Five Major Logistics Trends Shaping Logistics Management in 2020
The world is certainly in a much different place than it was not only a year ago, but just a few months ago.
When it comes to current trends in logistics, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on supply chains everywhere.
Companies that have relied on legacy systems have struggled to keep up with customer demand, resulting in heavy delays.
But where does that leave the logistics industry as we approach the halfway point of 2020?
There are a number of future logistics trends that have evolved out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and savvy logistics companies are already preparing themselves through modern technology.
Here is a look at the biggest trends within the logistics industry in 2020.
1. Embracing Modern Integration Technology
Logistics companies are recognizing the importance of upgrading their legacy environment and evolving to a modern integration platform.
The allure of a modern integration platform is one that provides quicker onboarding of customers, trading partners, and suppliers, as well as provides end-to-end visibility so logistics companies can conduct business quicker.
From frictionless supplier integration to having the ability to unlock back office systems that are critical to third-party logistics (3PL) services, modernized integration technology can do it all. Logistics businesses everywhere see the value that integration technology has for their supply chain.
Those companies that migrated to a modern integration platform prior to COVID-19 were the ones that put themselves in the very best position to manage a disruption to their supply chain. COVID-19 has shined a light on the importance of a modern integration platform.
2. Improved Customer Experience
While hearing about a company striving to improve its customer experience might not seem like the biggest surprise in the world, the fact is in this tumultuous 2020 climate, it’s more relevant than ever before.
Customers simply do not have the patience for lackluster customer experience, no matter what type of business we are discussing, from restaurants to online shopping, to yes, a logistics company.
As COVID-19 emphasized the need for companies to modernize their technology, it also has proven how critical it is for logistics companies to deliver a personalized and custom experience.
The logistics companies that are thriving in 2020 are the ones that are optimizing their customers’ entire network by providing supply chain solutions, warehousing and distribution, rail services, and final delivery to ensure an unparalleled customer experience.
3. Integrated 3PL Services
As e-commerce continues to expand beyond epic proportions, many companies are also seeing quite a bit of potential in integrated 3PL services. Businesses are seeing this by bringing in heavy assets in trucking, and adding freight brokerage capabilities and warehouse facilities to provide deep integration into customers’ systems.
As customers’ advance through their own use of modern technology, logistics companies are embracing logistics automation trends by utilizing API integrations to connect e-commerce stores with a fulfillment center in addition to traditional EDI.
Because supply chains have so many different channels and change so quickly in order to meet consumer demand, fulfillment practices must evolve along with it in order to cope with COVID-19 and any other supply chain disruption that may arise.
Logistics industry trends demand that customers have options when it comes to delivery, from last-mile services to same day and next day delivery and it’s up to providers to make sure that customers have those very delivery options.
4. Re-Optimized Service Lines
When COVID-19 first struck, one of the ways logistics companies started to recover was to re-optimize service lines in order to focus on industries that thrived the most during the pandemic, such as food, paper, and packaging.
This allowed these logistics enterprises to have more of a regular fleet, rather than a non-dedicated, irregular fleet. No, it certainly is not easy for companies to transition and pivot their strategic initiatives, but the end result is one that will prove beneficial for years to come.
5. An Agile Supply Chain
Having the right amount of agility throughout the supply chain is a goal that ties in directly with a modern integration platform. It’s actually a mindset that logistics companies must have in order to truly be agile.
This provides logistics companies with the ability to redeploy people and resources as needed across their different functions.
As COVID-19 hit hard, and the need for food service distribution waned and retail distribution surged, logistics companies have used the time to retrain and redeploy workers from service distribution to warehouses in order to keep up with the demand spike in retail distribution.
It's no secret - product fragmentation has increased as far as goods are concerned because of the changes and disruptions to supply chains everywhere, throughout the world.
As more and more emerging markets grow, and supply chain security becomes more of a global concern, companies are tightening their in-house security to ease the concerns of customers, trading partners, suppliers, and any other member of their digital ecosystem.
The events of 2020 have disrupted the entire world and the logistics industry is no exception. The logistics landscape is plagued by uncertainty and disruption, but it is also ripe for digital transformation.
Companies that succeed in 2020 and beyond are those that will embrace a combination of the top trends in logistics management to become resilient and agile to supply chain shocks.
As you finish 2020, think about how the current trends in logistics impact your business.