2020 Logistics Outlook: 3 Trends That Will Make an Impact
This Article originally appeared in Logistics Brief on December 24, 2019.
The start of the new decade marks many significant shifts in the logistics and transformation industry. The past few years in the logistics and transportation industry brought the most contradictory and fast-growing trends to the spotlight. Digital revolution, industry automation, self-driven trucks, robotic devices, blockchain-enabled supply chains, and many more topics have brought heated discussions in the industry. Whether these shifts will take 10 or 50 years, the process has already started. 2020 logistics outlook forecasts some big and fresh trends in the logistics and transportation industry.
2020 Logistics Outlook: What Is Trending?
Supply chain transformations
Many experts believe that there are transformations to come. For example, supply chains are shifting from linear, end-to-end models to circular (especially complex ones). The circular model makes it easier to manage returns, recycling, restocking, and other live processes in the supply chains in a better and more efficient way. Since companies are becoming more conscious in terms of brand responsibility, the trend of a more versatile and multi-angled supply chain will remain hot in the upcoming years.
With all the noise around sustainability, going green will become even more essential for companies in the coming year. Eco-initiatives are driving many other trends like alternative energy and automation, which makes it one of the most visible and promising tendencies in logistics in 2020. Companies will firstly be focused on optimization powered by technology. Using advanced Al-based software will enable businesses to develop the routes with fewer emissions. Other smart solutions include automated vehicles and devices to ensure last-mile delivery.
Apart from self-driving trucks and other innovations that many industry players are afraid of or hesitant about, automation is way more versatile and approachable. Altogether, these processes can be combined under the hyper automation phenomenon. This includes all the automating processes like analysis, data gathering, forecasting, measuring and monitoring. Ultimately, hyper automation implies everything from functional software, equipment, robotics, vehicles, tracking tools, and any other assets that can reduce the necessity of human intervention.
Apart from relatively fresh trends, there will be an increased demand for better tracking and tracing capabilities to deliver more visibility into supply chains. Generally, more integrated networks will be appearing in the industry to better connect carriers, shippers, and others involved in operations. With a forecasted boom in logistics startups and logistics-focused technology, there is a lot to expect from the new software and tech solutions.
Experts also emphasize on small and medium businesses going global and getting more access to huge supply chains. Since SMEs produce a very significant rate in GDP and account for 95 percent of all companies, their growing presence on the market will positively impact the industry and the economy in general.