Logistics Trends to Expect in 2023
A key takeaway from the last few years is that the logistics and shipping industries remain largely unpredictable. It is for this reason that looking forward to possible trends in 2023 will help retailers to stay up to date and adjust strategies accordingly. Here we look at some of the top trends, some of which continue from last year and others which have become apparent due to the uncertainty and unprecedented times we have witnessed in recent years.
- Elastic Logistics
Elastic logistics refers to the ability to quickly shrink or expand logistics capabilities in order to align with current demand. This is obviously a great ability to have in light of recent years and the amount of uncertainty or unforeseen circumstances which can occur at any time. These events have certainly encouraged retailers to review their shipping capabilities and overall strategy.
As we still face much uncertainty with rising transportation costs and the cost of living crisis, it is wise for companies to implement a more flexible approach. Preparing for all eventualities will only ever be a good thing, and it will ensure business continuity and stable longevity.
- Rate Reduction
During the coronavirus pandemic the amount of spending on goods online reached unprecedented levels due to the amount of us stuck at home, unable to physically go to shops. This saw a knock on effect for logistics with carriers needing to increase rates for many shipping options due to labour shortages and backlog.
Demand has now reduced to a more normal level and backlogs are decreasing which means there is an opportunity for shipping costs to level out once more. This rebalancing of the ecommerce and logistics industries is expected to continue into 2023, but a flexible approach is still advised due to the levels of uncertainty we still face.
- Move into Nearshoring
One approach companies took to alleviate some of the pressure caused by the pandemic was to nearshore their manufacturing or supply. Relocation of these processes means that there can be an increase in price, however, lead times are more reliable with less likelihood for blockages or interference when it comes to shipping. Therefore delivery or transit times are much more reliable and efficient.
- Increase in Digitalisation and Data Use
This trend is set to have the most longevity, with an ever increasing digitisation of the supply chain and more data intelligence than ever before, it is aiming to support a smoother supply chain. Digital methods allow shipments of goods to be tracked all along the supply chain, which can benefit all parties involved from manufacturers to the end consumer.
- Advancement in Tech and AI
Supporting the digitalisation of the supply chain is AI and technology advancements such as autonomous vehicles, drones and robotics. The rollout of these kinds of technologies will take a while, but we’re seeing it more and more in warehousing and delivery. The use of tech such as drones is helping to decrease delivery times, sometimes offering same day delivery in more urban areas and the use of robotics in warehouses to speed up processes.
Despite uncertainties which may still lay ahead it is important to future proof your business and adapt. Many of these trends, along with an agile approach, will help the longevity of your business and attract repeat custom. The 2023 customer is looking for fast delivery times in a cost effective way whilst being mindful of their impact on the environment. Any technology or process which will support your business in delivering these key things to your customers will be invaluable.