing, staffing, and warehousing. That leads to less downtime and fewer gut-based decisions.

The Demand For Transparency Will Continue

Customers are proving to be increasingly interested in the transparency of their supply chains. According to the director of the Global Supply Chain Institute,

“A lack of ability to provide [supply chain] information in the face of safety or environmental violations can create a negative perception of the brand that may require immediate remediation and could take a brand years to recover from, if at all.”

The definition of transparency is expanding, and no longer just encompasses whether you shipped via a natural gas-powered train or by air. Consumers are increasingly aware of salary and worker rights issues, environmental factors, and even political affiliations.

Investing in Omnichannel Revenue Management

Omnichannel Revenue Management is a multichannel approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a brick and mortar store.

The retail supply chain has been going through a massive transformation. Traditional brick and mortar retailers seek to leverage their stores to better compete against Amazon and other e-commerce retailers. The main reason retailers invest in expensive omnichannel initiatives is to increase sales, increase market share, and improve customer loyalty.

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