Embracing the unconventional is not an option anymore.
Dependence on outdated logistic strategies might prove to be fatal, or may even mean bankruptcy. As the technological disruption in the logistics domain continues to diversify, a few top trends are dominating the scene, while having a profound impact on the shipping industry. Here are the top 6:

1. Consumers will continue to gain power and shape the future of logistics.
By virtue of the digital age, consumers have been empowered to want more, want better and want it today. Amazon’s edge is not about unique products, lower prices or better service. It has the most relevant, powerful advantage over most retailers: saving customer time. Zvi Schreiber, CEO of Freightos, says that saving time for end users will be the cornerstone of all logistics operations in 2017.
For instance, at DTDC, customers enjoy instant delivery updates on mobile/web platforms and end-to-end tracking and tracing functionalities. Henceforth, shipping businesses will harness IT to gain more insights on user behaviour for fleet and freight optimisations.

2. IoT (Internet of Things) will play a bigger role in the future of logistics.
With devices becoming obsolete within a heartbeat, real-time data helps increase speed, reduce waste and decrease overall costs. Be it through machine-to-machine communication, data capture or predictive analytics, IoT is assisting businesses cope with the complexities that occur with smaller product life cycles, amidst the customer deluge.
IoT can help save fuel costs, optimize fleet routes, and create fleet efficiencies. For example, data gathered from GPS and RFID technologies can help locate the shipment during transit, along with updates on weather, traffic, and driving patterns.
Although still nascent in India, IoT’s potential should be looked into. As a frontrunner in tech-related research & innovations, DTDC is on the way there.

3. The impact of globalisation logistics might take CenterStage.
Today’s global economy requires logistics service providers to operate across borders with a high rate of agility. This is driven by local strategic alliances/joint ventures, macroeconomics, and offshore procurements/manufacture.
With globalisation, Brazil, Russia, and India are on their way to become major suppliers of raw materials, to support smaller product lifecycles, as more are tossed out in favour of the next best thing. Currently, DTDC has strategic tie-ups and business arrangements in more than 240+ countries around the world.
But current trade policies emanating around the world paint a different picture. Will local investments by super powers affect global trade? Let’s wait and watch before executive business decisions are made.

4. Reverse Logistics become more relevant

As of 2015, customers were returning products worth a staggering $642.6 billion annually. Not optimising reverse logistics may not only negatively affect your business, but also cost you in terms of repeat sales.
But the evolution of the supply chain marks the emergence of a circular model that renders sustainable production cycles a reality. Current trends in reverse logistics hinge on recycling possibilities, developing seamless reverse distribution channels and give specific attention to the E-waste logistics.
As for shipping businesses, bidirectional operations need be made affable to the customer, either with technological prowess or practical alternatives. DTDC offers a wide range of e-solutions that help customers and businesses alike, enabling the first step towards seamless reverse logistics.

5. Autonomous shipping trucks will become more of a reality.

Last year, the “Uberisation of logistics” was a trend that several retailers were drawn to. But it didn’t stop there. Their latest acquisition Otto is a testament to what could become of the shipping industry in the years to come. Last year, Otto ran a successful promo with Budweiser highlighting their first truck delivery aided by their self-driving technology. This led to a mass realisation across logistics companies – A new sustainable solution that could tackle driver shortage, ensure safety, and cut operational costs considerably. If not taking over the scene in 2017, this trend is definitely here to stay, and will go a long way.

6. Thanks, but (no) thanks Amazon – The barbell effect in retail and manufacture will continue to intensify

E-Commerce giant Amazon has brought about a paradigm shift in the supply chain/logistics business. But this has kindled a barbell effect amidst manufacturers and retailers, (no) thanks to the large-scale disruption it has caused. Customers are only shopping from sophisticated high-end boutiques or hyper-local stores, as Amazon is pushed from the middle-out.

To compete with superior, customer centric logistics, Karl Seibrecht claims that progressive “in the middle” players will resort to strategies like “in-store pickup, ship-to-store initiatives and pop-up distribution solutions.”, for long-term viability. This is definitely an upcoming trend that DTDC is looking out for.

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