In the e-commerce sector, time management, and speed are very important. Most logistics companies are undergoing a tremendous transformation to stay in business.
The 3PL-third-party logistics sector is experiencing significant changes. The emerging trend for firms looking for opportunities to subcontract logistics in areas where they have limited expertise is contributing significantly to growth in this sector. Companies are finding it hard to keep up with the pace of the growth of the e-commerce sector which needs quick delivery and well-organized inventory supervision.
Emerging technologies such as robotics, blockchain, automation, and predictive analytics have enabled consumers to benefit from quality services such as shorter delivery windows during online shopping, increased package volumes, quicker means of payment, and convenience.
The blockchain technology has significantly eased payments in online and international transactions. With this technology, 3PLs and shippers can obtain extra value from supply chain data. The magnificence of the blockchain technology is that it stores a permanent and unchangeable history of all business transactions that use cryptocurrencies as a means of exchange.
The blockchain technology guarantees the security of transactions because every transaction is authenticated and encrypted by and both the buyer and the seller have unrestricted access to the electronic book of account that records the transactions. The distribution of this digital ledger to all the players assists in enhancing transparency, proper governance, security, and helps to reduce human errors and delays.
Other possible uses of blockchain in business transactions are:
It can assist companies to meet regulatory requirements by confirming they don’t unknowingly use smuggled raw materials like conflict raw materials
It can help firms check the authenticity of the origin of the raw materials used
It can assist in reducing the supply of fake medical supplies by identifying online businesses that re-package pharmaceuticals and monitoring the activities of unregulated wholesalers online.
Although the usage of robots on assembly lines worldwide is well known, they are quickly entering the logistics sector. The increasing need to pick products in the e-commerce sector is necessitating the need for robots. After picking orders from customers, products are taken to the selected picking areas. The role of the robot is to take the trolley to the dispatch area, hence increasing effectiveness and saving time.
Robots can as well be programmed to follow employees through the store or warehouse assisting in lifting weighty tasks and taking the order to places where they are instructed to take. This can significantly lower the chances of injuries at the place of work and boost the welfare of employees and their motivation.
DevOps and Agile Methodologies
DevOps methodologies can be worked upon by IT teams and software development experts. This can create new applications that can solve logistics problems that come down the pipe. Because of the customer behavior of wanting results fast, some companies are innovating quickly to find ways of lowering the product delivery cost and improving the efficiency of the delivery process.
This is assisting companies to boost the visibility of the supply chain for 3PL systems as it makes it easy for businesses to obtain and analyze data. The information obtained from such data can help the management to make informed decisions. For instance, predictive analytics enable 3PLs to predict in advance and solve problems that might arise out of weather changes, port timings, and traffic patterns.
In their efforts to solve the challenges of increased demand in the digital economy, many businesses are subcontracting their logistics activates to other companies. However, the application of some technologies can help these businesses to solve some of their logistics issues. The examples of technologies that have come in handy are blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies, robotics, DevOps and agile methodologies, and predictive analytics.