Trends That Are Shaping the Logistics and Shipping Industry
Technology such as artificial intelligence has advanced to such an extent that it is now being used in the various sectors of different industries. One such industry is shipping and freight. There’s so much competition in this sector that either you have to ‘grow or go’ away from it. If you fail to upgrade yourself, you will be out of the business in no time. Not only artificial intelligence but cloud computing, analytics, and mobility are also making their presence felt in this line of trade. As the competition is gaining momentum day by day, the C-suite executives are trying their best to attain 360-degree perceptibility in the working process of logistics. This article discusses some of the trends that are shaping the logistics and shipping industry.
Ensuring safety and increasing efficiency by using technology
With the introduction of artificial intelligence, this industry is aiming at a data-driven and fully digitalized future. Earlier, a self-driven truck or completely automated ports were only a conception. But now, they have become a reality. Even the machine learning algorithms can interpret the data acquired from the smart devices connected to the various sectors of the supply chain network. It has helped to increase their efficiency and also take care of preventive maintenance and repair.
For example, the Evergreen shipping line has introduced computer-controlled containers to ensure their professionalism in delivering the goods safely to their customers. Many other shipping lines are using technology in various ways (port safety, improved cargo care, operational savings) to balance out the demand and supply ratio.
Preventing losses through blockchain
Blockchain technology these days possesses the capability to provide transparency and traceability of the different operations to the shipping and logistics providers. Cargo theft was a serious threat to this industry. In 2017 alone, it suffered a loss of over 39 million USD. With the introduction of secure business networks through blockchain, the problem of cargo theft has been curved to a great extent. The miscreants cannot alter the identities of customers on the blockchain ledgers at the time of delivery. Thus, it ensures safe delivery. In the case of returns, every vehicle assigned for the return process has a unique registration number and ids. Tracking those ids has minimized the loss of goods during the return procedure. So, many are vouching for blockchain to shape the future of logistics.
The ability of logistics providers to adjust their capabilities according to the market fluctuations is called elastic logistics. Change in the market may happen anytime due to a disruption in the supply and demand chain, socio-political changes, or changing consumer preferences. The companies related to this industry have to find out innovative ways to cope up with the unpredictable changes in the market. Many companies have already taken the initiative to join hands with local companies and postal services to deliver goods to every corner of the world. Elastic logistics will make all the companies work together to share their resources as and when needed.
Emerging technologies, unusual scenarios, and new competitors – all of these will influence the way the shipping and logistics industry is now operating. It has and will learn to deal with them and grow to accommodate all the changes and function as usual.