While logistics may not sound like the most “sexy” thing in the world, it’s one of the most important. Domestically in the USA $1.48 trillion, or 8% of GDP is spent annually in the logistics industry. Without logistics technology Fedex and UPS would never be able to deliver the 6.5 billion packages per year that they currently do.
Can you imagine trying to process manually just a tiny fraction of a percentage of the 101,500,000 package tracking requests received by UPS per day? It would take a medium sized country dialing warehouses all day long to keep up with that kind of volume.
Clearly without well planned logistics the world would erupt in complete chaos. Logistics is similar to only a few others in how it must scale to the world’s growing population. To get an idea of what’s the future holds for the logistics space, we asked experts:
How will logistics change in the future?
This is what we they said…
Matthew J. Brosious, CEO of FreightCenter
Implementing the Triple As – Audience, AI, and Automation – a third-party logistics (3PL) technology provider like FreightCenter can predict when a supply chain needs transportation, how it should be transported, what needs to be transported, where it should be transported, to whom it should be transported, and why the choice was picked as the best service option.
Supply chains will lean more on the predictive analytics and auditing processes a technologically-savvy 3PL can provide
Joe Tillman, Principal Research Lead for Supply Chain Management for APQC
I expect to see more sensors and relay of information within the four walls of the warehouse to help better position and coordinate the flow of products. However, many companies will not invest in new shiny toys as the ROI and payback are too far out of reach right now. To improve and be ready for 2025, Logistics has to break down internal silos and work with external partners, focus on talent, and manage performance.”
Stephen Dedola, COO/CFO at Dedola Global Logistics
Internationally as well as across the supply chain, integrators will become more important. Non-asset based providers will become more successful and automated in bringing together diverse partners like air/ocean carriers, customs, truckers, railroads and more to simply global shipping for the average business. Also, leveraging supply chain data will be increasingly important in driving efficiency and minimizing the carbon footprint.”
Marc Held, Founder & CEO at Armada
Jim Berlin, Founder & CEO of Logistics Plus Inc.
We move stuff. And stuff will ALWAYS move. And there may/will be more apps and drones and robots doing a lot of the work but, if you look around your office or your home or the bar or restaurant you’re sitting in, EVERYTHING came from somewhere.
Someone packed it and shipped it and moved it and delivered it, and I don’t ever see that changing. Drones are just a cooler way of doing it than the clipper ships were (well, maybe; clipper ships were pretty cool).”
Sean Wilcox, VP at GrandCanals
On-demand commerce will be the new reality where anyone will buy and receive their goods whenever and wherever they want. Orders will be placed from phones, from cars, and numerous Internet of Things (IoT) devices that will be integrated in our everyday lives. This will not only impact online orders but physical shopping as well. Why carry around your purchases at a mall? Why not buy them and have them delivered to your house by the time you get home? It’s ultimate convenience.”
Daniel Theobald, Co-founder & Chief Innovation Officer at Vecna
As mass customization and omni channel order fulfillment become the predominant model for our consumer economy, the focus will shift from automating siloed tasks, to a full spectrum of coordinated automation, eventually leading to lights out operation. In order to achieve lights out operations, collaborative robots will work alongside humans, learning to adopt more and more responsibility.
In addition, fixed infrastructure will increasingly become supplanted by more flexible mobile robotic solutions. This will also allow goods to be tracked from the point of manufacture, all the way through the supply chain, to the consumer.”
Jake Rheude, Director of Business Development for Red Stag Fulfillment
Dr. Julian Stephens, Technical Development Manager at MJC² Limited
Future logistics will operate in a de-stressed supply chain, where AI (artificial intelligence) systems automatically de-risk and optimise flow of freight. For example, maybe a slightly more expensive but much greener and more reliable route is better overall. This approach will benefit the consumer in terms of increased reliability of supply, while reducing environmental impact and global cost.”
Ian Aguilar, Strategy & Value Creation at Shippabo
As we cross this threshold, businesses will be enabled to measure total supply chain cost rather than simply transportation price. With the right information on the front end, they will be able to invest their people in creative and developmental roles rather than operational maintenance.
The information will put the customer in control. In the next decade, many of the ‘middle men’ in these supply chains will feel incentive to change roles and evolve to find new ways to create quantified value.”
Robert Bonavito, CEO of JAGGAER
Jonathan Goodwin, Marketing Coordinator at Applico
The winner in the industry will be the first person to build a network of asset owners paired with frequent customers and create a seamless, reliable experience for transporting cargo.”