The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all parts of the global logistics industry. From the way we source raw materials to how final deliveries are made, the industry has changed forever. With an increasingly globalized world, the demand for logistics services is at an all-time high. Each year, the logistics industry undergoes significant change. As the world continues to move forward, it is crucial to stay ahead of trends and innovations that will shape the future of logistics. Let’s look at some of the top global logistics trends to expect in 2022.
Last-Mile Delivery Services
The pandemic provided a significant spark to the already growing e-commerce industry. As consumer behavior changed and online shopping increased, parcel delivery demand surged. Customers want their orders quickly, and they want to know exactly where their order is every step of the way. Last-mile (sometimes called final-mile) delivery is a term used to describe the last leg of delivering goods from a warehouse to the end customer. Logistics companies must heavily invest in tracking and route optimization tools to increase efficiency to keep up with this trend. Even after the pandemic passes us, e-commerce will never go away.
Supply Chain Visibility
According to Forbes, more than 90% of supply chain executives said that supply chain visibility is a key to their success. Although this isn’t a new trend for 2022, it becomes more vital each year. In addition to identifying trends early to prevent issues, visibility is required to provide good customer service. Predictive analytics, custom reporting, interactive dashboards, and control tower capabilities are all ways to increase supply chain visibility.
Focus on Returns Management
With the number of online orders increasing, it only makes sense that returns are also growing. When searching for a logistics partner, e-commerce sellers want a reliable and straightforward returns process. To provide a positive customer experience, a logistics provider must handle returns in large numbers, provide inventory management, and integrate with e-commerce platforms to process returns. Many companies will adopt new technology that streamlines this process to run returns management as efficiently as possible.
Conversion to Cloud-Based Systems
Cloud-based computing provides an upper hand when it comes to total logistics management. Although there are many effective cloud-based solutions in place, 2022 is expected to bring even more. Logistics companies can facilitate scalability, improve reliability, and increase security by utilizing cloud-based systems. For global logistics companies with users worldwide, a cloud-based system can help enhance back-office operations due to the collaboration and accessibility features it offers.
Autonomous Trucking Research & Development
While self-driving trucks may not hit the road in 2022, look for transportation companies to continue to invest in autonomous vehicle research. According to PitchBook, in the first half of 2021, investors put a record $5.6 billion into companies developing autonomous driving technologies. Logistics companies view autonomous trucking as a massive opportunity to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Even though it’s hard for trucking companies to keep up with demand, autonomous trucking can help alleviate the concern over driver shortages.
Staff Recruiting & Retention
In a tight labor market, it’s become challenging to find the necessary talent required to run logistics operations smoothly. This results in a lack of resources, postponed deliveries, strained relationships with partners and suppliers, and other challenges. The labor market shortage extends well past the logistics industry. The shortage has led many retailers to discover the value of a logistics partner that can take over cumbersome responsibilities such as storing, picking, packing, and other headaches. Addressing staff recruitment and retention is one of the global logistics trends to stay for the foreseeable future.
Sustainable Logistics Practices
Another notable trend in the global logistics industry is the advancement of sustainable logistics practices. In addition to benefitting us and our planet, it’s cost-effective, promotes a good brand, and increases customer loyalty. Most reputable logistics companies join sustainability partnerships and organizations that encourage cleaner fuel, more efficient equipment, and lower emissions. As we shift to 2022, look for even more businesses to lower their carbon footprint to align with this sustainability trend.
The future of the global logistics industry is constantly evolving. Over the past two years, we’ve learned that supply chain disruptions are inevitable, and you must plan ahead. As e-commerce continues to explode and new challenges arise, 2022 will be another year of advancements and innovations shaping the logistics industry.