Disruptive forces are always at work, transforming the way organizations think about technology, conduct business, and look to the future, regardless of industry.
This is particularly true in the logistics industry, where market movements have a significant impact.
To stay on the cutting edge and remain competitive, logistics organizations must stay on top of new and emerging trends, from new technology to explore and take advantage of to shifting regulations that necessitate new strategies and tactics to assure compliance.
Companies that prosper are those who combine the latest trends and apply them in a way that takes advantage of both old and established technologies.
What impact will current logistical developments have in the future?


Radio-frequency identity (RFID) chips have offered real-time tracking information for over a decade. While many out-for-delivery (OFD) companies have spent a lot of money on RFID, they have yet to see a substantial return on their investment.
So, why is that?
Simply having RFID chips does not guarantee that you have better access to the data because you require computers to collect and exchange the data.
Companies also require file-based integration technology that can connect devices and edge computing systems to core corporate systems in order to send reporting documents and store and analyze data for insight and business decision-making.
Furthermore, logistics organizations that are able to combine traditional line-of-sight technology such as barcode labels with RFID are the ones that generate the most value. Barcode labels are well-known and reasonably inexpensive. The underlying systems and processes are well-known and widely used.
On the other hand, RFID deployment might be a high-cost addition to the logistics supply chain. RFID tags are estimated to cost 10 times more than bar codes, according to some estimates.
One reason a hybrid approach to old and new makes sense is the price barrier for investment. Additional considerations about data accuracy and dependability should be factored into a company’s RFID strategy.
However, there are feasible uses that businesses should consider.
RFID offers a lot of potential in logistics, especially for route optimization and real-time tracking of shipments. RFID systems, when properly connected, may offer exact position and quantity data in real-time. Tagging vehicles, pallets, and inventory, for example, enables multi-lateral views of what’s going on along the supply chain.
Knowing where a specific truck is at any given time allows a logistics company to be more proactive, changing a delivery route in the event of unforeseen circumstances such as accidents or bad weather.
Companies that successfully combine classic and legacy technologies with next-generation developments are the most successful. Those businesses recognise that trying to entirely replace existing technology and business processes is a bad idea. When new technology is used in conjunction with what is already established and standardized, it tends to perform better.

2. Omnichannel Shipping

Omni-channel fulfillment is becoming more common in the logistics business, fueled by a shift in the retail industry’s approach to meeting customer expectations.
The Amazon effect, according to the Harvard Business Review, is driving established merchants to provide more omnichannel touchpoints in order to boost consumer loyalty. The goal is to make shopping as fluid and simple as possible, whether it’s done online or in person.
In this setting, effective logistics organizations are those that have evolved to offer more inventive shipping ways in order to traverse the supply chain’s expanding omnichannel complications.
A simplified view of probable omnichannel fulfillment and return order flows to (and from) the final customer is shown below:
  • Warehouse to consumer and back
  • Supplier to consumer and back
  • Store to consumer and back
  • Distribution center to consumer and back
Futuristic omnichannel Traditionally, shoppers would travel to the object they had purchased. As a result, the consumer was responsible for the “final mile.” Now, retail logistics companies and their partners are responsible for last-mile logistics. Retail logistics deliveries are now expected to function similarly to USPS deliveries. In reality, because their system is already in place, corporations like Amazon hire USPS to make these deliveries.
Walmart is taking a novel approach to the problem of last-mile logistics. They’ve established an employee drop-off system that encourages workers to drop off packages on their way home at the end of the shift. Walmart also bought Parcel, a last-mile delivery company based in New York, in September 2017.
The last-mile evolution of shipping methods has enhanced the supply chain’s complexity as a result of e-commerce and omnichannel trends. Furthermore, one-way logistics is no longer sufficient to compete.

3. The Big Promise of Big Data

UPS could be the biggest big data success story in the logistics sector. The organization has achieved huge achievements in operational efficiencies and cost savings thanks to data collecting, analysis, and demand forecasting.
Over 200 onboard sensors in each of the 80,000 vehicles measure speed, braking, backing up, location, and idling time. Some of the sensors capture diagnostic data on the battery and tyre pressure of the car, enabling for proactive maintenance. The idea is to keep a car on the road as often as possible rather than in the shop. Furthermore, big-data-driven predictive modeling is the foundation for enormous route optimization improvements.
Companies may now maximize delivery windows regardless of construction, parades, accidents, and other factors thanks to the growth of GPS and position sensors, as well as real-time traffic information. Big data technology allows businesses to establish systems that allow them to adjust their routes in real-time. There are several causes for this.
The first is, obviously, to reduce fuel use. UPS used big data to cut fuel consumption by 1.5 million gallons in 2012, lowering environmental impact and enhancing operating profitability.
Reduced mileage is another big data result connected to route optimization. The amount of mileage reductions that firms achieve has an impact on vehicle wear and tear.
UPS has a unique method of specializing in inefficiency. UPS “trucks never turn left,” according to their CEO. When a route optimization specialist plans out the best route, they exclusively provide drivers with right-turn directions. It’s a novel approach to reducing the amount of time a car spends stopped at red lights, and it works.
While some foresighted businesses are beginning to engage in greener technologies and big data efforts. Many supply chain organizations are developing new strategies that are similar to the results of route optimization through inventory logistics management and the optimization of shipments for efficiency.

