Logistics plays a significant role in the local and international movement of goods. Without timely transportation of goods, trade would suffer, causing an economic crisis. Effective transportation means the timely and efficient movement of goods.
This vital industry is also subject to progressive changes that enhance its contribution to economic development. Additionally, technology lies at the center of most of its developments in Canada and beyond. These trends and technological changes benefit everyone in the industry, starting from transporters to their customers.
Therefore, we examine some of the key technologies and developments shaping logistics beyond 2022. Our post examines these technologies and trends more deeply. Remain on this page to understand how they will continue to affect your business.
1. Last-Mile Delivery Services
The worldwide economy is steadily rising from the effects of the COVID-19 economic meltdown. At the pandemic’s peak, e-commerce spiked, necessitating last-minute deliveries for buyers who didn’t want to leave their homes. These consumers want to receive their goods fast at their doorsteps.
Increased last-mile deliveries force transporters to invest in appropriate technologies and infrastructure to handle the growing need. For instance, they need optimization tools and tracking capabilities to improve efficiency. Why? Because e-commerce is here to stay, and in case of anything, it can only increase with time.
Forward-looking and tech-savvy transporters are also channeling resources toward enhancing last-mile deliveries. Some are leading by deploying delivery drones, cargo bikes, and self-driving ground vehicles. These are just some of the ways transporters seeking to survive the changing times can respond to increasing last-mile deliveries.
2. Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT is another technology driving the logistics industry to greater heights this year and beyond. This tech connects almost everything in logistics, like people to cargo, accelerating more value in the supply chain. Transporters can get timely and accurate information using IoT gadgets. They can use this information to forecast vital maintenance and monitor cargo in real-time.
IoT also assists customers in confirming when their cargos left warehouses and when they should receive them. This way, transporters can reduce shipment theft and loss.
Blockchain is another technology that continues to drive transportation services in Canada and worldwide. Companies that embrace it enjoy enhanced transparency in their logistics processes. It also enables transporters to use smart contracts when automating their commercial transactions.
With blockchain systems, transporters can monitor and trace when products leave warehouses and reach customers. They can also enjoy valuable and timely information the system records regarding their supply chains. With blockchain, logistics companies can easily verify whether shipments were delivered as per agreements before releasing payment.
4. Cloud-Based Systems
The world has gone to the cloud. All smart companies desiring to remain competitive and relevant have no option but to adopt cloud-based systems. These systems are essential for enabling reliability and increasing overall security. They also boost scalability and flexibility for business growth.
Logistics firms with national or international operations can use cloud-based systems to boost back-office operations. These systems also facilitate enhanced accessibility and collaboration.
5. Automatic Trucking Research and Development
Automatic tracking is here with us, although at a smaller scale. Forward-looking logistics companies are investing in it to future-proof themselves. They are investing in research and various pilot projects to assess this technology’s real potential. For instance, PitchBook says that investors in the first half of last year invested some $5.6 billion in firms developing self-driving tech.
Logistics firms that invest in this technology view it as timely a opportunity to minimize costs. It is also ideal for improving overall efficiency. Once this technology reaches its optimal potential, it will significantly help address rising driver shortages.
6. Focus on Staff Recruitment and Retention
Besides technologies, industry players are investing in strategic practices that give them a competitive advantage. It’s worth noting that technology in itself can’t drive desired change without other systems in place. For instance, getting the right talent to manage and use these technologies is critical.
Therefore, transporters who want to retain an edge are investing in quality talent. Without accurately positioned talent, many challenges are bound to face logistics firms. For example, transporters will suffer strained relations with their customers and other relevant stakeholders. The lack of human resources can also cause delayed deliveries.
Firms are also focusing on staff retention as one way of staying afloat in the future. The reason is that driver shortage can cripple logistics operations. Additionally, smaller trucking firms have minimal or zero incentives because of increasing costs that stop them from investing in new trucks.
Transporters are also using various technologies to motivate and retain their drivers. For example, they are empowering their drivers with driver apps to boost efficiency. Others are utilizing incentives like payment per last-mile delivery instead of hourly rates and salaries. This payment model, punctuated by relevant technologies, motivates drivers to make more deliveries. Eventually, these transporters can retain their drivers because they improve their working circumstances.
7. Green Logistics Practices
Still, on practices, logistics companies are embracing green practices to remain competitive. Sustainable practices benefit transporters and the earth in many ways. First, it’s a cost-effective initiative that businesses can use to maximize profits. Second, companies can use it as a tool for boosting their brand. Third, sustainable practices can boost customer loyalty since customers want to relate to a company that cares for their environment.
Many serious transporters are teaming up with sustainability organizations that promote clean fuel, equipment efficiency, and lower carbon emissions. Companies embracing green initiatives will have to adhere to sustainable building recommendations. Eventually, “green” transporters be better positioned to address future logistical challenges like vehicle pollution.
8. Enhanced Supply Chain Visibility
Enhanced supply chain visibility is another practice transporters are embracing as we move on beyond 2022. It’s no wonder a Forbes survey shows that over 90% of supply chain leaders admit that supply chain visibility is critical to their overall success. While this practice isn’t entirely new, 2022 is a milestone boost to its adoption among many logistics companies.
Transporters who want to detect and prevent logistical challenges are embracing more visibility to enhance customer services. These firms are adopting various practices to boost their overall supply chain visibility. Some of these practices are control tower abilities, interactive dashboards, custom reporting, and forecasting analytics.
9. Focusing on Returns Management
The pandemic caused a sudden and sharp increase in online purchases. Therefore, it only makes sense for online retailers to have logistics partners who know how to manage the returns process well. That’s why logistics companies that want to remain relevant to this clientele are embracing this practice.
They are doing their best to provide positive customer experiences by handling large numbers of returns. These transporters are also providing inventory management and integrating with online platforms for successful returns processes. They are also adopting the latest technologies to streamline their returns management.
10. Utilizing Crowdsourced Delivery and Multiple Logistics Partners
Lastly, in 2022 and beyond, businesses will need to utilize crowdsourced deliveries to succeed. Efficient multi-fleet management is a step in the right direction because it helps businesses save costs and meet customer expectations. It also helps them streamline their digital supply chain.
At times, delivering same-day orders requires partnering with several fleets and combining with in-house drivers and other third-party service providers. Some fleets require dedication based on location. However, automating which orders go to a certain fleet is the best way of lowering costs while boosting delivery speed.
Retailers are also using pools of drivers to deliver goods from several stores in a given location. Additionally, many retailers are weaning themselves off their traditional carriers like FedEx and UPS. Instead, they’re resorting to regional carriers.
Overall, businesses resorting to this practice will need to focus on how well they can manage different fleets and drivers. This way, they will benefit from this trend more because it can:
- Enhance their flexibility in their delivery processes
- Boost their risk management by offering them a secure fallback if things go wrong with one supplier
- Create a stable chain of supply partners
Let’s Solve Your Logistical Problems
Many technologies and developments are shaping the transport industry in 2022. Different players in the supply chain are embracing these technologies and trends to remain relevant. Transporters and other industry stakeholders are adopting these practices to serve their customers better. Moreover, anyone adopting them stands to benefit, their positioning in the value chain notwithstanding.
At Go Reliable, we are agile to adopt all beneficial industry trends and technologies to serve you better. How would you like us to solve your logistical problems? Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation to plan the best way forward for your business.