As the pandemic continues beyond our initial expectations, changes in consumer and business behavior have resulted in an even greater dependence on logistics. Need we make any jokes about toilet paper supply? Technological shifts started years ago have accelerated: working from home, grocery pickup and delivery, and more e-commerce than ever before. This consumer behavior, along with ongoing vertical integration for software companies in general and logistics software in specific, brings us to our rather bold predictions for 2021.
Delivery and Supply Chain Predictions:
Zone Skipping and Pooling
will become a more critical and necessary piece of the supply chain. Multi-zone shipments are expensive, and as shipping volumes increase, and the proliferation of regional and local distribution hubs, suppliers need to figure out their zone skipping and pooling plan to compete.
Last-mile LTL carriers will become a substitute for expensive accessorials.
More people are buying bigger and bulkier products direct. Beyond dog food and bulk toilet paper, mattresses, furniture, and cars are the new e-commerce.
Amazon will compete with UPS and FedEx on ground service.
Considering the almost 40% increase in sales for Amazon in 2020, the company had to make some dramatic changes to keep up with customer demand.
These changes resulted in leasing of aircraft and adding 220 facilities, in less than one year. With hundreds of thousands of employees, and real estate, automation, and technology in place, this competition is inevitable.
Transportation Management and Software Consolidation Predictions:
TMS’ will become essential to all businesses that ship products to compete effectively.
(Not so bold- as volume increases, labor is much more expensive than technology.)
Some ERPs and WMSs may try to build TMS functionality, and some TMSs will try to build in WMS functionality.
Convergence has happened in most other software verticals - look at Salesforce, Oracle, and SAP for examples. The connection from order to warehouse is so tight, a single platform rather than integration of multiple solutions looks attractive.
TMS functionality will continue expansion to cover more of the supply chain.
Shop/ship/track/audit/analyze. More connectivity between vendors and partners in the shipper’s supply chain will help break down silos and reduce errors and labor costs.
Logistics data is already valuable, but in 2021 some TMS vendors will unlock that value and deliver exponential savings to shippers.
Automate or perish.
Built on more than two decades of shipping & logistics experience, FreightPOP is a cloud-based software that makes logistics simple with one login for logistics and supply chain management, including inbound and outbound freight management across parcel, LTL, FTL, ocean, and international air. FreightPOP offers seamless integration into our customer's current tech stack (ERP, WMS, CRM) and is highly configurable to existing workflows and processes. With connections to 300+ carriers, ERP, WMS, and rate marketplaces, getting the best rates and optimizing shipping processes is easily achieved. To find out more, visit freightpop.com