Experts predict trends in freight & logistics in 2019 and beyond

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Technology is changing the freight and logistics industries.

The digital age of technology is disrupting the freight and logistics industry in nearly every way.

Whether you are a logistics manager, supply chain manager or customs broker, you can expect to see new and evolving trends this year from the best freight and logistics providers.

Joe Barry of CAF Worldwide elaborates, “Volatility has always been the status quo of the global shipping industry, and that remains true through today. The imminent future of freight forwarding will be impacted by changes from disruptive technologies, consumer behaviors, and capacity limits that will test the tenacity and adaptability of each provider.”

CAF Worldwide is an international freight forwarding company and logistics solutions provider.

Some of the things experts are predicting for freight and logistics in 2019:

Autonomous Everything

Between the improvement of technology in the digital age and the shortage of drivers, autonomous driving is beginning to surge. You will see significant growth in driverless trucks and buses in nearly every industry. This is also true with manufacturing processes and warehousing activities, such as picking and packing. Your suppliers are also beginning to incorporate autonomous applications throughout the supply chain.

As transparency and efficiency continue to be of the greatest importance to all parties, technology will become even more invaluable, with initiatives will help to protect sensitive information that provides you with a competitive advantage.

Data Gathering

Data and information is power in freight and logistics. A logistics manager, supply chain manager and customs broker all depend upon data to improve and streamline processes and procedures.

Real-time data helps to improve customer service and makes the jobs of team members far less stressful. These individuals must also use predictive analytics to meet the demands of customers during high-volume purchase times of the year.

Eco-Friendly Trucks

Trucking companies and retailers are making the switch to eco-friendly semis. A number of massive companies are already buying up Tesla electric semis, such as UPS, Walmart, PepsiCo, Sysco and Anheuser-Busch.

Walmart has publicly announced that they will transition its entire fleet to electric vehicles by 2028. At the moment, Tesla cannot keep up with demand and they are expensive; therefore, the overhaul of the entire industry will take time.

Increased transparency in the status of customer orders

“Just as retail customers are able to track their parcels, companies come to expect to know exactly where their shipment or truck is at any given time.  GPS and vehicle tracking mechanisms make this highly precise and reliable. The industry will shift from not only providing traceability and real-time tracking, but will demand increased driver privacy, less mobile data consumption, and more intelligence on re-routing capabilities overall,” predicts Ashik Karim of 1Shift Logistics, an end-to-end logistics solutions company, that uses technology to reduce costs for clients.

On-Demand Freight

Several disruptive transportation businesses have developed on-demand freight apps.

These apps are matching shippers with freight companies to help create efficiency, reduce transit times, minimize dead hauls, maximize freight capacity and grow transportation businesses by having access to freight they would never have experienced in the past.

While these apps may help trucking companies find freight, the company still has to perform a superior customer service experience to secure repeat business.

Regulation and Trade Changes

The ever-changing laws and trade agreements will have a significant impact on anyone who works in transportation regardless of their roles and responsibilities.

The required electronic logging devices that track the time on the road of drivers are slowing down deliveries.

The changes in trade agreements under the current presidential administration are shifting sourcing and supply chain activities. And the flux state of the EU and Brexit will impact shipments moving through these regions.

Truck Shortages

The demand for shipping continues to rise with the massive growth of online purchases.

The problem is that there are not enough trucks to keep up with the demand and delivery expectations of the end users. The trucking capacity shortages are resulting in higher freight prices, longer delivery times and potentially higher pay for drivers to entice more people into the industry.

The trends in freight and logistics are centered around technological advances and government rules and regulations.