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