Logistics in 2022: technology to the rescue – Fleet Management
The supply chain trend lines indicate that as 2022 unfolds, the logistics industry will be even more tech-infused as it seeks better solutions to expedite the delivery of goods at the lowest cost. possible.
“Like every other industry, the logistics industry in the pandemic has faced several challenges,” Sujith Kumar, a Dubai-based information technology academic, wrote in a blog post for the company. global consultancy Stefanini Group.
“COVID-19 has created an imbalance between supply and demand for goods, significantly affecting supply chains globally,” Deborah Laloum, a market strategy professional, said in a blog post. for Bringg, an Israel-based delivery and fulfillment cloud platform provider.
The upshot, Laloum wrote, is that businesses need to get back on track by reassessing their operations and embracing “the growing trends to satisfy customers by getting their orders in on time and easily.”
To drive “faster delivery of goods and lower supply chain costs, companies have begun experimenting with micro-fulfillment centers and last-mile delivery options,” according to a McMurray blog post. Stern, an American manufacturer of commercial storage facilities. , including micro-distribution centers or MFCs.
MFCs for groceries and general merchandise are expected to grow 60% CAGR by 2026, according to a Reuters report. That’s largely because these urban warehouses, ranging in size from 5,000 to 25,000 square feet, “can meet same-day delivery requirements through in-store pickup or multiple last-mile delivery options. “.
McMurray Stern explained that MFCs are an outgrowth of e-commerce demand, which has naturally increased demand for efficient merchandise returns and redemptions. The idea is that logistics providers can help retailers sell returned items faster while increasing revenue from used goods.
“Reverse supply chains will continue to thrive and grow as managers look for ways to increase the efficiency of their reverse logistics. In 2022, businesses can expect to see even more growth in this area of supply chain logistics,” he wrote.
From AI to 3D
Sujith Kumar highlighted developing trends, including:
- growth of autonomous delivery vehicles
- build products on demand via 3D printing
- using AI-based fleet management software
- growth of last mile delivery services
- leveraging blockchain technology for supply chain management.
Deborah Laloum’s top 2022 trends included:
- focus on driver retention
- supply chain localization
- using crowdsourcing and multiple logistics partners
- switch to last mile delivery solutions
- use supply chain management for returns
- inventory and delivery forecasts.
Expect the last mile to keep growing
If there’s a common theme among these analysts, it’s that the last mile will continue to grow – and evolve into more types of freight movements.
“The trend of last mile deliveries has increased in recent years as they have become cheaper and more convenient than using courier services such as DHL, UPS or FedEx,” Kumar noted.
It also happens, Laloum said, because “the technology available along the last mile gives logistics companies the ability and opportunity to make this part of the supply chain visible to all parties involved, whether they deliver small packages, furniture, medical supplies, equipment or even solar-powered vehicles.
“When retailers and logistics companies come together as supply chain partners, focusing on creating the best possible last mile delivery, the technology involved allows them to adapt to the market. and deal with unexpected events,” she continued, such as traffic, routing issues. , and the inability to deliver packages for various reasons.
“The use of AI and machine learning…will define who will be considered the supply chain leader in 2022.”
It’s been talked about for years (in fact, we talked about it back in 2016), and its market presence has grown steadily, but 2022 could be the year 3D printing breaks out. “With 3D printing, companies can change their business model to do just-in-time production instead of mass production,” Kumar said.
3D printers are used at every stage of the supply chain process, he said. “You can find them in warehouses where they produce mock-ups or replacements on demand. Their use is also spreading to distribution centers where orders are assembled before being shipped to customers around the world by air freight or ocean vessel.
Another key trend identified by Kumar is the revival of activity around self-driving vehicles. “Logistics companies, such as DHL and UPS, have invested in research to develop autonomous delivery vehicles” to make it easier than ever to ship goods around the world without worrying about driver shortages. Logistics companies could soon use autonomous vehicles as part of their fleets. »
Kumar also placed artificial intelligence (AI) at the top of his trend lists, seeing its importance especially in terms of fleet management software development: “AI is already being used in the freight management industry, but with continued innovation and development, AI will become an essential element. part of managing any fleet. AI can help optimize routes based on weather or traffic patterns and make more accurate predictions about a vehicle’s condition, it said.
He also touched on blockchain technology, noting that it is a relatively new concept in the logistics industry.
“It’s a decentralized ledger that records all transactions and allows participants to work without going through a third party. The potential of blockchain lies in its ability to reduce fraud by making it almost impossible for someone to modify data without being detected.
Supply chain management
Supply chain management technology was discussed at length by Laloum. For example, she argued that to fulfill same-day orders, supply chains must be moved locally. At the local level, supply chain management, or SCM, means fulfilling orders from stores or urban distribution centers. This way, delivery can be done quickly and efficiently, improving the customer experience and keeping up with supply chain trends.
Laloum also offered detailed thoughts on how to boost driver retention. To stem driver shortages and help boost driver retention, companies should include incentives for drivers to stay (including but not limited to compensation and safety issues) and consider offering a driver app to increase efficiency, “thus unlocking the supply chain bottleneck that is present in the last mile.