With the new year right around the corner, it’s time to examine freight-tech trends and take a deep dive into the technology that’s likely to make the biggest splash in 2023. While none of us can predict with certainty what the new year will bring, we can survey the current transportation landscape and gather clues about what we might expect in the next year. Check out these five technology trends that are bound to have a major impact on transportation, trucking and logistics in 2023 according to industry analysts and insiders.
1. End-to-End Real-Time Freight Visibility
“The network effect is at the heart of supply chain transformation,” writes Steve Banker, Vice President of Supply Chain Services at ARC Advisory Group and Forbes contributor. “Essentially, the network effect exists when all components of the supply chain technology ecosystem work together to improve the performance of the end-to-end supply chain.”
In trucking and logistics, the network effect begins and ends with real-time visibility. Once freight is loaded onto a big rig, real-time visibility is often lost, inaccurate or not continuous. We expect end-to-end real-time freight visibility to be a must-have in 2023 for freight brokerages and logistics providers.
2. The Rise of Automation, Digital Transformation and Data Analytics
“Beyond the dire need for higher skilled, more tech-savvy workers in the office, automation, digital transformation and data analytics are key priorities for company leaders today,” says Robert Cadena, a SupplyChainBrain contributor. “But with it comes the need to attract more skilled workers who are adept at extracting the value from these newly implemented technologies. After all, a computer can’t have a meaningful conversation with a customer to solve a delivery issue.”
In the new year, companies that can effectively leverage automation, digitization and analytics to shift human resources away from repetitive, manual tasks toward service and relationship-building have the best chances of success.
3. Carbon Footprint Reduction
“Increasing environmental regulations and consumer pressures to bring down pollution and greenhouse emissions are motivating stakeholders in the logistics industry to reconfigure and innovate to take on a green infrastructure and electric fleets,” said Anaid Chacón, Head of Product for cross-border logistics company Nuvocargo. “Through the optimization of logistics and moving goods at a reasonable cost and minimum environmental impact, efficiencies can be improved and carbon footprints reduced. With the help of ongoing initiatives and regulations, we expect this trend to also continue in the coming year.”
4. Elastic Logistics
According to Maggie Barnett of ShipHero, the ability to adapt in the face of shifting supply and demand is crucial for success in the new year. The most effective means of staying nimble and adaptable is to invest in real-time, cloud-based tech.
“Brands don’t need to reinvent their shipping strategies, but they may need to adjust accordingly,” Barnett said in a recent interview. “Staying flexible is key to surviving the ups and downs of the pandemic. Companies should be able to scale operations and resources depending on consumer demand and product shortages. 2023 will be all about elastic logistics. Companies should also consider investing in A.I. and cloud technologies, as these are the best ways to predict consumer demand and have total visibility into the supply chain.”
5. Death of Data Silos
“Proper management of data is essential, given that shipping cost is consistently among the top line items for product-based companies,” writes Robert J. Bowman in a recent article for SupplyChainBrain. “The problem is that the data exists in multiple silos, including enterprise resource planning, warehouse management systems and transportation management systems…Companies that can’t consolidate that information in one location will find it hard to assess the effectiveness of new systems and software.”
If you’re investing in technology in 2023, be sure that the platforms you choose integrate with other technologies used in your business and used by your shipper and carrier partners.