Industries around the globe are going through a complete digital transformation. We’re using the Internet of Things to treat patients remotely, we’re having groceries delivered to our door via a mobile device, and we are using IoT and iPads for children in schools.
Over the next decade, new technologies are going to start rapidly changing the logistics industry, and an industry of this size, it can surely make a huge impact.
Just a few years ago, the global logistics market was worth around $4 trillion. That is a whopping 10% of global GDP. With upcoming, innovative technologies such as 3D printers, drones, and self-driving cars, these numbers can skyrocket.
Around 19% of manufacturers and retail companies are already using 3D printers in their organizations, but according to 3PL Selection, only about 1.5% of these organizations can consider themselves experts at it. Over the next few decades, we will see much more 3D print shops popping up as a logistics IT solution.
To start off with, 3D printing promotes local, or even just regional production. But what does this mean? It means that products and goods will no longer be required to ship halfway across the globe. Instead, they will be printed close to the consumer, majorly changing shipping routes (more 3D print centers will result in fewer products to be shipped.
Once there’s an abundance of 3D print shops around the country, no longer will there be a need to store replacement parts at a manufacturing warehouse. Instead of having to order a replacement product piece, these parts will potentially be stored in “virtual warehouse,” where parts can be printed on-demand.
While many people believe that drone delivery will not be a common method of delivery, companies like Amazon are already delivering packages via air (Amazon Prime Air). This is the future of logistics, whether you want to believe it or not!
In large cities, like where our Chicago app developers reside, traffic on the inner roads can cause major delays in deliveries, it happens all the time. Chances are, you have experienced this if you live in a large city. Digital transformation in logistics can take some of the traffic away from the road, and put it into the sky.
Major players like Amazon, are spending a lot of time and focus on cutting delivery times, so that the consumer can get what they want as soon as they want it, how they do in a brick-and-mortar store.
Drone-delivery means faster shipping and delivery to consumers. And as a UX design agency, this of course, means that customers will have an overall better experience with any online eCommerce store.
Self-driving vehicles are poised to change how organizations send products, and how consumers receive their packages of goods. Autonomous vehicles could have a huge impact on logistics, especially for warehouse-workers and order fulfillment managers.
Some companies, like Mercedes Benz, say that their self-driving semi’s will not replace drivers. Instead, it will free up their time to do other important work tasks inside their cabins.
Google has also been testing self-driving for years, and have tested them throughout 1.4 million miles, and Apple has stated that they will be focusing on their own self-driving car in 2019. It is pretty safe to say that the logistics industry could adopt self-driving cars well before other industries.
While I used Mercedes Benz self-driving semi truck as an example, these vehicles can be utilized in other areas, and not only long-haul deliveries. These autonomous vehicles can also be used for warehousing operations, and last-mile deliveries.
While this concept won’t be fully emerged into society for years and years, it is the future of transportation.
The supply chain of tomorrow will surely be faster, more efficient, and most importantly, self-arranged. While these logistics IT solutions are not going to be implemented into the industry over the next year, or even five years, but 10 or 15 years, it is critical to start planning for the future. The time is now.