Top 5 Trends in the Logistics Industry to Look Out for in 2021

Logistics has been around for ages and has undergone major transformations time and again. With new advancements in technology, it continues to stretch its horizons. The burgeoning eCommerce sector has further propelled its demand. The logistics market globally is expected to touch $12,975.64 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 6.5% for the forecast period 2020 to 2027.

Supply chain optimization technology companies Locus and Shippo recently announced $50 million in funding to expand geographically and invest in additional technology enhancements for last-mile optimization as eCommerce continues to grow globally. The eCommerce sales surged in the first quarter of 2021 by 39 percent compared to the first quarter of 2020, while the US domestic parcel market is expected to touch 100 million packages per day by 2023.

With logistics automation, IoT-enabled connected devices, and tech-driven logistics services coming into play, it’s safe to assume we are in for some significant changes in the industry. But then, change is not always bad because it brings opportunity too. In the current scenario, it has ushered in new business models and greater customer expectations. Amazon and many others are already putting customers into the habit of expecting same-day delivery. Needless to say, fast, flawless service has now become an industry standard.

There is no denying technology and changing times have sparked new trends that are all set to shape the future of transportation and logistics. While companies like Locus are leveraging technology solutions to improve visibility and on-time performance, those like FedEx are leveraging blockchain to increase their competitiveness. So let’s look at the top 5 trends that are forcing logistics companies to adjust their sail.

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

According to a McKinsey survey, AI can help enterprises maximize their gains by more than 50 percent a year. Not surprising then, all forward-thinking organizations are now eager to adopt AI technologies. AI and ML can address problems early on and propose solutions that can help tide over challenges and improve operational efficiency. AI algorithms with the help of ML can help companies address demand fluctuations effectively. They help reduce operating costs, plan supply chain processes, and bring intelligence to administrative tasks to accelerate data-based processes. AI and ML are improving every aspect of warehousing operations, thus increasing profits. For instance, AI helps them access critical information, while machine learning helps them make sense of this information to predict and track trends and make smarter business decisions.

2. Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT sensor technology and connected IoT devices have simplified logistics chores to a great extent. From tracking shipments and inventory to vehicles and equipment, just about everything is easily accessible thanks to IoT. Modern enterprises now rely on IoT-powered container management to increase fuel efficiency, ensure preventative maintenance, and enable real-time monitoring. Drones and self-driving automated vehicles come with IoT sensors to ensure timely deliveries.
IoT startups and logistics companies are joining hands to adopt a proactive approach to container operations. Hapag-Lloyd, for instance, collaborated with Globe Tracker to come up with Hapag-Lloyd LIVE that offers powerful features like real-time GPS location, temperature information, and power-off alerts. With its fleet of around 100,000 containers equipped to serve better, this initiative will ensure enhanced supply chain transparency.

Juan Carlos Duk, Managing Director Global Commercial Development at Hapag-Lloyd, elaborates, “Customers expect more reliable supply chains, so the industry needs to change and invest sufficiently. It is imperative that we understand and fulfill our customers’ needs faster than our competitors. Inviting our customers to further shape our real-time monitoring products right from the beginning will allow them to receive products that are tailor-made for their needs – while giving us a chance to deliver the best possible service at the same time.”

3. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

While sensors continue to hold an important place in cargo ships, trains, and alarm systems for tracking and monitoring purposes, tags or sensors are also placed on products enabled by RFID technology. Data is sent via radio waves to be processed for tracking inventory. This is a popular labor-saving technique that allows businesses to scan tags, barcodes, and labels to get information pertaining to their containers. RFID tags have been used increasingly in the apparel sector, among many others.

The logistics industry is now leveraging RFID to get real-time visibility of goods, reduce errors, plan product locations in warehouses, and even measure temperatures in case of chemicals and medicines to ensure that the right storage requirements are met. RFID systems can pinpoint the exact location in real-time, giving logistics managers a bird’s eye view on trucks, pallets, and inventory to see things exactly the way they are across the supply chain. In sudden events or unforeseen circumstances, RFID systems work proactively by changing a delivery route.

4. EDI/API integrations

Both EDI (electronic data interchange) and API (application programming interface) are crucial for logistics companies to integrate data across communication channels. APIs, however, bring more power and flexibility to enable companies to exchange data with cloud-based apps and other digital ecosystem systems seamlessly. API integrations can be used to connect eCommerce stores with fulfillment centers to meet consumer demands successfully when same-day or next-day deliveries are becoming so popular.
Modern businesses are now exploring new possibilities by integrating EDI and API rather than choosing one over the other. They serve as a smarter solution for those who wish to modernize but are reluctant to give up on their traditional EDI solutions. In fact, the allure of an integrated platform is simply impossible to resist. It allows companies to upgrade their legacy systems and evolve into an environment that facilitates end-to-end visibility to conduct business rapidly.

