Technology has always been the driving force behind logistics. The creation of the computer, the internet and other technologies changed the logistics industry with inventions such as web-based programs like transport management system.

Technologies emerging in today’s world focus more on speed, seamless delivery, security and accuracy. Let’s look at a few of these and discuss how each will transform the way 3rd logistics providers conduct their services in the future.

The Internet Of Things Will Increase Transit Visibility

Goods in transit often face visibility as one of its biggest problems. With the application of the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud-based GPS, companies will be able to keep track of individual items and their conditions. IoT uses Radio Frequency Identification chips that communicate with each other. These chips get attached to individual items and reveal data such as temperature, pressure, humidity, location and identification.

With such a creation, goods will no longer be lost or misplaced as each product will transmit its location. Immediate notification will help propel action and allow avoidance of damaged goods when the chip signals oncoming hostile weather conditions such as humidity and high temperature. Radio Frequency Identification chips will also be able to show traffic conditions and drive-specific data like average speed and driving patterns back to the central office. 3rd Party Logistics Providers who take on this type of technology will attain highly satisfied customers as supply chain and transport visibility are very crucial aspects.

Driverless Vehicles Will Cut The Costs Of Transportation

Driverless vehicles may be something that is still being evaluated but one cannot deny nor doubt that they are a great potential tool for logistics and supply chain management. These vehicles are able to sense the environment and can navigate with zero human interventions and such a factor makes them the ideal cars or trucks to deliver products to customers. A big part of transportation costs is the driver’s salary. 3rd party logistics providers may substantially reduce their overhead by using driverless vehicles for delivery. It is also to be considered that with driverless, autonomous trucks, matters such as trucker shortage and long withstanding capacity crunch may disappear.

One last advantage is that driverless vehicles navigate and drive better than vehicles that are driven by people. This reduces human error such as accidents.

Drones Will Increase The Speed Of Delivery

A drone is an unmanned aircraft that can be controlled remotely or through software flight plans embedded in its system that let it fly autonomously. Drones are able to reach where other modes of transportation can’t and are small, light and inexpensive to operate. 3rd Party Logistics Providers haven’t jumped on this wagon yet, but there is sure indication that they will use such technology in the future.

3PL companies in the future will be able to use drones to deliver small packages quickly in urban and remote areas. Drones have high speed and precision and that can shorten the supply chain and reduce the costs of transportation. Government regulations, safety and weight limitations are some of the factors hindering the widespread use of this technology, but it remains something that is being heavily considered.

Augmented Reality Will Improve Speed And Handling Of Goods

Through Augmented Reality (AR), you’re able to see the real world through a direct or indirect view. This view is created by computer-generated sensory inputs including sound and video. With AR you get the chance to attain an enhanced view of the world around you in real time and you become more aware of your surrounding environment. In the future, employees at 3rd party logistics providers will use AR technology, such as wearable devices, to gain critical information about the freight they are handling, such as contents, weight, and destination. Technology invention like this will help advance the handling of goods, reduce overall costs and increase the speed of delivery through visibility.

3D Printing Will Shorten The Supply Chain

3D Printing enables creating products or parts of products using plastic, metals, mixed materials and even human tissue. In supply chain, it will allow manufacturers to “print” on demand which will shorten the supply chain by making it unnecessary to have large quantities of finished products stacked in warehouses. With this technology, 3rd party logistics in the future will deliver raw materials rather than finished products. They may even offer 3D printing services at the point of delivery, creating additional income.

If you found that article informative, read about the trends in trucking! See Trends In Trucking – A Glimpse Into The Future Of Fleet Management.

Source: cerasis