Transforming Logistics: A Future of Smart and Responsible Supply Chains
The demand for transparency and flexibility in logistics is on the rise, and digital platforms are emerging as intermediaries, connecting demand with a variety of suppliers. These platforms are adapting services digitally to meet customer needs, emphasizing transparency in information, rates, tracking, and location. The growth of online shopping is creating new forms of delivery and service, pushing the industry to go beyond traditional services to meet the ease of use and availability demanded by customers. The ability to deliver anything, anytime, anywhere will soon be a fundamental expectation.
The World of Intelligent Logistics
The future of logistics is data-driven, analyzed by artificial intelligence (AI), and directed by machines. Gartner predicts that by 2023, AI techniques will be integrated into 50% of supply chain technology solutions. McKinsey believes machine learning will provide significant insights to improve supply chain performance and anticipate anomalies. Using smart and self-learning software, logistics companies can improve capacity utilization, reduce risks, and enhance user experience. Intelligent services will include predictive route optimization, demand forecasting, and even anticipatory shipping.
This interconnected world will also change the relationship between citizens and governments, with public services becoming hyper-personalized and focused on the citizen. Governments will use real-time information to improve their services.
Connecting the Disconnected
Edge computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), and 5G wireless networks will connect the previously linear world of logistics, enhancing visibility and efficiency. Intelligent logistic networks are on the horizon, increasing the traceability and reliability of operations. Every product in the intelligent logistics network will be able to exchange information about its location, condition, and handling, leading to a demand-driven channel model capable of responding to the market.
Responsible and Meaningful Logistics
“Fair and responsible” are becoming pillars of business growth in logistics. Logistics and transportation must be grounded in adding value to society. Brands are focusing on the societal and environmental impact of their product routes. Supply chains need to be completely circular, or at least not negatively impact the planet or people. We are moving towards a world where logistic growth means a better and greener world, as future logistics will improve our lives and the natural environment.
The traditional linear supply chain will become circular as products flow from raw materials to final products and the reuse of products and materials. Reverse logistics will be common and even key to the survival of brands and the success of business models, as environmental impact is directly linked to economic success or failure. The combination of intelligent logistics with distributed technologies like blockchain will meet demands for transparency. Blockchain will allow the supply chain and everyone to track products and trust the accuracy of the information. Blockchain’s P2P technology will assign packages to trucks, drones, and cars in a direct and automated manner. Every journey activity – every movement, step, kilometer, and handling – will be recorded, analyzed, and visible to anyone.
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