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The logistics industry is changing. Thanks to advancements like Internet of Things (IoT), omnichannel purchasing and marketing, and increasing focus on sustainability, the field is undergoing rapid changes. Learn more about the leading trends in the industry here:

Flexibility will be key

In the first wave of digitization, ERP systems replaced paper-based processes. As digitization continues, manufacturers will need to maintain flexibility to continue adapting. 

As of 2019, 13% of consumers preferred to order directly from a brand rather than from a multi-brand retailer. What’s more, 14% expect to do more direct ordering in the years ahead. Manufacturers that are flexible enough to adapt to that expectation will thrive.

Omnichannel will become the expectation

Right now, omnichannel marketing is on an upswing. In the coming years, though, it will be an absolute necessity for any manufacturer that wants to provide excellent service. 

Today, consumers search online and then buy a product in a store or research products in a physical store and wind up purchasing online. This trend is even stronger in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and will continue in the coming years. Manufacturers will interact with the trend by acting as dropshippers for sellers.

Logistics marketplaces are becoming more popular

As demand for flexible deliveries becomes more pronounced, the relationship between logistics partners and manufacturers is changing. Today, long-term agreements with a few carriers are no longer realistic. 

Instead, manufacturers must remain agile so they can leverage lower prices or revolutionary delivery options, thereby growing their carrier networks in the process. 

Sustainability continues to be important

Today, 57% of consumers say they’re willing to change their purchasing behavior to reduce negative environmental impacts. As a result, consumers are turning their attention to brands that offer sustainable business models. 

This shift has changed the entire supply chain, starting with greener packaging and moving all the way to slower logistics services.

Reshoring and nearshoring support faster fulfillment

While globalization no longer fits the mold of a “trend,” reshoring and nearshoring continue to be popular avenues for faster fulfillment. 

As the trend shifts toward near-shoring or reshoring of production sites, Eastern and Southern Europe have become popular locations. These new locations allow truck delivery times to decrease considerably and enhance service all around. 

Transparency remains critical

Today, the reach of IoT (the Internet of Things) is expanding further and further. Currently, wireless sensors are working to enhance transparency in the logistics industry. 

These sensors allow shippers to track shipments on a granular level, thereby decreasing shipping costs and streamlining parcel transport. 

Big data and logistics are working together

Thanks to the emergence of IoT, modern manufacturers have access to more data than ever before. And all this big data expands to support carrier performance. For example, shippers can now analyze the intervals between shipment tracking statuses and use that tracking to identify whether carriers are meeting their service duties. 

Advances like these have far-reaching implications. For example, tracking sensors can save organizations as much as $6 million annually, according to research conducted by a Boston Consulting Group. 

The Future of Logistics Looks Bright

As these trends in logistics indicate, there’s a lot to look forward to in the industry. As these trends continue over the coming years, logistics will continue to change and shift, becoming more efficient and streamlined throughout.