The Biggest Trends in the Logistics Industry to Watch in 2023

31 Jan 2023

Logistics will face a challenging scenario this year, with increased cost pressures and the need to improve stock management and productiveness. Technology will be a key ally to face this challenge.

In post-pandemic 2022, the logistics industry faced major global challenges, with a significant rise in costs that changed everything. The near future will be just as difficult. Striking a balance between cost-effectiveness and efficiency will be fundamental to face what’s ahead.

According to Estefanía Sisatzky, Aerodoc’s Sr. VP of Ops. & Customer Experience, one of the biggest challenges for logistics operators in 2023 will be “boosting efficiency to deal with increasingly slim profit margins while using technology, reacting quickly to customer needs to provide better value propositions and mitigating the effects of inflation as much as possible.”

None of that is a minor detail for customers. According to Sisatzky, besides keeping an eye on operational margins, they need to “focus on efficient inventory management and keep stocks as low as possible.”

Another variable that will greatly impact logistics in 2023 is the mass job creation brought by the e-commerce boom. The way logistics operators deal will technological changes based on their staff’s needs and the latest HR trends will also make a difference. “This will have an inevitable impact on the workforce. We are also seeing a generational shift that challenges us to create an inclusive, diverse work environment”, Sisatzky says.

Technology, a Key Ally

In recent years, process automation and analytics tools such as artificial intelligence and big data have made great strides. The e-commerce boom during the pandemic accelerated the adoption of technology solutions in the logistics industry, which must adapt its standards to demand to avoid getting left behind.

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According to Aerodoc COO Dan Zonnenschein, in 2023 “several variables will be adjusted: e-commerce, which boomed during the pandemic, will find a new level after the biggest players see their activity and profitability reduced to some extent. Logistics will be impacted by this and by the stabilization of production lines and fuel/freight costs,” he says.

Two hot recent trends are Industry 4.0 and digital transformation, which should lead to a consolidation of the technological paradigm of generating value through data, knowledge, and smart systems to increase productivity and efficiency.

Seven Tech Trends to Watch in 2023

Supply chains and inflation are eating into our customers’ margins, so expect increased pressure to control costs,” Sisatzky says, adding that for logistics operators, the name of the game is efficiency. “How do we achieve that? Mostly through technology,” she says.

In this context, these are some of the tech trends to watch in 2023:

1) Process Automation

The e-commerce boom during the pandemic has greatly increased the need for automated distribution centers. In 2022, tools such as warehouse management systems proved efficient at controlling those centers’ operations. Their software provides control over everything stored at warehouses from the moment they enter it until they leave the facility.

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2) Transportation Management Systems (TMS)

TMS systems are quickly becoming popular to manage shippers and optimize route automation. They also help track drivers in real time, reduce freight costs, increase transparency, and improve quality. Speed and integration are necessary to keep everyone in the value chain satisfied.

3) Blockchain

The blockchain is a distributed, secure, encrypted database that provides increased transparency and end-to-end route traceability. The blockchain has a lot of potential applications in logistics. It can help ensure supply consistency by gathering information on vehicle routes, like the number of stops and route lengths, to compile data that helps improve processes and ensure continuous improvement.

4) Digital Twins

According to ECLAC, digital twins will be a major disruptor in the development of logistics and urban infrastructure, with lots of potential benefits. They would help optimize operations in Latin American seaports and replicate entire supply chains or parts of them by feeding transactional data from businesses in production in real time. Digital twins can also incorporate machine learning and AI capabilities, advanced analytics techniques, and optimization algorithms to become a powerful supply chain management tool.

5) Big Data and Data Analytics

Market data analytics helps improve vendor prices, stock levels, and risk management reporting. Advanced analytics can also provide information to help detect anomalies and deliver proactive maintenance solutions. Warehousing efficiency, performance management, and the deployment of logistics resources can be improved using data analytics. Information obtained by tracking locations, weather data, and fleet schedules can help with route and delivery planning.

6) Sustainable Logistics

Sustainability is becoming an increasingly vital challenge. In this sense, green or sustainable logistics seeks to preserve the environment by minimizing the impact of climate on infrastructure essential for logistics. Initiatives such as decarbonizing transport, innovating with last-mile delivery, reducing energy consumption, deploying technology, and complying with adequate regulations are spearheading this new trend.

7) Internet of Things (IoT)

The expansion of IoT provides more information to help logistics operators run assets remotely, predict risks, ensure adequate shipment handling, and forecast traffic congestions. When combined with blockchain, IoT can provide end-to-end parcel visibility. Learn more about the evolution of the logistics industry and the Importer of Record sector on Aerodoc’s blog. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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