April 23, 2019

6 Important Trends in Logistics: 2019-2020

Over the past decade, e-commerce has continued to take over our lives, and it's changing the very foundation of our economy. Due to the growth of online purchasing, this has required supply chain management teams and logistics professionals to find more efficient ways to manage inventory and pump out products at a rapid rate.

In 2019 we already see an incredible transformation in the logistics sector as new technology continues to become everyday practice. These changes continue to shape the way we do business, and over the long-term, we expect digital means to fill in gaps where logistics companies are lacking.

Let’s take a look at six exciting trends that are taking center stage in 2019-2020.


We live in the digital age and digitalization is changing the way we do everything from simplifying our processes to reducing cost and reshaping the way consumers view our businesses. It’s no longer about merely communication and data logging; digitalization is requiring business owners to completely revamp the way they do business from the ground up.

As we continue through 2019 into 2020, we expect digitalization to reduce supply chain costs and boosting revenue as more and more service providers jump on the train.

Logistics automation and IoT

With more technology comes more automation and an easier way of accomplishing tasks. With the adoption of IoT and Logistics 4.0, we expect these data sharing technologies to continue transforming logistics through the next couple of years.

With the ability to share so much information and data across the board it gives businesses the chance to prevent issues before they happen. For as long as anyone can remember logistics has had issues with delays, damaged cargo, operator errors, and theft but automation and IoT can help prevent these issues by tracking and predicting the likelihood of problems to help with preventive maintenance and safety.

Machine Learning and AI

When you think of AI, you think of robots controlling supply chain management and taking away work from people, but that’s not the goal. The intention is to improve to process providing for a smoother and faster supply chain.

Many innovative things are going into the logistics sector in 2019 like warehouse management systems, robotic vision, supply chain visibility, and supply chain planning. These technologies are a necessity as the focus continues to grow on providing a more improved buyer experience. The squeeze is always put on the supply chain to improve their process, and AI is a great way to skillfully adapt to the need without incurring too many additional costs.

International trade shifts

When you take a look at trade between China and EU the numbers are growing at a staggeringly high rate. In 2017 we experienced approximately 3673 trains between the two economies compared to a mere 17 in 2011.This growth is not an accident. With new investments made along trade founds and land transport being more affordable and faster than air or ocean, we continue to see expansions in international trade agreements.

Moving forward through 2019 into 2020 we expect to see new establishments of free trade agreements, globalization of transporting businesses, and continued investment in infrastructure between the EU and China. These developments help lower the cost of transport and make it more accessible for new services to come into play.

The growth of 3PL and 5PL

Third-party logistics saw its greatest growth in 2017 as it was able to contribute to the highest market share in history. As automation and outsourcing continue to grow in popularity, we expect to see 3PL and 5PL do the same thing.

By outsourcing tasks like scheduling carriers, tracking payments, data logging, freight forwarding, and customs; supply chain logistics companies can free up more time for their core areas.

Another reason for the significant growth of 3PL is the companies desire to scale their operations faster. Without requiring additional space, labour, or transportation a supply chain can continue to grow and increase revenue without having to undergo large changes to their current process.

Adoption of big data logistics

When logistics companies and everyone, in general, are continually sharing data it allows for other businesses to utilize that data to predict outcomes and potential market changes. This big data is used to predict busy seasons, supply requirements, and labour needs.

Doing this allows supply chain management to stay on top of things before a problem arises which had been a significant issue in years past. According to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, over 90% of shippers and third-party logistics providers say that data-based decision making is necessary for them to manage inventory and forecast supply and demand.

Technology and digitalization continue to impact our lives, and as demand continues to grow across the e-commerce space, supply chain logistics companies need to pick up the slack and look at the needs of the marketplace. We anticipate incredible growth through 2019-2020.

Did you enjoy this article? You might like these blog posts as well: Digital Logistics: What Is It, and How Will It Impact Your Organization?, A Short History of Supply Chain Management and Trimming the Fat: How Lean Supply Chains Improve Businesses.

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