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Shipping tech integration is the future. It brings together disparate systems, connects IoT-enabled sensors to tracking platforms, and gives shippers more visibility into their operations. This will allow shippers to reduce freight spend, gain control over logistics, and offer better customer service. However, shippers must first understand the shipping technology trends affecting the industry and their influence on logistics. Consider these top trends and what they mean for the industry.

Artificial Intelligence Will Enhance Shipping Tech Integration

As explained by Heinan via Landa Chief Executive, the value of artificial intelligence will be a significant force for increased efficiency and profitability throughout 2019. Artificial intelligence can automate the decisions affecting logistics, warehouse management, and order fulfillment. As artificial intelligence continues to develop on consumer-facing platforms, its value will further expand.

How Technology in Logistics will Shape Shipping in 2019

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Adoption of Cloud-Based Technologies to Support Back-Office Functions Will Increase

Cloud-based technologies will streamline back-office support for shippers and carriers. Cloud-based systems will reduce inefficiencies in scheduling, enhance freight management, provide a system of record for analytics and offer new technology and services at a more affordable rate.

Shippers Will Look For Ways to Work Remotely as Standard Practices

Working remotely is the new standard in freight management, and remote use of systems will require integration between all systems. Thus, the level of IT expertise will need to increase, and more companies will again turn to cloud-based platform vendors, such as Cerasis, to utilize this capability.

VPNs and Password Managers Will Enhance Cybersecurity

Virtual private networks (VPNs) and password managers will reduce the concerns over cybersecurity. This is a significant shift in thinking for how companies protect their assets. With the threat of cyber attacks higher, keeping passwords secure will be tantamount to effective cybersecurity. Meanwhile, the use of in-house servers will decline.

Innovative Technology Will Empower Freight Consolidation and Use of Full Truckload

In a past Cerasis blog post, republished by Supply Chain Dive, the use of software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms will empower better use of freight consolidation for LTL and parcels. This will reduce waste and save money through a check on spot freight rates.

Integration Will Be Necessary to Power New Last Mile Delivery Technologies, Ranging From Drones and More

According to Deloitte, shipping tech integration will be integral to deploying drones, autonomous trucks, electric trucks, advanced sensors in shipments and more. This will empower new last mile delivery options too, including services that require entry to recipients’ homes or vehicles.

Apps Will Affect the Omnichannel Experience and Require Vast Integration

As omnichannel shopping grows in popularity, more consumers will expect shippers to offer apps to track their purchases, make purchases in a store, have them delivered or pick them up, and much more. The nature of apps will require extensive integration of all shipping technology and platforms in use. This will enhance inventory accuracy and management, streamline stock replenishment and lower freight spend.

That final point is one of the most exciting ways apps will affect the market. As the Uberization of trucking continues, further integration between Uber-like apps and company platforms and consumer-facing apps will increase. Any delay in processing or integration could lead consumers to abandon purchases in the store and online. Shippers must begin working to integrate all systems immediately to tap into the value of crowdsourced trucking.  For example, Cerasis launched our LTL e-commerce solutions so that our very own TMS, the Cerasis Rater, could integrate into the existing major e-commerce shopping platforms. Further, we built in Pierbridge’s Transtream technology to integrate into our TMS so our shipper customers could compare parcel and LTL rates in real time. Integration is the future of successful digital shipping.

Digital, Additive Manufacturing Will Achieve Viability

As noted by Lora Cecere via Supply Chain Brief, the use of 3D printing and augmented reality for personalization of products will mature in 2019. The technology is not new, but the investment costs of using it and making a profit are starting to decline. As a result, more companies will opt to leverage additive manufacturing throughout their supply chains. This will speed delivery by bringing products closer to consumers.

Listen to “Blockchain & The Digital Supply Chain’s Role in Creating a Competitive Advantage & Reducing Operational Costs” on Spreaker.

The Big Picture

From increased use of advanced analytics to artificial intelligence, shippers have a grand opportunity to increase profitability and improve customer service levels in 2019 and beyond. These trends reflect the growth of technology and its potential uses in supply chains. Meanwhile, new technologies offer insights into operations and reduce the risk associated with poor visibility and inaccuracy in shipments. Ultimately, shippers that understand these trends and work to implement processes that will leverage shipping tech integration to streamline operations.