Logistics is changing industry that is always fiercely competitive and requires organizations to improve and optimize constantly. Delivery management is a complex process, the effectiveness of which today can only be ensured by the implementation of state-of-the-art technologies.
Due to rapid changes in the global economic landscape, recent years have been difficult for logistics companies. Many had to speed up the digitalization process to avoid losing customers and stay afloat. The need for modern solutions will remain in the coming years, and several main trends deserve special attention.
What Software Is Used in Logistics?
A modern logistics system consists of such components as storage and warehousing, unification and packaging, inventory, transportation and path optimization, and information and control. Depending on these parameters, we can distinguish several of the most popular types of software in the logistics industry.
- Software for transportation and supply chain management: The main task is to control the transportation of products and track this process in real-time. This also includes software for planning and optimizing routes.
- Inventory management: Control and tracking of deliveries, planning of new purchases based on historical trend analysis, etc.
- Warehouse management: Such software uses intellectual storage tools to control the functioning of the warehouse in real-time and optimize and improve the visibility of work processes.
- CRM or Customer relationship management. System for automated coordination of clients, storage of their data, personalized service, marketing campaigns, informing, etc.
- Demand forecasting and analytics tools: These are systems for advanced data processing, product life cycle analysis, historical trends, demand, customer satisfaction, etc.
Such software often follows logistics technology trends and can combine several goals and be multitasking or solve problems in a specific direction.
What Are the Key Elements of Design for Logistics?
The requirements and essential elements of any digital product are constantly changing, and this also applies to the latest trends in logistic software design. However, there are several stable things to follow.
Easy Navigation and Onboarding
The onboarding and adaptation process is extremely important in logistics apps, especially in supply chain management, where it is necessary to have quick access to many features and clearly understand their purpose.
That is why simple and intuitive navigation, as well as an effective user onboarding system, are critical design elements in logistics. It helps structure information, direct users in the right direction, facilitate staff work, and provide transparency for the company’s customers.
Cross-Platform Adaptation and Responsive Design
Modern logistics applications are used not only on personal computers but also on tablets or smartphones. That is why cross-platform adaptation and responsive design are a must.
Brand Consistency and Business Value
Professional design is also a way to stand out among numerous competitors who also follow the latest logistics trends and have access to digital tools.
The product’s appearance should preserve the brand identity and convey the company’s unique values. Only in this case, the user will pay attention to the logistics services it offers.
Optimized User Flows
The logistics industry is complex, and applications contain a lot of data, forms, and features, making the user feel confused. Proper UX and UI design clearly outline user flows and gently directs them along the fastest way to the desired service.
The task of any software is to serve customers’ needs. Products for logistics companies are no exception. All design elements must support users’ desires and work to meet their needs. Special UX research is conducted to achieve this.
Intuitive Interface and Unique User Experience
The design of an application or website is the first thing users pay attention to, which is why they must meet modern standards. An aesthetic, simple, and responsive interface is a must, as well as quality graphics, accessibility of every element, inclusiveness, and a unique user experience. Good design is the invisible design that is nonetheless memorable for its ease of use, uniqueness, and utility.
The Importance of Keeping up With Transportation and Logistics Trends
Logistics digitalization is an inevitable process requiring unique solutions and non-standard approaches. Logistics companies that want to stay ahead and be able to compete in a harsh environment must use all possible tools to improve service and research the target audience’s needs.
The main condition for the success of any business is customer satisfaction. In the field of transportation and logistics, this can only be achieved with the help of efficient and flexible offers, which, at the same time, must be profitable. This is where logistics industry trends come into play, helping to automate core work processes and improve service visibility, thereby ensuring customer loyalty and reducing costs for business owners.
Blockchain has long become an integral part of automation and security systems in many fields. As for the logistics industry, blockchain has extraordinary potential within the functions of both enterprise software and applications for general use.
This technology solves the most disturbing challenges by creating an encrypted digital record. In this way, goods can be tracked with the highest accuracy in every supply chain, and all breaches and errors become visible and can be resolved quickly.
Blockchain also allows logistics companies to take full advantage of decentralized ledgers and manage inventory more efficiently and intelligently. In addition, improving the tracking of various data forms helps to strengthen data security significantly. At the same time, the technology is quite flexible in use and leaves room for improvement.
Another important use of the blockchain is the automation of logistics operations, which reduces human intervention and, accordingly, the risk of errors, and speeds up the document flow process.
Today, this technology is used in the following components of the logistics business:
- Fraud detection: Blockchain improves the visibility of transactions and changes, helps achieve transparency by tracking document modifications, etc.
- Authentication: The technology helps to authenticate documents and data and, thanks to encryption, ensures a secure exchange.
