Did you ever wonder what the future of e-Commerce logistics would look like? Over the years, the landscape of 3PL has been changed in major ways. Competition is heating up as there is a need to serve increasing demand. The growth in mobile device shopping apps is creating a boom in demand. With that in mind, let’s get started. Here are the main predictions for the future of e-commerce logistics.
Superuser system management and data access will continue to grow. This means that a well-rounded transportation management system for improved worker-management will be possible. Employee efficiency measurements will become more accurate. This will manifest in terms of invoice accuracy, chosen carriers, handling of freight claims management, and time per task.
Increased Workflow and Automated Technologies
As the e-commerce industry is growing by at least 30% per year, audits may become more difficult to handle. Data is will become system-generated and automated. If advanced sensors become available, inventories will be able to self-count, and containers will have the ability to report their own contents. GPS technology will be installed on pallets to assist in-transit corrections and self-reporting of delivery errors.
In two to three years, third party logistics partners and global integration will grow larger in scale. If global distribution open markets worldwide with increasingly complex processes, cost variations, and supply chains, expert 3PLs are expected to be born. Mergers within the 3PL industry will take place, along with standardization in supply chain management and shipper expectations.
Dedicated and more Intuitive 3PL Technology
Software solutions designed for transportation management systems will help to save time and lower costs and inefficiencies. Next, smarter technology systems and software investments will improve ROIs. In supply chain processes, freight tracking and inventory inquiries will be handled by voice commands and prompts. An increasing number of 3PL providers are already pursuing direct warehouse management system communications. Employee-training requirements will reduce in the future as well.
More Collaboration Between 3PL Companies and Shippers
Electronic data exchange will become widespread in the future. It will become a norm for third-party logistics companies to use technology to engage, connect, and collaborate with customers. The speed of change and flexibility of the service providers will play a key role. Next, vendor managed inventory will be common in web-based portals and the systems of even the smallest 3PL. The supply chain vendor will be able to make periodic resupply decisions and monitor the buyers’ inventory.
In an effort to reduce inefficient processes, there will be a bigger focus on sustainability in the future. Novel solutions will include purchasing equipment and buildings that enable green-friendly cost-reductions in transportation and energy consumption. Businesses and even some competitors will lower overheads by combining their transportation of goods.
Information Sharing and Big Data
More third-party logistics companies will be adopting cloud-based technologies in the future. This will affect the future of e-commerce logistics. It is the natural process of embracing this new Big Data age. Recognizing the need for customer access will be critical for 3PLs in the future. Companies will need to increase transparency and meet flexible operation demands and serve seasonal trends efficiently.