5. Disruptive technologies

Technology adoption in warehouse automation globally is expected to grow from 8 percent in 2019 to 45 percent by 2030. Supply chain and logistics companies worldwide are accelerating digital transformation initiatives to make their operations more responsive. Disruptive technologies are now taking over every sphere of logistics, positively impacting businesses and those who run them.

83 percent of those participating in a survey by MHI in collaboration with Deloitte believed digital supply chains would become the predominant model in just five years. Says John Paxton, CEO of MHI, “Supply chain resilience has never been more important. Companies that made investments in digital technologies prior to the pandemic were more prepared and able to adapt, survive, and even thrive during this disruption. They will also be ready when the next crisis inevitably hits.”

Some of the top technologies that are making waves and helping organizations brave new storms include:

Blockchain – Relatively new but extremely powerful, blockchain is helping industry leaders induce transparency into their business. It facilitates safe transactions through an irrefutable decentralized ledger system and ensures quicker approvals and clearance. Blockchain with its trustless peer-to-peer network increases efficiency, reduces human error, and prevents fraud. For companies that are committed to enforcing digital initiatives, blockchain should be on the cards.

Robotics – Robotics play a significant role in increasing the speed, productivity, and accuracy of supply chain processes while ensuring that human jobs stay intact. Rather than replacing humans, they play a collaborative role to increase overall efficiency. For instance, collaborative robots offer assistance to humans in picking up, packing, and placing goods as required. On the other hand, autonomous mobile robots can help pick up goods and transport them to storage facilities. There are software robots that can do mundane, repetitive tasks to allow human workers more time to focus on chores that need human intervention. Logistics companies are leveraging Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for managing simple clerical tasks in areas like order management and after-sales service to reduce overhead costs and eliminate human error.

Related: Automated pricing operations powered by RPA helped a leading 3PL improve its revenue by 40%

Predictive analytics – Predictive analytics adoption, which currently stands at 31 percent, is expected to grow to 79 percent in the next 3-5 years. A good 43 percent of respondents plan to up their spending on predictive and prescriptive analytics to more than $ 10 million. Predictive analytics drives supply chain companies towards resiliency, helping them manage inventory, maintenance, pricing strategies, and forecasts.

Predictive analytics helps choose faster routes based on traffic, distance, weather, fuel consumption, and vehicle condition. It also helps anticipate maintenance of equipment and vehicles to minimize downtime. It forecasts demand accurately across any logistics network using historical data and market analysis data. It also helps companies adjust their prices based on need. Demand forecasts also help supply chain managers maintain an optimal level of inventory to ensure that demand is met at reduced costs by storing stock at appropriate distribution centers.

Cloud Technology – Software-as-a-service products hosted in public clouds are now a given, considering public cloud solutions are easier to implement. They allow logistics companies to leverage pay-per-use models, thereby necessitating low capital investment. Companies do not have to pay for the hefty cost of maintaining the IT infrastructure and yet get the security and scalability that the cloud offers.

Logistics companies are now leveraging cloud integrations to collect data from management systems, collaborate, and communicate to build process efficiencies and garner better business outcomes. Cloud-integrated logistics is not confined to time or space and gives greater freedom and accessibility that we desperately need today.

Sharpen your digital edge with Trigent

Trigent, with its decades of experience in the logistics sector and a process-driven approach, has been helping supply chain leaders and their ecosystem partners respond intelligently to market disruptions. Our technology experts help create lasting value by giving you keen insights into market trends and empowering you to adopt the latest innovations. Our solutions are custom-made to help you manage diverse aspects of transportation and logistics with amazing ease.

Call us today to book a business consultation.

References

6 Tech Trends that will reshape Media & Entertainment in 2021

Content streaming is at an all-time high amidst the lockdown. By 2024, Over-the-top (OTT) media revenue is predicted to touch $158.84B that’s more than double the $67.8B revenue that was generated in 2018. The number of OTT service users in the United States is expected to reach 198 million by 2021. Netflix, Google LLC, LINE Corporation, Facebook, Amazon Web Services, Apple Inc. Kakapo Corp, Hulu, LLC are among the top players.

Let’s take a look at the demand and supply impact given the evolving industry landscape. The demand side takes into account the behavioral patterns of the audience while the supply side adopts tech innovations to differentiate their service and content portfolio

Here’s our take on 6 technology trends that will influence the media and entertainment world this year.

  1. Ad-supported access to standard content portfolio

In a bid to keep subscription fees competitive, platforms and publishers will bring back ad-supported content. Ad-supported models will work well provided platforms collate sufficient data for targeted advertising. M&E companies are now putting in a lot of effort to sieve through every tiny bit of information to keep annoying ads at bay. Going forward, the focus will be more on making an interesting mix of videos, music, games, podcasts, etc. available through subscription and free ad-supported services.

