Top 6 Trends Transforming Logistics and Supply Chain in 2020
Technology innovations and digital solutions are bringing big waves of change across all sectors, and logistics and supply chain is one of the most impacted industries. The industry is well known for its manual processes and large amounts of data stored in different places, and hence it will be most benefited from implementing new technologies and tools.
Numerous studies confirm that Finland ranks highly on digital readiness and is well placed to unlock the potential of digitalization. According to the European Commission, Finland is ranked as the most digitally advanced nation in Europe. The Finnish government has also taken initiatives to work on technology-oriented transport systems to become an active participant in smart mobility. New and established logistics and supply chain companies are investing in innovative products and new IT skills.
Key trends that have led to digital transformation in logistics and supply chain in the past have been in the areas of mobility-as-a-service (MaaS), usage of automated guided vehicles in warehouses, skilled ICT professionals, and technology advancements in supply chain management. Here are the most important technology trends every logistics and supply chain industry must keep an eye on in 2020 and beyond.
The logistics industry has started to integrate AI solutions for effective route planning, intelligent transportation, and demand planning in their operations. Artificial intelligence is already making a difference with automated warehouse systems, predictive optimization software, last-mile delivery robots, etc. Moving forward in 2020, the latest innovations in AI and data sciences will benefit carriers, suppliers, shippers, and consumers. Augmented intelligence- a combination of AI automation and human intelligence is also expected to benefit the logistics and supply chain industry, by allowing the professionals to improve efficiency while saving costs and reducing mistakes.
The Blockchain technology has multitudes of use cases in the logistics industry for its ability to securely record transactions between different parties. With blockchain, everyone has access to the same ledger of transactions, making it completely transparent, and impossible for users to trick or hack the system. This makes it easy for carriers and shippers to securely share sensitive data without the need for third-party involvement. Although companies like Alibaba, Maersk, Microsoft, and Amazon invest heavily on this technology, in order to take advantage of blockchain’s full potential, logistics companies need to first standardize, digitize, and cleanse their data.
Real-Time Supply Chain Visibility
Supply chain visibility has already become a must-have for logistics companies, and in 2020 enterprises need to focus on making it real-time by implementing innovative solutions into their operations. According to Gartner’s real-time supply chain visibility guide, the demand for real-time data has increased more than ever amongst customers and carriers. Companies can track traffic patterns, port conditions, weather conditions, etc. to take necessary actions to optimize routes or redirect the supply chain. Fully integrated supply chains with connected IoT and cloud services help in tracking vehicles and inventory and provides real-time monitoring, thereby making supply chain processes more efficient.
Dealing with a large amount of data stored in silos is one of the key challenges that the traditional logistics industry players face. Traditional companies have data stored anywhere and everywhere, creating massive inefficiencies, and making it a fragmented ecosystem. In 2020, companies that want to keep up with the changing times must get rid of data stored in silos and have systems in place to solve the data inconsistency issue. This is where predictive and analytics platforms come into play. Data analytics solutions help these traditional enterprises to cleanse and digitize their data and use the data for advanced analytics and predictive optimization. This will benefit the companies in a massive way by improving last-mile deliveries, detecting unexpected conditions, and improving predictive maintenance, supply chain visibility and demand forecasting.
The digital twinning technology is a boon to the logistics and supply chain industry. It melds the digital and physical worlds into one and allows us to engage with the digital model of a physical object. With its vast capabilities to track, monitor and diagnose assets, this technology trend has the potential to revolutionize the logistics sector. It can support logistics infrastructure by optimizing design and performance, create a dynamic delivery network with access to real-time situations, and enhance shipment protection by identifying potential weaknesses from production to delivery. It can also predict the performance of packaging materials by conceptualizing the product packaging in a digital space and testing it for defects before deploying.
Technology solutions and innovative products have significantly transformed the warehouse operations in the past several years. Warehouse robotics is a key trend that will make moving objects, building pallets, and unloading trucks easy. According to a predictions report from IDC, by 2023, 65% of warehousing activities will use robots to enable storage optimization, cutting work order processing time in half and increasing warehouse capacity by over 20%. Multifunctional robots, driverless vehicles, and wearable technology, combined with the power of machine-learning technologies and sensors will improve the efficiency and speed of warehouse processes in 2020.
2020 is the year of digital transformation going mainstream, and companies in the logistics and supply chain must be prepared for the bigger changes with innovations. Gateway Digital in association with its end-to-end logistics innovation partner-DiLX uses emerging technologies to create new service models and business concepts for logistics and supply chain companies, and help them transform to keep pace in the digital world.
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