Until a few years ago after reading the book “The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger”, I didn’t fully grasp just how important and complex the shipping industry truly was.
Now, I realize just how significant it is which has lead to a fascination with where the industry is headed. From Drone deliveries to shipping via blimps, it’s clear change is coming but it’s not so clear what the change will all mean.
To find how what’s going to happen in the industry, we asked experts the question:
What’s the future of shipping?
This is what we learned…
Rob Taylor, CEO at Convey, Inc.
“The future of delivery is less likely to look like flying drones and more like the service you’d expect from a great concierge. Making this a reality means thinking from the outside-in about what customers want and building that into shipping processes – so the more transparent, proactive and flexible your delivery infrastructure is, the better the experience will be. One way this might play out is that carrier networks will become more specialized and localized as shoppers demand more diverse options. Drop-off boxes, pick-up lockers and premium services such as UPS My Choice will become the norm, driving more infrastructure investments in real-time data, communication and intelligent decision solutions. Personalization will also play a key role in these efforts — using product details, lifetime value, past delivery experiences and other criteria to create exclusive customer offers and experiences.”
Sean Wilcox, VP at GrandCanals
“Millennials Will Drive On-Demand Ecommerce.
Millennials, the first digital native generation, now outpace baby-boomers in combined buying power for the first time in history and it is anticipated that 70% of worldwide spending will be done by millennials by 2020. What does this mean? This means that millennials, and their desire for choice and convenience, will drive requirements and customer expectations on fulfillment for retailers and e-tailers in the new on-demand ecommerce.
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. And it is right around the corner.”
Hannah Steffensen, Media Relations Manager at GPS Trackit
“With the rise of the Internet of Things, the shipping industry is headed toward an era of automation and essentially limitless connectivity. Inventory management automation solutions, like RFID and BLE tags, are poised to make shipment tracking automatic and more accurate than ever. GPS-enabled vehicle tracking, another aspect of the IoT, is already enabling dispatchers and managers to stay in constant contact with the mobile workers involved in the shipping process.”
Al Toliver, Chief Logistics Officer at Redwood Logistics
“In the next decade we will continue to see technology impact logistics. Today, we spend a fair amount of time, energy and cost tracking and tracing where drivers and trucks are. The next generation of logistics people will see this information pushed to them for every load. Technology will also allow all shippers to know where their freight is at any time. While there is a lot of talk of driverless trucks, regulation will slow this for some time. But drivers will be doing more than driving the truck. They will be doing more planning of their runs and solving problems. In cab technology will continue to provide drivers with feedback on their driving performance and how to be more efficient as well as helping them drive safer. Data will be used for predictive and interpretive analytics and the supply chain will be more interconnected than ever before through integration. Technology will extend its penetration of automation of work.”