Explains Nick Morley, EMEA Managing Director, IAS, “With major changes to consumer habits last year, viewer patterns have rapidly evolved. The UK Streaming Wars report shows that viewers are now increasingly open to ad-supported video options, so the onus is on the digital advertising industry to help marketers meet consumer needs with an enjoyable experience.” As per the UK Streaming Wars report, over 50% of consumers will watch relevant ads in full while one in five will even search once they see an ad.

  1. eSports broadcasting for interactive experiences

The global eSports market revenue is expected to touch $1.6B in 2023 with eSports being touted as the future of sports. Currently, Asia and North America are the largest eSports markets and with greater adoption of AR/VR, this segment too will see fresh developments. Legalized sports betting will also see a surge with 5G technology, and several sports stadiums and similar arenas in the U.S. already have 5G towers to facilitate legalized betting.

With broadcasters streaming feeds from strategically placed cameras at vantage points, viewers can pick the best views for a more engaging experience. Apart from the best viewing angles, eSports also offers them an opportunity to cheer and interact with their favorite sports persons in real-time, and a platform to discuss strategies and improve the learning curve.

Gaming companies are doing exceedingly well too and Activision Blizzard made a profit of $505M in the first quarter of 2020 with their games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft delivering better than expected results.

  1. Augmented and Virtual Reality will create new avenues

Augmented and Virtual Reality or AR/VR are unlocking new technology avenues for the media and entertainment world. Earlier, they were not leveraged to their full potential despite the hype. Adoption was less and the price of AR/VR devices was pretty high. But things are changing now with greater adoption, pocket-friendly devices, and AR content that’s supported by smartphones.

This presents an opportunity to the media industry that will also leverage it to deliver a quality experience to gamers, make way into cinemas and theaters with immersive content, and create wearables for visits to museums, art galleries, etc.

  1. Artificial Intelligence for enhanced customer engagement

Most viewers, including millennials and Gen-Z, are happy to pay for content that’s tailored to their tastes. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms go a long way in analyzing consumer behavior providing them with just what they want to see. Innovations like eye tracking, emotion detection and engagement analysers provide new sources of continuous feedback.

The power of AI is essential to absorb and process this data in no time to help platforms make highly personalized recommendations. The same principle works for music streaming apps too that know exactly which tracks to pitch so that they make it to your list of favorites. AI can be a boon in the pre and post-production processes too and the absence of human intervention ensures that the cost of content creation is greatly reduced.

  1. Blockchain to protect IP rights while leveraging viral distribution channels

Blockchain will disrupt the way content is created, aggregated, distributed, consumed, and protected. Blockchain-powered micropayments will facilitate pay-per-use consumption targeting consumers who are unwilling to pay for an entire subscription but will pay a smaller fee to binge-watch just a season of a particular show. It allows independent artists to directly distribute their work among consumers via social media channels bypassing middlemen and distribution modes.

Blockchain will ensure proper execution of copyright terms through accurate tracking of a song’s usage and facilitate quicker royalty payments and division of revenue among artists and stakeholders. It will control and monetize file sharing, as every time consumers purchase or subscribe to blockchain-hosted content, content owners will be able to track file sharing and charge a fee for that distribution.Italy’s copyright body SIAE has also developed a copyright management platform using blockchain to provide artists and musicians complete transparency about their works and keep track of the royalties they are entitled for.

  1. Print media will embrace a digital future

COVID is driving the publishing industry to adopt a digital-first or digital-only model. Magazine publishing has suffered and popular magazines such as the Cosmopolitan SA closed their chapters recently. The New Normal also urged others to take a fresh perspective on creativity. Vogue Italia for instance donned a plain white cover sans celebs and models for their April 2020 issue.

There will be a symbiotic integration between print and online with more emphasis on customized content. As Ryan T. Sauers, President, Sauers Consulting explains, “Customers will receive more relevant information, and companies won’t waste money trying to cast larger nets. The traditional, mainstream blast-out-a-million-copies of something—I see that just dying a slow death.”

As per PwC, eBooks will see a greater demand and grow at a CAGR of 11.7% while the physical book publisher’s industry will decline at a CAGR of -2.8%.

Summing up

The New Normal brings along both opportunities and challenges. Due care however must be taken to safeguard the privacy of customers at all times. With rising subscriptions, comes the responsibility of ensuring data privacy too. While 64% of consumers are willing to share personal information and 83% are somewhat comfortable with using or storing biometric data with apps and services, 79% are pretty concerned about their data privacy as per a survey by Entrust.

