As we move into the twilight of 2016 and start the process of looking back on the year, several key trends in logistics technology have emerged as more tools and analytics become available. From the incredible growth of the Internet of Things – Gartner predicted that by 2020, 20.8 billion connected objects will be in use around the world – to steadily more effective transportation management software, logistics technology has been able to flourish this year.
Let's take a look at some of the most important trends in logistics technology and how they're impacting the supply chain as we move through 2016:
One of the most innovative uses of technology in the supply chain is the growing idea that drones could be used within delivery strategies. For instance, online retail giant Amazon famously revealed in 2013 that it would be exploring the possibilities of last-mile drone delivery. Forbes contributor Sarwant Singh noted that not only are drones growing in importance in the grand scheme of the supply chain, but their use also indicates a clear shift toward autonomy that will have untold positive impacts on the supply chain as a whole.
"The supply chain of tomorrow will be leaner, faster and most importantly, self-orchestrated," Singh wrote. "This unprecedented pace of change will be driven by a few radical technologies that will be cautiously adopted by industry participants over the next 15 years."
2. The Internet of Things
The IoT is also helping organizations collect and use data across the supply chain. Radio frequency identification devices, for instance, can be attached to shipments to create better insights throughout the operation. RFID can increase visibility across equipment, inventory and business processes, making the IoT and related technologies an important part of the supply chain in today's technology-driven world.
According to Gartner contributor Christy Pettey, sensor-enabled objects allow organizations to improve decision-making and help save space in warehouses, among other crucial benefits.
3. Transportation Management Systems
With all of the new ways to collect and use data within the supply chain, organizations are finding that they need a system to keep it all straight, and transportation management software is the solution to that issue. By investing in TMS, organizations can decrease freight spend and become more efficient. An ARC Advisory Group survey from 2013 found that 23 percent of respondents felt their total freight costs would increase by over 10 percent if they were to stop using their TMS, according to Logistics Management editor Bridget McCrea.
"For logistics professionals charged with the movement of freight, TMS can also help create transportation efficiencies, provide real-time dashboards, enable better decision-making and handle myriad other tasks that can't be adequately addressed with phones, faxes and spreadsheets," McCrea wrote.
That being said, the Oracle Transportation Management System can improve operations and create efficiencies for enterprises with increasingly global supply chains. For more information about logistics technologies or about how Inspirage can help your organization get started with OTM in the Cloud, check out our webinar below and get in touch with the experts today.