This Year’s Trends for Third-Party Logistics Service Providers

There is a lot of political uncertainty in the world right now, but having a strong understanding of how the third-party logistics industry will change this year can help companies be as prepared as possible for whatever might be in store.

The biggest unknown is the Trump administration, with many wondering whether he will end up helping or hurting the logistics industry. His threats to undo some of our country’s biggest trade agreements and hit companies that take their operations overseas with stiff penalties are causing a lot of nervousness, even if some experts predict that his plans will spur some degree of short-term growth.

One big trend that is set to transform logistics is automation. Logistics companies might be facing higher overhead costs and a corresponding hike in freight shipping rates, but a reduction in the workforce could well end up creating some savings. Just how many processes can be automated? It’s already possible to automate processes such as freight pricing, auditing, picking, and automated billing, and driverless trucks are right around the corner. In fact, 15 percent of all warehouse executives have stated that making use of autonomous robots is a top priority during the next three years.

Exclusive Benefits, Omnichannel Solutions Taking Center Stage

Meanwhile, retailers are expected to push exclusive benefits as a way to attract and retain customers. For example, Amazon has launched its 13-minute Prime Air delivery service and Walmart helps people get money back with a scan after purchase. Customer loyalty will continue to be rewarded, and logistics providers need to keep their costs as low as possible in order to facilitate this.

Omnichannel solutions are also expected to play a crucial role in logistics. Major companies like Walmart and Amazon are expanding beyond traditional offerings to create a shopping experience that is truly diverse, and 3PLs have to be ready to meet these varying degrees of shopping flexibility if they want to be successful.

This blog post was based off of an article from Cerasis. View the original here.