- Real-time supply chain visibility improvements: Users can receive information about the state of transport, schedule changes, and events in real-time.
- Performance monitoring: It helps collect reliable data on the productivity and performance of carriers or employees.
Also, with the help of blockchain, logistics companies can confirm the origin of goods, provide guarantees of compliance with security standards, and control processes throughout the supply chain.
Supply Chain Transparency and Collaboration Mandate
Collaboration mandate in the supply chain is an important trend of recent years, the essence of which is to create coordination between internal departments and external partners with the aim of optimizing the flow through the supply chain, providing better service and timely delivery.
Why is this trend so crucial? The scale of data and transactions, as well as the scope of logistics services, are becoming larger every year. Organizations need help to cope with such a load and maintain the quality of services.
Cooperation mandates allow you to set up data exchange from a unified platform, track minimal errors and immediately eliminate them. In general, each participant receives the following benefits:
- end-to-end supply chain visibility and real-time data exchange;
- customization and optimization of work processes;
- reduction of the cost of delivery in general.
Effective collaboration and supply chain transparency are inseparable concepts and key logistics industry trends.
Internet of Things
Connecting a large number of vehicle sensors to the cloud discovers new opportunities for using the Internet of Things in delivery, logistics processes optimization, transportation, data analysis for logistics management software, etc.
In the coming years, it is worth paying attention to the following IoT points.
- Telematics: Collecting data from vehicle sensors, analyzing the state and behavior of drivers, planning maintenance, etc.
- Detailed tracking: Data helps businesses move in the right direction, and it’s essential for logistics companies. IoT tracks assets, provides delivery transparency and visibility, and indicates risks and ways to solve them.
- User-based insurance: IoT helps to form optimal insurance policies like UBI, PAYD, PHYD, etc.
It is also worth considering the possibilities of ADAS (camera systems to assist the driver and analyze his behavior) and autonomous driving.
Customers Demand Data and Real-Time Visibility
Service transparency and visibility are indispensable parts of customer satisfaction. The availability of logistics data forms the reputation of the company and its customers’ loyalty and helps to make purchase decisions more quickly.
The logistics industry trends and tools listed above contribute to the formation of service transparency, as well as professional software development and proper UX/UI design. Transport business owners should consider the best options regarding this list to be able to compete.
Images of real objects or processes in digital space are called digital doubles. They are formed from data (including historical, real-time data collected by sensors) and algorithms. This is an essential component of the “Industry 4.0” concept, which is used for digitizing entire life cycles of products or services.
In logistics and supply chain management, digital twins are used in combination with AI and augmented, mixed, or virtual reality apps. Basically, they are tested on such tasks as picking warehouses vehicles loading. However, DT can be used for the following purposes.
- Optimization of space and transportation conditions: Digital twins are useful for determining certain goods’ transportation conditions and optimal distribution space.
- Planning of warehouses and dispatch centers: It is a convenient tool for inventory warehouse planning.
Additionally, digital twins can be used to validate and automate workflows.
Artificial Intelligence for Transportation
Artificial intelligence is one of the key logistics technology trends. It significantly changes the transportation picture. The integration of AI and ML systems is used not only in inventory and warehouse management but also for analyzing routes, their optimization, vehicle control and tracking, sensor data collection, etc.
Also, these technologies are part of state-of-the-art business analytics tools that help quickly identify risks and determine ways to reduce them, evaluate productivity, customer satisfaction, etc. on the basis of these data, the transformation of the service system and optimization of business processes takes place.
In addition, AI is an integral tool for automating work processes and preventing fraud in logistics companies.
Cloud computing in general, improves the availability of any software and its features, not to mention reducing operating costs. For the transportation industry and logistics management software, especially, they are key because they help to quickly optimize work processes and securely collect, store and transfer data.
Such technologies are indispensable for logistics and transport companies that plan to grow and scale in the future. They may be needed to improve visibility (updating data in real-time), convenient collaborations with partners (the ability to easily share data on one platform), etc. In addition, it is one of the main logistics technology trends for improving financial control.
In summary, the digitalization of logistics is an inevitable step without which it is simply impossible to stay afloat in a challenging competitive environment. The concept of “Industry 4.0” is becoming more and more real, and it applies not only to manufacturing enterprises but also to transport and logistics companies.
Such logistics technology trends as collaboration mandate, real-time visibility, digital twins, cloud computing, AI, and blockchain help to automate work processes, reduce costs, improve transparency and security, and increase the efficiency of companies as a whole. These are dynamic technologies, the implementation of which helps gradually develop and scale the business along with technological progress. That is why paying attention to them and considering options for their use in your own business is essential.