2017 was a big year in the world of freight and logistics, with the good, the bad and the ugly making themselves very much known to consumers and freight forwarders alike. From the likes of Brexit negotiations making murky waters even more so, to U.S relations with pretty much everywhere seeming to be going south, it can seem like making any kinds of predictions for the year ahead is impossible, if not a complete waste of time. But here at Barrington Freight, we’re determined not to let this period of uncertainty prevent us from looking to the future – so here are some of the top trends we could see in freight and logistics in 2018!
Companies Will Compete With Customer Experience
2017 saw the start of a much-needed adjustment in the freight industry – putting the customer first. You’ll be happy to know that 2018 looks no different. In fact, companies throughout the industry could start to compete more aggressively with each other using customer experience not only with their business, but in their technologies and services specifically. Better technology, easier-to-navigate websites and applications, and increased relationship-building with clients are all playing a vital role in helping companies compete, and in improving the industry as a whole. A happy customer is more likely to keep coming back, after all, so why not take advantage and spend a little more time putting the customer first?
Supply Chain Visibility Will Improve
Supply chain visibility is hardly a new topic in the world of logistics, and so this trend is arguably not a new one. Instead, it’s a lasting one, and something that freight companies should be doing their best to keep up with. Real-time freight visibility might not be widespread, but with increased demand for such a service from corporate and consumer sources alike, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple. Supply chain visibility has plenty of benefits beyond just catering to demand, however. Visibility enables proactive action, enables management by exception, and can even offer faster, more efficient procure-to-pay and order-to-cash processes. Not to mention, it can keep consumers happy knowing where their shipments are!
There Will Be A Rising Demand For Data-Driven Logistics
With increased technology comes data, and with 2018 comes the potential for a rising demand for data-driven logistics. Big-data algorithms and improved data-visualisation techniques could prove to open up freight forwarders to a whole new method of supply chains. High pressure is being forced upon manufacturers to use the data available to them in order to predict what supplies are required where in advance of when they are actually need. Additionally, with operational and administrative processes being impacted by improved data collection, it’s only a matter of time before the industry is being fuelled almost entirely by data.
What Technologies Could We See?
As with most industries in the past year or two, the freight industry is no stranger to the idea of automated technologies. While driverless trucks and drone deliveries might not be just around the corner, 2018 could be the year we see advancements in the freighting industry to bring it fully into the current era. Efficiency is a hot topic when it comes to deliveries, especially as far as road freight is concerned, and platooning technology is just one example of this. What do we mean by platooning technology, you ask? Well, platooning technology is a situation in which a group of trucks – usually three – will travel together with drivers, but the trailing two will automatically move in tandem with the one in front. This takes away the risks that comes with completely automated vehicles, but allows for smaller spaces between trucks and could even improve mileage through reduced wind resistance.
2018 could be a big year for the freight and logistics industry, and given the current global climate it can be difficult to securely predict what the year might bring. However, with current trends centred around technology and data still being in full swing, what we can say is this – it’s going to be exciting to find out!
If you’re looking to import or export, why not take a look at the range of services we can offer here at Barrington Freight, or get in touch with a member of our expert team today.