Logistics management is a whole different ball game these days. In the last couple of years, the freight shipping industry has seen the introduction of new shipping technology and consumer trends. This year will be no different. Logistics management will be under pressure from consumers and from freight industry trends to continue improving delivery speed at cheaper shipping rates. Freight shipping companies can improve their logistics management and get ahead of the push for industry change by knowing what trends are coming.

1 – Daily logistics management decisions will be influenced by globalization

The global economy is seeing new markets pop up all over the place. Between untapped resources around the world requiring new freight shipping partners for transportation, and once manufactured into goods, freight shipping companies will need to transport the merchandise. Ecommerce industries now ship goods globally, adding new levels to companies’ logistics management strategies. It will also be more important than ever to reduce shipping costs.

2 – Freight shipping will see shorter product life cycles

It used to be that the technology we used would last us quite a while. Now, however, shipping technology is nearly obsolete in just a matter of years. Freight shipping companies and logistics management providers are looking to the Internet-of-Things (IoT) for real-time data-driven decision-making opportunities.

To meet the increasing demands, manufacturing and logistics partners are trying to shorten product lifecycles by improving inventory management systems. One way is through shifting freight shipping strategies and altering basic ways products are shipped.

3 – Autonomous trucks will influence freight shipping

Self-driving freight trucks aren’t super advanced yet. They don’t always need drivers, but they still need someone to be in the truck for driving in off highway places. Obviously, trucks don’t have to sleep, so they aren’t subject to limited hours like human drivers. Trucks also don’t need to be paid for the hours they worked. There is some debate about how efficient and practical freight shipping with autonomous trucks will be, but logistics management experts are considering it to resolve the driver shortage.

4 – Consumer demands will drive logistics management

Consumers have always had a great deal of influence on retail, but it’s even more true now with ecommerce. Freight shipping must keep up with faster delivery times demanded by consumers, and at cheaper shipping rates. Freight shippers must change their logistics management strategies to cut their shipping costs to keep up with these demands.

Suppliers will have to focus on predictive freight and inventory analytics to anticipate tomorrow’s demands and adjust logistics operations to reflect the current immediate demands. Shipping technology and transportation management system shipping software will provide new insights, and big data will optimize freight shipping and consolidation measures.

5 – Reverse logistics will see an increase in attention

In an ideal world, freight shipping would be a one-way process. Unfortunately, in the ecommerce driven market, returns are a common occurrence. They might be returned for defects or buyer’s remorse. Your freight shipping logistics management should be bidirectional.

Repeat business could be lost if a company doesn’t have an efficient reverse logistics process. If buyers find they have a tough time returning goods, they’ll likely not utilize that ecommerce vendor again. Cutting shipping costs will be a priority for logistics management, because freight shipping from A to B and back is twice as expensive. Logistics managers should stay on top of the problem.

6 – Amazon Barbell

Amazon’s unmatched logistics management has stimulated a barbell effect on manufacturers and retailers. Basically, you can have a strong high-end products or hyper-local convenience for consumers, but you can’t just be in between in these two ends. To put it simply, Amazon’s diversity has made it difficult for companies to just keep on providing one-size-fits-all products to consumers. It is possible, however, to mitigate this action successfully through different shipping options, like in-store pickup, ship-to-store initiatives and pop-up distribution solutions.

Just like in the previous year, logistics management strategies will be tested for weaknesses this year. Companies that don’t put in the effort to adjust to these new freight shipping industry trends may find it hard to stay in business. Those who do adjust their logistics management, however, may see growth and prosperity that will improve their operations.

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