4. Embedded Integration Technology

Embedded technology is also being used by logistics organisations to better engage with their clients. They know that they require a data mobility platform to transmit data reliably across their clients in a smooth manner.
Embedded integration capabilities enable logistics SaaS firms to provide value-added services involving logistics and supply chain data. As more traditional logistics companies evolve into data-centric services companies, this is a perfect encapsulation of digital transformation.
Modern services and solutions are being used by businesses to collect data, process it, and deliver insight to customers. The capacity to be more dynamic than ever before by giving customers with timely and vital information is critical to a company’s success.
An embedded data platform allows robust transactional business flows by providing secure communications protocol flexibility. Through features currently integrated into the system, you must be able to connect, transform, and combine data. Customers need complete transparency, and information is critical. Companies are using embedded software with business-level dashboard views and 24/7 monitoring to extend visibility throughout the process and assure compliance with strict SLAs.

5. Globalization and Compliance

Many logistics organisations are being forced by globalisation to focus on a strategy of meeting delivery KPIs while keeping costs low.
The requirement for improved supply chain flexibility is critical, as is the recognition that no single solution to the expanding complexity will fit all.
The global trading landscape is continuously changing. The necessity for logistics firms to remain abreast of changing compliance standards is consistent.
This is especially true for the various ways in which the company must manage crucial customer and partner data.
Consider the Federal Maritime Commission’s latest effort to change regulatory priorities. One recent governance change had a direct impact on the New York Shipping Exchange and was intended to prevent shippers from leaving less profitable cargo behind. While this is a beneficial shift, it is nevertheless a change – one that is occurring more frequently throughout the world.
Furthermore, a company’s ability to find, view, record, and report on data is coupled to its ability to comply with a profusion of data-related laws around the world. Full auditability is required by the rule, and businesses must provide full audit trails to follow their own and their customers’ data throughout the process, with built-in governance and management.
Trucks might be stuck at the dock, ships could get stalled in the harbour, and products could be stranded on trains or tarmac for hours or even days if they don’t have the ability to comply with demonstrable digital paperwork.
A rejected food logistics shipment due to non-compliance might cost anywhere from $300 to $40,000. And, when projected to a worldwide scale, the cost of not being able to move products on is enormous.

6. Integrated 3 PL Services

Many organisations are seeing a lot of promise in integrated 3PL services as e-commerce continues to grow beyond epic proportions. To enable deep integration into customers’ systems, businesses are bringing in heavy assets in trucking and adding freight brokerage capabilities and storage facilities.
In addition to traditional EDI, logistics organisations are embracing logistics automation trends by employing API connectors to connect e-commerce stores with fulfilment centres as clients advance through their own use of modern technology.
Because supply networks have so many diverse channels and vary so frequently to suit customer demand, fulfilment methods must grow to keep up in order to deal with COVID-19 and other supply chain disruptions.
Customers want delivery options, from last-mile services to same-day and next-day delivery, and it is up to providers to ensure that customers have those options.

7. Re-Optimized Service Lines

When COVID-19 first hit, one of the first things logistics businesses did was re-optimize service lines to focus on industries that did well during the pandemic, such as food, paper, and packaging.
This allowed these logistics companies to have a more consistent fleet rather than a haphazard, non-dedicated fleet. No, transitioning and pivoting strategic initiatives is not simple for businesses, but the ultimate outcome is one that will benefit them for years to come.

8. Embracing Modern Integration Technology

Companies in the logistics industry are seeing the value of modernising their outdated systems and moving to a modern integration platform.
The attractiveness of a modern integration platform is that it allows logistics organisations to conduct business more quickly by allowing clients, trading partners, and suppliers to be onboarded more quickly and providing end-to-end visibility.
Modernized integration technology can handle everything from frictionless supplier integration to the capacity to open back-office systems that are vital to third-party logistics (3PL) services. Every logistics company understands the importance of integration technology in their supply chain.
Companies that switched to a contemporary integration platform before COVID-19 were in the best position to handle supply chain disruption. The need of a contemporary integration platform was highlighted at COVID-19.


The logistics sector now looks nothing like it did ten years ago; the issue now is, what will it look like in another ten?
Market trends like the ones mentioned above will continue to have an impact on the logistics industry well into the future. However, trend-shaping fledgling technologies must be linked with current solutions and infrastructure to be successful. Not only must logistics operations be capable of processes like swallowing an EDI load tender, but they must also consider how future technology might be used to lower margins. Businesses can then build a next-generation stack that builds on earlier technology investments while also experimenting with big data, IoT, and omnichannel solutions.