The results of 2017 Annual Third-Party Logistic Study show that 71% of shippers value real-time analytics provided by their third party logistics providers (3PLs), with 61% of them assessing 3PL trade lanes on the basis of cost and service level.
Shippers seek to capitalize on logistics providers' expertise in customer engagement, strategic management, and IT. Data-driven logistics processes tend to satisfy customers' needs faster and allow rapid expansion into new markets.
With increased amounts of data and data visibility, maximizing advantages for the organization and the customer presents a significant challenge.
All new delivery technologies, including self-driving vehicles, drones, and mobile applications based on navigation system data, require logistics companies to make long-term strategic and operational improvements. Analysts from multinational logistics and transportation company AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG forecast a dramatic rise in the use of Big Data and Machine Learning in order to satisfy online retailers.
The Mobile Age requires greater integration between different service providers to address end users' needs better. For example, a retailer of fashionable clothes no longer thinks only about how the customer should prefer his brand over others. Now the retailer also thinks about how the customer will find his shop – maybe with a mobile navigation app to find the closest location. Or how the customer will use a specially tailored e-shop mobile app in order to check size availability. Or how the customer will get to the store –maybe by public transport or Uber. Or how many customers came because the retailer has the trendiest crop-top every girl wants and how many garments should therefore be delivered to that store from the manufacturer. This broader approach to understanding customers' behavior challenges traditional organizational structures in the supply chain industry.
Stronger relationships between service providers will decrease market risks in the future. Logistics companies should integrate new technologies into their service offerings to streamline shipment and cargo movements, improve cargo quality detection, and minimize loss of value. Efficient operations ultimately lead to better customer experiences, which market leaders cannot overlook. Faster, more responsive competitors are waiting to capture market share with cutting-edge technological solutions.
"To win customers' loyalty, learn faster and see farther than other market players. Companies like Amazon, UPS and FedEX – and even ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft – were first to disrupt the transport industry. More disruptions are coming that involve larger vehicles like trucks, ships, and airplanes. With everyone having at least one mobile device, consumers will expect to get the information they need faster and services customized according to data generated from their past online behavior,” observes Andrzei Iwanow-Kolakowski, EU Regional Director at AsstrA.
Consumers expect personalized, valuable, accurate, and safe transportation services. These experiences can include multi-modal transportation and door-to-door delivery. We predict that logistics of the future will be tightly integrated with manufacturing and logistics companies will offer highly personalized manufacturing services through distribution centers. Real-time Big Data and Machine Intelligence will lead the upcoming changes. Cloud-computing systems make the collection of enormous amounts of data cheaper, and data-driven solutions are already influencing logistics market pricing strategies. Gut feelings and intuition are less helpful in this new reality. An objective and strategic approach to logistics management has never been more important than it is now.