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Logistics technology is expanding to keep up with increased demand, and shippers need to know which technologies can make or break success rates in 2018. Some of the top logistics trends to affect the industry in the coming year include these key automated logistics technologies.

The Top Logistics Trends that Will Impact Logistics Management in 2018

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Big Data Utilized with other Automated Logistics Technologies to Improve Efficiency and Logistics

Big data is among the most important automated logistics technologies to affect logistics in 2018. Large-scale analysis of data is utilized to reduce inconsistencies, produce reports for quick decision-making and enable better merchandise and customer management. According to Edicom, the impact of big data will be further enhanced through cloud computing technologies. Powered by devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), big data application analysis will lead to better asset tracking, increase productivity, better interaction of carriers and shippers, increase accessibility and less risk.

Big Data Will Get a Makeover

Back to big data; it is going to get a makeover in 2018. Big data has typically been about what is going on right now. It tells you what is happening and how it affects operations, which is known as descriptive analytics. This is the standard form of analytics used in logistics today, but it is transforming. Big data is empowering a new breed of analytics systems, truly transforming into the area of automated logistics technologies, capable of predicting potential failures and opportunities (predictive analytics) and detailing key actions needed to arrive at a best-case outcome (prescriptive analytics), explains the Logistics Bureau.

As explained by Logistics IT, advanced analytics algorithms can have a dramatic impact on other parts of logistics as well. They can improve warehouse management, reduce facilities costs, improve system integration, reduce risk and much more. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence and deep learning are using information gained from analytics to push equipment and systems to the proverbial limits. The ongoing self-optimization process of modern systems will give rise to smart, intelligent factories and logistics networks.

Cloud Computing Will Enable Elastic Logistics

Elastic logistics is a new concept on the logistics table. It refers to the ability to expand its capabilities to align with the demands of any given situation within a logistics operation. Flexible automated logistics technologies, as explained by Kushal Nahata of FarEye, enhance cost control, reduce limitations imposed by geographic restrictions, increases distribution channels, prioritizes deliveries, manages warehouses, and defines day-to-day operations, while adding real-time visibility and connecting all business processes to a centralized platform. Due to the vast and changing nature of elastic logistics, it must reside within cloud-based platforms, capable of rapid growth or contraction and fine-tuned through ongoing service and vendor support.

The Internet of Things Will Enable Service Expansion

The Internet of Things is among the most remarkable automated logistics technologies in history. It connects devices, systems, people and products together in ways that have never been possible. In logistics, this new level of connection opens the door to new ways of management, ranging from inbound logistics in a warehouse to last-mile delivery and everything in between. Since providers will have more information, they can find new ways of reducing costs, increasing speed of delivery, offering new services and providing more bang for the buck to their clients. Service expansion is going to be a driving trend for increased use of the Internet of Things throughout 2018 and vice versa.

Chatbots Will Be Used to Control Most Logistics Operations

Chatbots are voice -controlled systems that interact with users to perform actions at a step in the supply chain, such as shopping, ordering, picking, and more, are expected to increase in demand and usage throughout 2018. According to the Logistics Bureau, the use of Chatbots will increase as bring your own device (BYOD) movements in the workplace gain momentum. Similarly, the use of apps for logistics management will increase. Cross-platform development tools will enable integrations between existing systems and these automated logistics technologies, like chat-bots, in order to power the digital omnichannel supply chain.

Automated Logistics Technologies Will Become More Powerful and Capable of Handling More Tasks

There are limitless possibilities and applications of these automated logistics technologies and more companies will begin deploying technologies to meet demand as the year moves forward. Within a mere 9 months, the holiday shopping season will return, and logistics enterprises need to implement these technologies now if they hope to stay competitive. Of course, other technologies, like robotics, will continue to reshape the industry, so our next will expand on this list of technology trends.