A Look at the Top Trends in Strategic Freight Management

By Logistics Tech Outlook | Saturday, December 26, 2020

Innovative ways to simplify processes, including automation through artificial intelligence and machine learning, open the door to new markets, control day-to-day activities and supply chains, and plan for long-term demand forecasts.

FREMONT, CA: Shippers have become accustomed to the varying demands of the industry. Today's customers want faster, free shipping, and they are not willing to listen to any excuse why the shipment has been delayed. Combined with market volatility and tight capacity, shippers are struggling to keep pace. As the industry moves closer to the peak season, the gaps between thought leaders and those who lag will become clear. Shippers need to consider the top trends in strategic freight management investment decisions and how to be prepared now to ensure excellent outcomes.

Final Mile Services: Key Element of Strategic Freight Management

Hold the e-commerce giants in the spotlight for a moment. Their customers can now take advantage of additional services beyond the purchase of a product, namely the installation, removal of old items, and even manual labor required to make full use of the product.

For instance, people who buy new windows can hire and pay for the contractor to assemble the window on the same platform upon delivery. This capability includes convergence and the ability to delive

r more than just a commodity. These are the invaluable last-mile logistics networks that are beginning to reshape the way shippers view freight management. Value-added services in the final mile will make or break a good interaction. It may not be possible to deliver all available last mile and white glove services at once, but shippers need to introduce systems that can work well with third-party networks to make this a reality.

Automation in the Industry Reaches a Breaking Point with Legacy Systems

Supply chain automation is another market development that will push the limits of existing systems. If automation continues to evolve, it depends on newer, more up-to-date methods. It is not enough to connect with the conventional platform through older coding frameworks. While Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) has been fantastic, it falls short of the comprehensive capabilities of modern Application Programming Interface (APIs).

In the meantime, innovative ways to simplify processes, including automation through artificial intelligence and machine learning, open the door to new markets, control day-to-day activities and supply chains, and plan for long-term demand forecasts. It is difficult to predict precisely how the market will react, but the supply chain is abhorring a vacuum. As technology increases, customer demand will only continue to rise, and more technology will be required to fulfill these requirements.

New Shipping Strategies Must Progress to Move More Product

Shippers also face the prospect of Stock-Keeping Unit (SKU) proliferation as more vendors appear and new goods come onto the market. The expansion of SKU is a crucial issue for modern shippers, especially retailers. Instead of managing it at home, more shippers are turning to new fulfillment techniques, including cross-docking and drop shipping, to remove the need for a commodity to be physically packed in their warehouse. This aspect would effectively reduce the burden on logistics management. Still, it comes at the expense and the need to recognize and achieve end-to-end visibility through the entire supply chain, up to the producer. Simultaneously, shippers will need to create a partnership business case, demonstrating how partnerships can add value and increase capacity.

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