2017 is coming to a close and it has truly been a big year for the shipping and logistics industry. From record-breaking sales on Cyber Monday to the continued growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) and other technologies, there was a lot of changes for the transportation industry to digest this year. Unsurprisingly, even more change is expected in the new year. Read on as we detail some of the biggest trends expected to affect the shipping and logistics industry in 2018.
Expansion of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
The shipping and logistics industry might be looking at a future that is fully digitized. According to Primary Freight, in the shipping and logistics sector specifically, continuing advances in machine learning and other AI technologies stand to benefit companies beyond existing or emerging automated solutions like self-driving trucks and human-free ports. Progress in autonomous vehicles and trucking is also on the horizon.
The hype around blockchain will continue.
In 2018, we should see a few viable blockchain concepts emerge because many existing companies and new startups will be trying, according to Supply Chain Digital. This emerging technology offers a lot of promise for the shipping and logistics industry, so much so that in 2017, we saw the creation of The Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (BiTa), which was formed to bring together experts in the industry to develop plans for how to best utilize the new technology.
Increase in data-driven logistics.
In the new year, companies will continue to adopt big-data algorithms, data-visualisation techniques and smarter analytics to increase process efficiency and cut down the time it takes to deliver goods. That said, one of the biggest changes expected in 2018 will be that shipping and logistics firms will be expected to use geography-specific data to anticipate the demand of certain products and begin shipping process in advance, according to Supply Chain Management Review.
No matter what surprises 2018 has in store, we’re confident that the coming year will be one of the best yet for the shipping and logistics industry!