Future 3PL Freight Trends That Would Favor SMEs

Logistics technology

You can stay ahead of the competition by staying informed about the latest trends in 3PL.

Innovations in transportation and logistics are changing the face of the industry. Amid a slew of startups, inefficiencies that were once crippling are becoming a thing of the past.

Some of these innovations are only available in certain areas. However, the effects of new logistics technology are felt around the world as latecomers play follow the leader.

Today, falling behind in transport industry trends can do more than cut into your profit – it can put you out of business.

A Whirlwind of Change in the Industry

There are many enterprising, young startups targeting 3PLs. The rapid change is mind-boggling. Now, the amount of money pouring into the sector is almost unfathomable.

Along with this innovation and investment comes new competition in an already highly competitive and essential marketplace. Amidst all this change, logistics veterans are searching for new ways to generate revenue.

Technology is transforming the logistics vertical. Historically, the shipping industry has been slow to change.

Now, however, fast-moving new startups are picking up the pace of change in the field. A whirlwind of digital innovation has brought the logistics industry to a critical juncture.

Now, you can’t afford to ignore changes in the industry. Either you get with the program or get left behind.

3PLs of all sizes find that they are in an industry that they don’t recognize from just ten short years ago. New technologies are making a meaningful impact on logistics.

Disruption Due to Logistics Technology

A generation ago, the logistics industry went through a dramatic change. The current transformation will make that look like nothing.

A growing field of digitally based logistics platforms is enabling new players to penetrate the market. Meanwhile, longtime players who refuse to change are falling by the wayside. Today, the cloud is your friend in 3PL.

In the past, successful 3PLs conducted a transaction between two parties – the shipper and the client. Now, a transaction may include multiple assets, influences and stakeholders, including:

  • Containers
  • Financiers
  • Fuel
  • Logistics hubs
  • Receivers
  • Shippers
  • The legal environment
  • Transportation

New infrastructure, increased transparency and the never-ending demand to cut costs are driving changes in logistics. Even on the consumer side, there’s significant demand for increased functionality and the need to know what’s moving where in the supply chain.

In warehouses, logistics providers need to make the best possible use of every square inch as more consumers turn to online shopping. Meanwhile, more 3PLs are leveraging cloud-based technology to meet that demand.

Cloud-based technology is becoming increasingly critical as it’s nearly impossible to move goods today using a single supply chain.

Man Versus Machine

Robots are becoming a common theme in the logistics industry. In the industry, they’re nearly everywhere – from warehouses to loading docks.

Some machines use advanced coding, such as artificial intelligence, to monitor and control repetitive tasks. In many scenarios, however, this high-level innovation is unnecessary. Nevertheless, even for the simplest of applications, robots are having a massive impact on helping 3PLs generate increased revenue.

Blockchain is another innovation that is transforming the logistics field. Historically, red tape and lack of transparency have led to a series of ongoing shipping nightmares.

Logistics companies operated in the blind and used manual record keeping. Problems weren’t apparent until a shipment was late or missing.

Now, however, those nightmares are coming to an end as 3PL vendors have found ways to enable service providers to find every needle in every haystack with the push of a button.

Sensors now generate data about every asset and automated systems identify problems before they spiral out of control. Logistics providers are working toward migrating shipment information to a centralized database, reducing redundancies and lost shipments.

Logistics Moving at the Speed of Data

Around the world, logistics technology and consumer demand are driving changes in the industry. Still, logistics stakeholders struggle with integrating systems as a growing number of competitors must work together to move goods.

As complex shipping chains become more common, more logistics stakeholders will learn to work together. On the road, a growing network of sensors is generating data to help 3PLs route and track shipments.

In time, new technology in logistics, such as data analysis and automation, will resolve these issues. Transportation management systems will grow more sophisticated and integrate better. Meanwhile, open-source APIs will – hopefully – help 3PLs get on the same technological page and create an environment where their systems learn to work together.

As you can see, change is afoot in logistics. This change has come in the nick of time.

3PL partners face increasing pressure to reduce costs and deliver goods faster. Collaboration and technology are the only ways to make this happen.

You can gain invaluable insights into the industry by learning about the latest logistics technology. Sometimes, it helps to partner with an expert that can show you how the latest logistics industry trends align with your goals.

The logistics field will continue to evolve rapidly over the coming years. How it will look just a few short years from now, no one knows.

Nevertheless, you must stay current on the latest trends in logistics and supply chain management. Then, you can adjust your practices to align with them as they emerge.

Stay Informed: Know Your Logistics Technology

It helps to have a partner to help you adjust to the latest logistic technology trends. Contact Advanced Transportation Systems today to find out how to create a sustainable plan in a rapidly evolving logistics marketplace.

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