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Home / IT Blog / Top 5 Trends Shaping the Logistics and Transportation Industry in 2021
January 7, 2021 - by Synoptek
Digital transformation in the Logistics and Transportation industry is extremely fast-paced. Consumer expectations around product delivery and speed are growing manifold, especially in a COVID world where a majority of purchases are being made online. This is putting immense strain on how logistics and transportation service providers manage their supply chains and embrace trends that aim to optimize warehouse operations and fleet management as well as reduce the overall cost of freight.
Digital advancements in the business landscape have put organizations in a tight spot. To meet same-day delivery demands of customers and keep pace with the growing mayhem, there’s a lot organizations need to buckle up for: modernize operations to curb inventory issues, efficiently manage warehouse operations, and enhance the order and fulfilment management process to get products to customers quickly. In 2021, organizations in the logistics and transportation industry will have to embrace cutting-age technologies today to design and sustain supply chain solutions of tomorrow. That said, here are 5 trends that are going to shape the future of the logistics and transportation industry in 2021:
Relying on manual and outdated processes in fulfillment centers is no longer sufficient to meet the delivery demands of modern customers. In 2021, organizations struggling to cater to the ever-increasing volume of customer orders will have to embrace robotic process automation at each step of the fulfillment process and implement solutions that help optimize and scale warehouse and distribution center capabilities. Robotic process automation, when deployed at warehouses, will enable organizations to drive complete automation across the supply chain. Using modern machine learning algorithms, such automation will help eliminate manual tasks, boost order management, improve after-sales service, and alleviate labor shortages while enriching customer experience and enabling business agility.
In 2021, AI is set to drive continued innovation like never before. With the ability to mimic humans and automate manual tasks, this year will see AI-powered systems exhibit human intelligence and improve efficiency – by learning through experience. AI will not only help organizations optimize daily operations; it can also help in predictive and preventive maintenance, improve procurement and planning, optimize fuel consumption, as well as pave the way for substantial inventory optimization. From driver assistance to predictive maintenance, smart warehouses to automated back office operations – there is a lot organizations will be able to achieve through AI in 2021.
As last mile delivery gets more and more challenging and expensive, logistics companies have been on the lookout for ways in which they can fulfill orders in a timely manner. For such organizations, enabling delivery through drones is going to become a popular choice to improve the efficiency of last mile delivery while reducing costs . With enterprises like FedEx, Amazon, and DHL already utilizing drones for delivery, 2021 will see a lot more companies join the bandwagon to improve delivery speed and efficiency and regulatory authorities smooth the way for drone deliveries.
In 2021, the possibility of self-driving cars becoming a reality is also huge; studies suggest the autonomous vehicle industry will be worth $556 million by 2026. These autonomous vehicles that can operate without any human assistance will help the sector navigate traffic congestion, improve driver safety, lessen carbon emissions, as well as curtail overall cost of transportation. They will also help reduce the rate and impact of accidents, while detecting obstacles, monitoring engine conditions, and recommending best routes for quick delivery of goods between warehouses and to customer locations.
Although the logistics sector has long been synonymous with IoT, in 2021, the technology will help deliver on the promise of sustainability – and pave the way for long-term social and economic development. IoT-led innovations will allow organizations to unlock new value while giving them greater control over their supply chains. From offering ways to eliminate wastage to improving energy efficiency: IoT will enable companies to act on real-time data and improve decision-making across energy optimization, customer experience as well as the supply chain.
As new technologies inundate the logistics and transportation sector, now is a good time to embrace innovations to streamline supply chain efficiency. In 2021, the industry is set for game changing trends including robotic process automation, AI, drones, autonomous vehicles and IoT. It is by embracing these trends that organizations will be able build on the promise of a transformed supply chain landscape while meeting the demands of customers – today and every day.
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