2015 is here! The wave of positivity and change has surged through the Freight & Logistics industry bringing in new optimism.
This year is expected to bring in new business opportunities and growth. From sharp decline in crude oil prices to emergence of new markets, there is so much going on globally. It is very difficult to keep track of everything in our highly volatile industry. Yet it is important to know what is new and what to expect in 2015. To help you prepare for a year full of opportunities, we bring you the current and upcoming trends in Freight Forwarding & Logistics Industry. Let us have a look :
Continued Growth of E-Commerce
E-commerce sales are growing 20% annually and are expected to reach almost $900B globally this year. According to Forester Research, e-commerce will make up 11% of all U.S. retail sales. In India alone, the e-commerce industry is expected to spend an additional 500 to 1,000 million USD on Infrastructure, Logistics and Warehousing (according to an ASSOCHAM-PWC joint study). As people continue to buy stuff online, logistics companies will have more and more business coming their way. The challenges though will remain same which include efficient tracking of orders, the security of the fragile products and the last mile delivery in rural areas.
Going beyond Visibility
As a result of rising expectations of customers, visibility and customer service is going to be of high priority. Customers are looking to get more services along with the real-time tracking of orders. There is a growing need for fully integrated view of real-time information across the supply chain to reduce response time and improve customer satisfaction.
The effective usage of software will allow freight forwarding companies to provide the shippers with a customer portal integrated with Web and Mobile platforms. Such interactive portals will help customers not only to track their orders but also to manage their bills, payments etc. and book new orders while providing a unified picture of their supply chain. This will also enable freight and logistics companies to reduce the cost and efforts spent in customer service.
Soaring to the Cloud & Going Mobile
Technology will continue to alter existing and define new trends and expectations. More and more freight & logistics companies are expected to shift to the cloud platform. The cloud, with its affordable, remote solutions will enable global logistics companies to become more efficient and performance-driven. Smart use of cloud technology with integration of Web and Mobile platformswill allow logistics companies to gain competitive advantages such as reduce costs and provide better visibility.
Growing use of Information Reporting, Analytics & Big Data
Logistics companies generate huge data in form of freight information, customs related data, bills and payment information etc. Using this data to generate insightful inferences and drastically improve decision making will be a major focus in logistics industry. Successful use of powerful reports, dashboards and KPIs will improve supply chain effectiveness across the organization. Information reporting will also allow freight forwarders to bring in new business models with better customer experience and competitive pricing.
ICT to become a Communication Backbone
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have already had significant effects on logistics. Collaborative technology in conjunction with cloud, web and mobile will greatly improve communication across the organization connecting partners, customers, vendors and all other entities. Growing number of firms will opt for integrated systems that help increase the speed and fluidity of physical and information flows.
Awareness for Sustainability and Green Initiatives
Green challenges and initiatives are and will continue to be a significant part of logistics companies around the world. New regulations are also coming from the governments that put higher demands on the industry. A greater understanding and improvements in technology will provide the industry with opportunities to improve the way it operates and help to minimise the environmental impacts in a smarter and more measured way.
Growing demand for Skilled Logisticians
The logistics industry is expected to face major challenges in managing the workforce: difficulty in attracting talent and the lack of the ideal logistics skill set. With growing business, logistics industry may have to cope with a huge shortfall for skilled workforce. The development of logistics skills will be a top priority globally and will be achieved through a number of initiatives that increase the competency and make greater assets for the organisation.
These are the 7 trends that will drive freight forwarding and logistics industry globally in 2015. With growing e-commerce, adaption of cloud-based logistics software, interactive customer service portals and Green Initiatives, the overall year looks very promising and propitious.
Softlink Global wishes you all, a Very Happy, Successful and Profitable New Year 2015