The challenges in the supply chain landscape are complex and continue to grow. Staying on top of logistics trends is essential for 3PL providers and their customers. We’ll focus on five key logistics trends for 2019 that 3PL companies are currently watching. The trends cover data analytics, LTL shipping, technology innovations, driver shortage, and customer-centric distribution. Here is an overview of these latest industry predictions and how they may possibly be shaping logistics this year.
1. Data analytics will be in the spotlight to revolutionize the logistics industry as one of the key logistics trends for 2019.
More companies are deploying information technology for data analytics of their supply chain operations. With the use of advanced software, data can be mined to help companies make informed decisions. The3PL providers will be looking to analyze data to determine statistics for information, such as supplier risks, tariff risks, and costs in logistics and manufacturing. Data analytics will also be used to fill in any gaps in the supply chain data, such as supplier and customer location and transportation costs.
2. A second of the key logistics trends for 2019is the continued resurgence of Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shipping.
Less-Than-Truckload or LTL shipping experienced extensive growth in 2018 and that popularity is expected in 2019 as well. The expansion of e-commerce and the automation in warehouses are the reasons why LTL is gaining market share. Today’s e-commerce customers are expecting fast delivery, and LTL carriers are optimal for the smaller footprint fulfillment centers. With small businesses continuing to enter the market, the need for LTL shipping services is rising. LTL shipping is more flexible than other shipping types, so companies will rely on this key logistics trend to match their needs.
3. The technology innovations in the supply chain are the third key logistics trend for 2019.
Technology innovations such as robotics are already being used in warehouses and the development of robotic automation continues. Delivery using drones are also on the horizon. Autonomous trucks for long haul are in discussion, but still far in the future. The blockchain technology standard is also a big topic. Tracking shipments using blockchain requires everyone in the supply chain to be in software agreement to talk electronically, so analysts believe that adoption of this technology is not immediate. East Coast Transport is currently aligned with BiTA to provide more clarity and standards around blockchain.
4. The shortage of drivers in the U.S. trucking industry is a fourth key logistics trend for 2019.
The driver shortage will keep expanding as the U.S. driver workforce ages. Older drivers are retiring and there are less young drivers to take their place due to the low unemployment rate. Efforts to recruit and retain drivers look to be ramping up: Communications will become more important as younger truck drivers expect to frequent contact, along with workplace transparency.
5. The last key logistics trend for 2019 is customer-centric distribution.
Customer-centric distribution as a key trend ties in with today’s focus on healthier eating, for fresh produce as an example. Local farmer’s markets are increasing and their food is moving into the bigger supermarket produce sections. But a roadblock for farmers is the amount of time it takes to transport, which degrades their food’s nutritional value. To combat the problem, we will see farmers trending towards moving their growing facilities closer to higher population areas and distribution centers.
Trust the team at East Coast Transport to continue to stay on top of these 2019 key logistics trends. East Coast Transport is here to help you navigate their impact and provide unlimited resources to move your freight to your customer. Around the block or across the country, our continued investment in technology and our passion to satisfy our customers drives our process for success one transaction at a time.