Guest Post: What Does the Future Hold for the Shipping and Logistics Industry?
The logistics industry is the backbone of the trade economy. It sustains the supply chain and caters to economic development.
Despite being a critical part of social and economic development, the logistics and shipping sector is not elevated as it should be. During the pandemic, the world has witnessed how our logistics sector needs technology life support.
Global supply chain disturbance has shown the world that we must immediately upgrade the logistics and shipping sector. And many companies have already understood this and are ready to bring a technical revolution to the industry.
In fact, the statistics show that the future is quite busy for freight businesses. A report shows that:
The exported goods value will be $17.6 trillion in 2022.
The global land freight is expected to be 11.9 trillion km by 2025.
The global air freight will be 66.2m mt by 2025.
The international marine freight traffic will touch 11 billion mt.
So, growth is evident in the logistics industry. But, with abundant growth, many new trends and technological developments are also required in this sector.
Many technical advancements have already been seen in the shipping and logistics areas. But, there are several advancements that the future holds for this sector.
So, let’s begin and understand what new you should expect in the shipping and logistics industry.
7 Futuristic Trends of the Shipping and Logistics Industry
The international logistics market was valued at $7,641.20 billion in 2017. It is projected to reach $12,975.64 billion by 2027.
As you can see, the logistics market is expected to grow double within 10 years. So, if you are also part of this industry or planning to start a logistics business, it is the right time to strike the iron.
However, you cannot enter this industry without proper future analysis. That is because traditional shipping and logistics methods are not applicable anymore.
With e-commerce logistics, you can expect many new technical evolutions in the international logistics and shipping industry.
Here are some of the critical logistics and shipping trends you must look out for:
1. Radio-frequency Identity (RFID) tags
Radio-frequency Identity is a real-time tracking chip that allows customers to track their orders. Most logistics companies are using RFID chips today. This has helped retail and e-commerce logistics to gain customer loyalty.
But, simple RFID chips are not sufficient to deliver real-time data to your customers. This technology only helps to access data. But, to process and provide accurate data to your customers, you need sales CRM software support.
Using the customer relationship management portal, you can file your data and arrange it in chronological order. This enables your customer support team to provide accurate delivery dates to your customers.
2. Adopt digital landscape
The logistics and shipping sector is on the digital landscape today. Customers no longer want to physically visit the courier office to receive or send parcels. They want instant online services to track and drop off their orders.
Therefore, logistic businesses need to adopt digitalization. You have to start by creating a website where customers can track, place orders, and know more about your business.
Secondly, digital marketing is crucial for shipping businesses. Logistics is no longer a boring field. There are several international and national logistics companies working in the world.
In order to meet the competition, you need to invest in digital marketing. This is not only compulsory for new businesses. But, even well-established logistics companies are today heavily investing in digital marketing.
For example, Universal Parcel Service is the leading courier company in the world. They use content marketing to share real customers’ stories and news to build a connection with their audience.
Besides this, there are many other ways to promote your new business on digital platforms, such as:
This is the best marketing strategy for new businesses. Under an account-based marketing strategy, you can only focus on those customers that will bring significant profit to your business. This way, you can streamline your marketing resources and focus on demand generation.
Yes, SMS marketing is still a hit thing. You can send personalized messages to your customers with their tracking numbers, delivery updates, or new offers using SMM panels.
Amazon Treasure Truck is the best example of SMS marketing. Amazon Treasure Truck has been spreading happiness all around the United States with special discounts and deals for years now. And there is only one way to track this track, via SMS.
Once users subscribe to Amazon SMS services, they will receive real-time updates on Treasure Truck to grab the latest Amazon deals.
Social media marketing
It is important for every business to have a social media presence today. And logistics and shipping businesses are not different. They also need to create a presence on different social media platforms and can use unified enterprise social media management tools to interact with their customers and promote their special deals at scale.
FedEx is perfectly milking social media. They share employee stories, promote sustainable delivery, and more on social media.
3. Great customer experience
As we have already mentioned, customers want an excellent experience from logistics companies. Not only is timely delivery the number one priority of online shoppers. But, with the increasing number of online shoppers, people want better-personalized experiences from their shipping partners.
People want custom solutions and better support from their delivery partners. For example, 43% of retail consumers want 24/7 call support from their service providers.
To do so, logistics businesses have to build SDR bases around the globe. Or, they can use call center automation solutions to support their customers.
Besides this, logistics customers also demand chatbots, emails, or instant chat support. So, be ready to see better CX technologies and tools in shipping and logistics.
4. Seamless integration
Since logistics operations are based on tools, getting software with seamless integration is essential.
Let’s take an example to understand why integration is crucial for logistics.
Suppose you use accounting software, CRM, and live chat solutions. Now, all these tools depend upon one another to run your business operations.
For example, live chat software provides feeds to CRM software to create a customer database. And accounting software needs CRM data to create invoices and predict budgets.
Thus, when you use multiple software to run your business, manually passing information between them is challenging and error-prone.
So, integrated solutions can move your business data smoothly between your tools and let you deliver on time.
5. Omnichannel shipping
Omnichannel shipping is what logistics companies need to meet customers' expectations in the retail sector.
Brands like Amazon and eBay already offer omnichannel touchpoints to boost customer loyalty. The omnichannel logistics goal is to offer a seamless shopping experience.
In the future, companies with creative shipping approaches to sort omnichannel complexities within the supply chain will grow.
Here’s how a simple omnichannel fulfillment and return order flow looks:
Warehouse to consumer
Supplier to consumer
Distribution centers to customers
Earlier, shoppers traveled to buy an item. The “last mile” was thereby the customer. Now, the last mile falls in the hands of the retail logistics providers.
Walmart is tackling the last mile logistics innovatively. For example, they have implemented a program where employees drop off groceries on their way home.
6. More sustainable solutions
The environment is a big concern today. Transportation is contributing a lot to raising the carbon footprint.
So, sustainable transportation is the main on the logistics companies' agendas. They are bringing insightful solutions to lower the ecological footprints.
Thus, the future of shipping companies includes alternative fuels, 3D printing, cradle-to-cradle thinking in product development, and more.
Green logistics focuses on the following:
Minimizing green gas emissions and transportation energy consumption.
Reusing durable packages in the supply chain.
Reducing waste in logistics operations.
Reduce traveling time by setting up warehouses near customers.
Partnership with environmental controllers and auditors.
Prevent returns using digital tools like 3D views.
5R of logistics — reselling, remanufacturing, refurbishing, recycling, and reusing items.
7. RPI and AI in logistics
Robotics and artificial intelligence are leading logistics technologies. Robots are considered a great step towards sustainable transportation. Amazon’s drone-based delivery is the best example in this context.
Amazon might have failed in the first attempt. But, lately, companies are experimenting with big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to develop smart delivery portals.
So, it is worth seeing the impact of Robotics, AI, and ML on the logistics and shipping industry.
So, What is the Future of Shipping and Logistics?
The shipping and logistics are at the receiving end of the transformation. Due to the changing customer preferences and e-commerce businesses, fast and secure logistics solutions are in the making.
Today, shipping companies heavily invest in technology like AI, RFID, omnichannel and more. Thus, the future holds sustainable, reliable, and data-driven logistics.
So let’s wait and watch how the logistics and shipping industry will take a 360-degree turn in the future.
About the Author
Sumeet Anand is a B2B Marketing Expert and Founder at Marveta(White-hat link building agency). He helps brands and businesses generate leads with his top-notch content strategies. He has been featured in various major media publications across the globe. Connect with him on social media!
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LinkedIn profile link: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sumeet-anand/
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