5 logistics trends for 2021

We have already talked about artificial intelligence and robotics applied to  the logistics industry. On this opportunity we would like to talk about process automation and the use of control systems, machinery, and software to improve the efficiency of logistics operations.

Manual processes are usually inefficient and lead to higher operational cost in the long run. Thanks to technology, these tasks, often repetitive and initially performed by people, can be automated and executed by machines or intelligent systems.

For logistics managers and business owners, automation could represent an opportunity to improve processes related to transportation and logistics in order to reduce long term expenses. 

 The advantages offered by interconnectivity, advances in logistics 4.0, developments in AI and robotics are one of the principal reasons that allows the transformation of the logistics industry and it became one of the most growing sectors in the United States last year.  Facing these needs, specialists must keep updated with new logistics and transportation trends.

 The Logistics Trend Radar 2020 report, produced by the DHL company, offers an important overview about new logistics trends.

These are the 5 key trends for 2021:

Artificial intelligence 

In the last decade, AI has become very important in the transportation industry. AI Applications and tools can be used to improve logistics management, shipping precision forecasting, and optimization of warehouse’s storage and shipping routes.

AI integration is not simple nor cheap, but it is an investment that can help to analyze and optimize internal processes, contribute to strategic decision-making, predict and minimize risks, and even strengthen cybersecurity. The objective is that AI helps companies in the future to improve their processes, making their supply chain much more efficient.

 

Robotic

Along with AI, another key element appears to be robotics. Currently, robots are being used to improve storing, routing and packaging in order to improve workflow efficiency. 

Advances in robotics will also help shipments to be faster and more efficient in the near future. Autonomous trucks, small robots, and drones also promise to  make deliveries more efficient, reducing many of the arising risks through the supply chain.

 

Process automation

It is not unreasonable to think that a single person will manage all the logistics processes of a company from their cell phone in the future.

Hoy en día es posible gestionar, controlar y supervisar el traslado de nuestros productos desde aplicaciones móviles, gracias a la automatización de procesos vinculados a nuestra cadena de suministro. La tecnología, y los avances en la construcción de mejores sistemas operativos, son los que dicha automatización de procesos sea posible. 

El futuro es prometedor para la logística, y para las empresas que sepan adaptarse a estos nuevos avances. 

 

Quantum computing

To talk about quantum computing, we must first become familiar with classical computing, where the information is managed based on binary data systems (0,1). Now, with quantum computers we can process more data in less time. But how does this benefit the transportation industry?

Enrique Solano, from the International Center for Quantum Computing and Quantum Technologies (QUTIS) and director at the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU), assures that this technology can be applied optimally in the supply chain. “When you have to plan how to distribute a huge amount of products  across multiple locations, making the calculations of how you  should optimize routes to minimize transport time and costs is a huge task to be performed by using traditional computers , however this could be achieved with a quantum computer, ”says Solano.

 As expected, large companies such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Nokia … among others, have already begun to invest in the development of applications for this technology. In the future, we may see a new generation of computers that will maximize our logistics and transportation operations.

 

Sustainability and green logistics 

The use of Fossil fuels in the transportation industry is currently one of the most critical global problems. Although governments and companies are doing “everything they can” to reduce fossil fuels consumption, however,  the picture does not seem to be changing that much. This is why nowadays more people start talking more about green logistics.

Green logistics, also known as sustainable logistics, seeks to reduce the current impacts on the environment. Several trends, such as: deliveries made by electrical drones to places nearby, ecological packaging, and the growing implementation of alternative fuel in the trucking side are some of the areas that could have a bigger contribution to reduce CO2 emissions related to the logistics industry.

 It is expected that in the future, logistics can respond to the growing demand for products, supported by the advance in technologies without negative planet effects.

 

A very different 2021

 2021 will be a year for logistics professionals and business owners to respond to all those new needs arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Technology will play an important role in the transportation and  logistics sector, being almost essential for all operations’ proper functioning.

Remember, that changes also create opportunities, and new trends are a clear example. Companies now know their needs and can focus their efforts to meet them.

At GO TO TRUCKERS we believe that 2021 will be a very different year, full of challenges and difficulties, but also many opportunities, so we will continue working to help all companies and businesses to move their cargo where they need it.

The road is long, but we help you travel that distance by getting you the best trucks to transport your products. Contact us for a quote for your first freight.