Business owners must consistently stay on top of the latest innovations, or see their market share erode. New and dramatic shifts are already underway in the logistics and transportation industries, which will affect every aspect of your business in 2018.
Here are the top six trends to be faced by logistics companies in 2018 according to Sourcing Journal:
- Logistics Online
2017 may have been the year when freight operators like DHL started venturing into online sales in order to come into alignment with their e-commerce partners. Look for this trend to come into full realization in 2018, when all aspects of logistics business will be online from ocean, to air freight.
- block chain
Pioneered for Bitcoin, this technology allows for secure and verified sharing of electronic currency and documents. Pilots are underway with a consortium of logistics companies. Innovation with block chain could positively affect cross-border transactions, solve document discrepancy issues and save on administrative costs.
- Increased Use of Big Data
Competition is at an all-time high – how will you differentiate, improve customer service, cut costs and increase productivity? With the right use of digital data and advanced technology, your company can optimize terminal usage, predict maintenance needs, track containers and generate more consistent results.
The dual ports of Los Angeles-Long Beach are phasing out use of diesel trucks in favor of natural gas and zero emissions vehicles. Tesla is taking orders for its fully-electric Semi tractors. Freightos is using its technology to calculate the carbon footprint of each shipment for optimized routing and transparency among carriers. How can your logistics company innovate here?
- Freight rate volatility
Ocean rates are at an all-time low and quite volatile, the low is also unsustainable. Ocean carriers are having a difficult time with over-capacity. Air, on the other hand, is seeing prices peak. Look for how this issue will impact your business in 2018.
- Panama Canal Improvements
Over a year after undergoing a $5 billion renovation and expansion, the Panama Canal projections for vessel accommodation look exceedingly positive. Logistics costs can be lowered with decreased ocean time and keeping goods closer to the end user. The Panama Canal renovation appears to be increasing market share on East Coast imports.
With all these changes it will be important to ensure your business is up-to-date with the latest legal and industry standards related to new technologies.