Supply chain disruptions have brought about an age of innovation. From a transportation standpoint, this has included major technological advancements. Covid-19 brought massive change to every industry around the globe, likewise for transportation, as people stayed at home to help reduce the spread of the virus, demand for delivery and convenience sky-rocketed. To boost efficiency across supply chain operations, reduce logistics costs, and keep customers satisfied with on-time delivery, businesses must reevaluate their operations and embrace growing trends in transportation and logistics.
The Network Effect
From a transportation perspective, the network effect depends on interaction across applications to improve the efficiency of freight movements. In order to do this, it may be necessary to more efficiently match loads with available capacity, use visibility tools to forecast ETAs with more accuracy, optimize routes, and make sure that trucks can be loaded and unloaded as quickly as possible. Because load consolidation and route optimization result in fewer trucks needing to travel for the same amount of freight, sustainability is a result of the network effect and is crucial for cutting carbon emissions.
Transportation Management System Innovation
The reason why companies use TMS is for freight savings and strong ROI. These freight reductions can be dedicated to modeling, network planning, load balancing, choosing less expensive modes of transportation, and multi-stop route optimization. Companies have increasingly turned to their TMS to help them control rising costs as freight rates have risen. The fact that technology has been advancing significantly over the past few years is a major factor in TMS growth.
The first innovation that is playing a big role, is artificial intelligence. AI may be used to appropriately organize shipments by “learning” about constraints like capacity, rules, and service hours. This provides a much improved ETA of shipments to warehouses, retailers, and final consumers. Also, shippers learn which carriers meet on-time service levels and which do not, which lanes typically carry more chance for delays, and whether there is an optimal number of stops before shipments become late.
A second innovation is real-time visibility solutions, which satisfy the need to know where products are at all times. Real-time visibility tools are generally the most effective for over-the-road shipments. Tracking the ELD devices on their trucks or by a downloadable app that the driver puts on his smartphone.
The next innovation is IoT, while it can improve visibility and versatility for companies across industries. By increasing asset visibility and vehicle usage, lowering wait times at destinations, and offering preventive maintenance-related cost reductions, an IoT-enabled fleet management solution may improve performance.
Time Slot Management
The third trend is Time Slot Management, which helps organize warehouse resources for the next truck. TSM also provides information like which truck is coming, when, on which dock, what papers they will pick up, what needs to be signed, and the time of leaving the warehouse. Time Slot Management also helps to reduce the impact of changes, like traffic jams or missed appointments.
Driver shortage has lead to the increased need for self-driving trucks. Although they are not the end solution, they can certainly make the driver’s job easier. However, there is still a dilemma, if self-driving trucks are ready to take on the road.
The first area where autonomous trucks could take place in platooning. In this approach, the lead vehicle has technology enhancements, and a follower truck cooperates with it via a completely autonomous system. Each truck would still have a driver onboard, but in this way, they could drive as twice as they normally would.
Digital twins with next-generation control towers
A digital twin in logistics may simulate the complete supply chain, from the producer to the client. Greater awareness, insight, and the capacity to identify both opportunities and threats are delivered.
Real-time monitoring from a central hub is possible with the use of supply chain control towers and digital twin technologies. This opens the door to a completely new dimension of supply chain comprehension when combined with detailed scenario testing.
Unforeseen risks can be reduced more quickly. It is possible to test worst-case scenarios without endangering operations. The data collected also offers insights that can boost a company’s bottom line, which is the best part.
Increasing demand for zero-emissions transportation
People are becoming more aware of global warming effects and trying to reduce their CO2 emissions. Transportation is a big part of greenhouse gas emissions, and because of it, more and more focus is put on it. Only a few car companies, like Tesla Semi and Nikola Motors, have been attempting to solve the issue. Trucks fueled by hydrogen and batteries are already on the market. In the future, more manufacturers will focus their attention on reducing gas emissions to zero. Technological advances lead to changes and new trends in many industries, transportation and logistics are one of them. Staying on top of logistics and supply chain news and trends will be critical for all retailers and logistics companies who want to remain leaders in 2022. There are a lot of trends to follow, and there will be even more. What do you think, what are the next trends that will shape the transportation and logistics industry?