It is crucial that M&E companies protect their data with strong encryption, high-assurance, and cloud-based authentication while also ensuring that consumers are educated about best practices surrounding data security. Transparent data collection applications and initiatives such as a promise to forget the data once services or subscriptions are discontinued can go a long way in gaining consumer trust.

Tune in with Trigent

The media and entertainment industry is in for some unprecedented changes. We can partner with you on this transformative journey thanks to our long and successful association with the world of M&E. Book a consultation and we will tell you how our technology solutions can serve as the perfect bedrock to help you thrive in 2021 and beyond. Call us today.

Four disruptive technologies for Banking in 2019

In the brave new world of banking and financial services, technology has become the key to a locker filled with goodies. As a result, it is not impossible to imagine a future where opening a bank or a financial company is as simple as connecting an appliance. In that world, a robot could guide an investor on the best possible options or you could walk into a bank manned by robot tellers. PWC’s report titled ‘Financial Services Technology 2020 and Beyond: Embracing disruption‘ envisages a future where the impossible will become reality. While this list may seem a little too futuristic, banks and financial services organizations are already feeling the tremors of new technology waves that are disrupting existing business models to pave the way for faster, smarter, cheaper operations.

Here are a few emerging technology disrupters:

Distributed ledger technology (DLT)

Algorithms are enabling the collaborative creation of digital distribution ledgers that are far smarter than their paper counterparts. Distributed ledgers are asset databases that can be shared across multiple devices, sites, and geographies where participants can own identical copies of the ledger. Used for various purposes, these ledgers are stored in cryptographic forms and accessed with electronic keys and signatures. Participants, based on rule-based permissions, can update these ledgers, whenever required.

Accelerating change in financial services through Digital Transformation

Distributed ledgers are beneficial to banks as they can reflect changes on a real-time basis. As they are extremely secure, they prevent unauthorized entries, making corruption virtually impossible. As a technology solution, distributed ledgers reside on top of existing applications. Within the field of distributed ledgers, block chain is one more method of distributed ledgers. However, block chain is restricted to a sequential model while DLs do not necessarily fit into a sequential pattern when distributing ledgers. Distributed ledgers may be a good first step forward with immediate benefits for the banking sector.

Artificial Intelligence

Robo-advisor – Fancy though the name sounds, robo-advisors have been around for over a decade. However, it is only in the recent past that this concept has gained popularity. Robo-advisor is an algorigthm-based AI for automated financial advice. This concept has become especially popular for small investors with limited investment options. However, even in cases of larger investments requiring complex decision-making, robo advisors help to automate activities such as tax losses and rebalancing. Robo advisors are useful for single investment goals, and are very good with automated portfolio rebalancing.

As an add-on service, banks can provide value-added services to customers using robo-advisors. Customers can, thus, benefit from customized financial plans and automated investing. One of the key advantages of robo-advisors is the ability to negate human-made calculation mistakes. Uncolored by human emotions, robo-advisors rely purely on algorithms and numbers, reducing chances of errors in investment decisions. In the competitive world of banking, robo-advisors can combine the derive intelligence on existing customers to offer customized investment plans that are beneficial to banks and customers.

e-KYC and identity

Know Your Customer (KYC) is a process adopted by businesses who offer products and services to traders, customers and agents. It is also a process followed by financial services organizations to adhere to regulatory requirements and also to target segment customers. Till recently KYC was a physical activity which required human intervention. While several organizations continue to rely on physical KYC, some forward thinking financial institutions are incorporating eKYC as a procedure for information and verification on customers. By minimizing paperwork and manual labor, eKYC presents a huge opportunity for banks to reduce operational costs without compromising security and information. eKYC reduces paper dependencies thereby helping to avoid identity thefts, and eliminating forgery. Banks can adopt eKYC as it is extremely secure. In the future, eKYC would be the first step forward in a world of secure, paperless transactions.

Cybersecurity

According to the 2017 True Cost of Fraud Study from LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, financial services companies earning at least half of their revenues through digital channels incur up to $3.04 in costs for every dollar lost to cyber-fraud. However, as per the same survey, banks that adopted a multi-layered approach to cybersecurity experience less than 50 percent of the average losses attributed to lapse in cyber security. To ensure cybersecurity, banks are leaning on digital identity intelligence, advanced behavioral analysis, clear-box machine learning technics and integrated risk based authentication. With over one billion new internet users entering the field on an annual basis, the fear of cyber threats can be extremely overwhelming. However, digital identity-based authentication is helping to control fears while providing a real boost to this industry.

To summarize, technology disruptors are providing opportunities and challenges to the banking sector. While challenges such as data breaches, cyber attacks and compromised data will be a fear factor, banks that want to meet the heightened needs of customers should plunge ahead and adapt digital technologies for competitive success.