If there is ever an industry to grip onto technological advancements with both hands, it’s the logistics industry. A long-standing market still important to this day, the freight forwarding industry is constantly developing as the world changes to adapt to consumer demand. Speedier deliveries, increased transparency of tracking and convenient ordering are just some of these demands and so the question that remains is this – what could be the next big thing in freight to help cater for this? We’re taking a look below.
Big Data Analytics
Big data analytics have worked their way into countless industries across the globe, from financial technology to the automotive market. Essentially, these analytics take large sets of data and, using this data, will find ongoing trends, analyse risk and in some cases, help determine customer preferences. This data is collected from a number of different sources, including PC, mobile, internet or online activity, customer interactions and reviews, after which it is all brought together in order to run these analytics.
Within logistics, big data poses the opportunity for companies and customers alike to improve upon transparency through accurate analysis of the potential weather or traffic conditions, run in-depth risk assessments in order to better prepare shipments for dispatch and ultimately help save time and money for both the forwarder and the customer.
We’ve all seen driverless vehicles in TV and movies, but did you know we could have autonomous cars and trucks in the near future? Testing and development are already underway for a number of different companies and manufacturers to produce reliable, trustworthy and risk-free driverless vehicles for commercial and personal use. Within the delivery industry, autonomous vehicles could revolutionise how parcels reach their destination. Without the need for rest breaks, a delivery time could be cut down considerably and take out the chance of human error and even fill a current gap in employment for freight.
The ‘uberization’ of the freight industry essentially means offering ‘freight as a service’ as quickly as you could request an Uber. Through a service such as this, a business looking to ship a delivery to a certain location could simply utilise an app or a program to find a nearby service with a truck or shipment already set to go out and potentially put their delivery onto this shipment when it needs to be done quickly. This could significantly streamline the entire supply chain for a lot of companies but also cut down on the number of shipments being sent out at any one time. Through the ‘uberization’ of freight, more and more trucks and containers are likely to be filled up, thus cutting down the amount of empty space essentially being shipped and costing money and damaging the environment.
In a similar way to big data and perhaps even using it, the digitalisation of the freight industry could see more and more companies getting more in-depth, efficient and streamlined insights into how their business is performing. Digital systems can include anything from a Transport Management System (TMS), to the tracking software used to pass information on to the client or recipient. As more and more companies pick up this technology, the entire supply chain from the moment of conception to the final second could be streamlined considerably. Visibility would improve, analytics could become much more easily accessible and with resource management software, a business can gain much better control over their entire operation.
The freight industry is on the brink of something huge. Whether it turns out to be the mass adoption of big data analytics or the eventual release of autonomous vehicles on a huge scale, there’s plenty that logistics could be seeing in the near future.