The COVID-19 crisis taught us a lot about how the logistics industry works. After dealing with supply chain interruptions for more than two years, nearly 60% of companies have adopted new risk management practices.
But that was then, and this is now. The good news is that things in the shipping and warehousing industry are looking up.
Here are four logistics industry trends to get excited about in 2022.
1. Supply Chain Visibility
As industry expert Robert Shiller points out, transparency is key for the best logistics operations. That’s one reason why we’re seeing increased demand for real-time data in every stage of the transportation process.
New startups are creating technology that offers real-time updates for weather and traffic patterns, as well as road and port conditions. With this information, logistics companies can take quick action to reshape demand, redirect supplies, and optimize routes.
2. Artificial Intelligence
The combination of AI algorithms with machine learning capabilities allows companies proactively deal with demand fluctuations. As an example, AI forecasting solutions are now allowing managers to plan each step of the supply chain process. At the same time, they can also find ways to reduce their operating costs.
Meanwhile, the combination of smart road technology with self-driving AI is showing a positive shift in delivery service automation. Another type of AI-based technology, known as cognitive automation, allows AI to automate administrative tasks. It also speeds up traditionally labor-intensive or tedious operations.
3. Digital Twins
As most logistics professionals know, physical products are never exactly the same as their digital counterparts. Computer models don’t take into account normal wear and tear or how structural fatigue accumulates over time.
Digital twins technology is changing all of that. With physical and digital worlds combined, we can engage with the digital version of an object or part the same way we would with their actual counterparts.
The shipping industry can use this technology to collect product and packaging data. Then they can use this information to identify weaknesses as well as recurring trends that will help them to improve future operations. Meanwhile, the warehousing industry can construct risk-free 3D models to experiment with layouts or the possibility of new equipment.
4. Autonomous Vehicles
They’re not just in science fiction movies anymore — they’re on our roads. Autonomous, driverless vehicles can improve road safety by eliminating the risk of human error. They make both first and last-mile delivery more efficient since they’re designed to work 24/7 without the need for meals, breaks, or sleep.
Driverless vehicles also improve fuel efficiency through platooning techniques on long-haul routes. This reduces traffic jams and optimizes travel routes with the use of AI-enhanced technology.
Meanwhile, the latest self-driving software is helping shipping companies to deliver cargo in a reliable, efficient, and safe manner — without the need for a human driver.
The Logistics Industry in 2022: The Future Is Now
As we’ve discussed, the logistics industry is evolving rapidly. There are sure to be more exciting developments in store for the shipping industry and the warehousing industry too, so stay tuned!
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