Businesses committed to fast and steady growth make sure to target overseas markets through their online shopping provisions, which, naturally, are tied with international logistics and shipping.
A study conducted by one of Japan’s top logistics companies shows that in the last 20 years, the demand for worldwide shipping has increased astronomically.
This is the reason why the industry continues to come up with solutions to improve their services and neutralize over-reliance on particular aspects of the industry, such as road transport and the labor workforce.
The improvements are spurring new trends for operations, and they are accomplishing everything — from reducing workplace accidents to decreasing package transit time and more.
Provided below are six of these emerging trends and how they benefit the various businesses that rely heavily on logistics and shipping.
1. Labor Saving Machinery
There are new types of machinery developed to expedite the processing of parcel and cargo. One great example is the new sorting bays in logistics centers where carts with packages are pushed forward automatically to get to their next destination in the center.
Years ago, all the shuttling needed to be done by workers. But now, with the integration of this labor-saving system, workers can take care of other steps of the process and get more done.
2. Automated Scanners
More and more big shipping companies are shifting from handheld scanners to automated ones placed above conveyor belts that transport packages within the sorting center. The automated scanners accurately read barcodes as packages zip through on the conveyor belt.
The use of these types of scanners has contributed significantly to the improvement of package transit. But that is not all the scanners do. They can determine the size and weight of packages as well for more effective and efficient sorting and pricing.
3. Smart Conveyors
Conveyors that do more than just shuttle packages along are essential developments in the logistics industry. There are conveyors with speed and package spacing controls to prevent damages from collisions, and improve the efficiency of the sorting process.
New conveyor machines also have belts that move sideways and direct packages to their intended destination. Older model units have swinging doors that bump packages to their designated route.
The swinging walls are capable enough, but the impact they create can lead to minor damages to packages. The new conveyor machine models have addressed this issue.
4. Driverless Delivery Vehicles
Driverless vehicles are the answer to the shortage of truck drivers in some areas and safety issues in specific destinations. However, self-driving technology still requires further experimentation to determine how it can be used for large-scale delivery services.
At the moment, it only works for parcel deliveries because self-driving vehicles can only contain a certain number of lockers for small parcels. However, it’s still worth noting that driverless delivery trucks are working exceptionally well. Therefore, there’s a positive outlook for unmanned delivery services.
5. Greater Reliance on Rail and Sea Transport
With road pollution becoming a bigger problem in many parts of the world, the logistics industry deems relying more on rail and sea transport a sound solution for environmental protection.
Sea freight logistics is perceived to be better because it can manage even more cargo and every trip involves relatively less carbon dioxide emissions. Additionally, it increases the productivity of logistics companies because trailers separate from the cargo at loading, and drivers can leave the ship. This, then, makes efficient use of drivers’ time.
However, increased reliance on sea transport will continue to cause a wave of other changes. For example, the need to make bigger freight ships will also require bigger harbors.
All of these emerging trends will have a massive impact on the relationship between logistics companies and all the industries they serve.
Therefore, it’s important for all relevant players to collaborate further in determining what improvements can be made and how to implement them to ensure that the market continues to benefit in the process.