We couldn’t agree more with the words that mention,

Great companies know logistics and supply chain is the key differentiator to separate from the competition.” 

The rising demand and emerging trends are shaping the future of logistics. The constantly evolving supply chain and logistics trends are tech-driven and focus more on increasing productivity and reducing expenses for businesses. Every year, a new draft is made on the topic, trends in logistics and supply chain management, but the list would be slightly different this year. Different in a sense, the pandemic’s catastrophic effect has brought in a revolution. People have started relying completely on eCommerce and online shopping modes, owing to which there is a dire need for the industry to come up with smart & instant solutions. Hence, the logistics and supply chain management trend in 2021 is going to be an interesting topic to learn. Shall we begin?

An Era of Revolution Begins

Logistics and supply chain is the backbone of a business. The more agile and flexible the process is, the better growth opportunities lie for you in the future. By going with the flow, you can increase your business reliability, resilience, speed, and sustainability. The advancement of technology helps you in being focused on the core business offerings while everything else is being taken care of. Well, an added benefit, innovative trends will keep your customers ahead every time.

The covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the weak spots in the flow and how the supply chain lacks efficiency in meeting the emergency situation. However, the below-mentioned trends in logistics management will increase the elasticity of operations. The digital transition and the adaptability of the same will make businesses capable of handling unprecedented events.

Let’s look at how exactly the transformation will be brought in and what trends will strengthen modern-day businesses?

Blockchain

1. Blockchain:

Blockchain is everywhere today, you name industry, and this vibrant technology will have a stunning impact. If we talk about this segment, logistics, and supply chain, it was a hustle to manage and process the data.

This can be overcome by implementing blockchain technology.   The success story of Koopman Logistics is the proof of concept. The company executed bitcoin blockchain technology and became the first company that delivers automotive vehicles without paperwork.

2. eCommerce logistics:

Needless to say, we all participated exhaustively in bringing up this trend. The online shopping craze has resulted in the exponential growth of the eCommerce industry. It is expected that eCommerce logistics will cross $524 billion by 2025. Another result of a poll conducted by Peerless Research Group suggests that nearly 10% of participants agree that the eCommerce channel will grow by 60% or more. 

3. Digital training solutions:

Again, the rise in demand for eCommerce solutions is one thing, but the hiring officials who can solve the purpose is another. The onboarding and upliftment of the hired professionals is also a task that accompanies the growth. 

To address this issue, businesses now resort to digital training solutions that will do the job for them. The digital solutions will take care of the hiring, recruiting, and training process of onboarding professionals. 

Amazon, the biggest eCommerce giant, adopted this trend when they hired nearly 175,000 temporary employees during the covid times and since then hiring nearly 2800 workers, nearly every day (since July 2020).

Gamification

4. Gamification:

One thing that stimulates the human mind for sure is gamification. The increasing need to deliver the product just on time may force the team to work for extended hours. And if this continues for days, they are likely to lose their motivation and productivity.

To boost up their morale, you can include gamification activities like real-time feedback, a digital challenge that will help them interact with the team and also help them raise their skill level.

A Reward system can also be introduced; say, for example, you give a virtual badge or a performance bonus to the employee who performs extravagantly. 

This way, even the workers can have a real-time check of their performance and learn how to manage their workload. Additionally, the repeated and tiresome tasks can be made fun & engaging, and this will boost their creativity level.

5. Warehouse automation:

One of the important segments in logistics and supply chain strategies is warehouse management. A humongous to and fro of materials happens inside a warehouse. Well, the old-school manual methods of managing the warehouse are extremely time-consuming and costly. Which in the coming years will be replaced by automated methods. 

Robotic arms, automated guided vehicles, automated storage, and retrieval are a few things that will follow in the year 2021 and beyond. Well, we wouldn’t stop citing Amazon again as an example here. Amazon made an upfront investment in warehouse automation and is expected to save $18 billion in warehouse operating costs. 

Read Also: How Digital Supply Chain Technologies are Bringing a Revolution in Supply Chain Management? 

Internet of Things

6. Internet of Things:

Well, when this technology trend is already spreading like wildfire in various industries, why not here. A McKinsey report states that there will be a growth of 3 to 5% in warehouse automation by 2025.

IoT will helo organizations maintain data accuracy and keep them in sync with a pool of devices. The embedded software will literally help businesses in taking the data transformation journey to ANOTHER level. 

7. Artificial intelligence:

The other thing that follows in the trends in supply chain management is the advent of AI and machine learning. You will see numerous applications functioning without human input yet delivering accurate results. Robotics and automation, as mentioned, will become affordable and flexible. 

8. Increased supply chain visibility:

One thing that probably was missed out in earlier approaches of supply chain management was the ability to forecast the catastrophe. However, supply chain visibility will help businesses optimize their operations by forecasting the revenue/expenditure scenario and thereby boosting strong decision-making.

Supply chain visibility will help organizations deep-dive into the operations such as procurement, manufacturing, transportation, and delivery. Since the data will be made available in real-time, businesses have a chance to manage the inventory effectively.

9. Lean logistics:

Change is the only constant; yes, we all know this. But, do you know this philosophy applies to supply chain management too. Organizations will soon start implementing Lean Logistics to power up workers by talking to them. The open platform will give each one from the team a chance to speak out on how to increase efficiency and reduce time waste. This will spread awareness about the importance of productivity and costs in the organization and encourage teams to optimize the processes further. 

10. SaaS in the supply chain:

If you have thought about implementing cloud computing in the supply chain model, Software-as-a-Service model implementation goes along with the same. The SaaS model offers safety and security to the organization, and they need to pay only when they use the service.

Companies can free themselves from the extra costs like system maintenance, constant updates, infrastructure costs, etc. Companies can opt for SaaS cloud-based transportation management software and have a competitive advantage. 

Supply-chain-as-a-service is again another new concept gaining traction in the industry.

Bonus Trend to follow:

11. Sustainability in the supply chain:

Consumers now understand the impact of green-gas emission and how it puts the entire global atmosphere in jeopardy. It is a rising concern amongst the consumers, and they wish that the logistics industry should be more transparent about the same.

This is why the logistics and supply chain industry is adopting a green behavior approach towards management. The organizations are now moving in a greener direction, keeping environmental sustainability in focus. Packaging is becoming more eco-friendly, products are being made of sustainable components, lighting is used which reduces electricity demand, are some of the points that logistics companies have started addressing.

Ready to follow the trend?

We hope that this curated list helps you in moving forward and excel in your logistic profession. Sometimes it might become challenging to follow the trend and implement it in the right direction. However, you may always seek help from an expert. 

The outcomes of the trend implementation mentioned above are going to define the future of the logistic industry. Well, this is just the beginning.

Call us for any further support on the topic.