What Tech Trends Should You Prioritize?

What Tech Trends Should You  Prioritize?

Logistics organizations remain under pressure to control costs while dealing with unprecedented labor challenges. Historically, few have prioritized technology investment to help address these sorts of issues.

Change appears to be in the air though. Our conversations with transportation and logistics leaders reveal a new emphasis being placed on technology investment to drive innovation and automation and to enhance operations and processes.

While there are many technologies to evaluate, two in particular should rise to the top of the list for potential investment: Actionable AI and supply chain integrated services. These technologies will have the greatest impact on the transportation function.

Actionable AI. The impact of actionable AI on transportation continues to grow exponentially in both scope of impact and importance.

For logistics leaders in charge of transportation, utilizing actionable AI provides information that drives the decision-making process that avoids disruptions and optimizes end-to-end transportation financial and service performance.

Logistics leaders also can use actionable AI to predict capacity demand, manage inventory movements, and optimize transportation asset and labor utilization, among other benefits.

For example, using AI, routing technologies can consider the dwell time spent at a stop, combined with historical data, to better calculate delivery time windows and, consequently, the optimization of routes.

It is also important to note that dwell time not only affects route optimization, but is a significant cost component for carriers, and therefore affects the freight rates they charge shippers.

Additionally, AI can improve the accuracy of measuring transportation sustainability by predicting emissions output based on data from traffic patterns that affect shipper and carrier carbon footprints. This use case can help reduce the risk of companies missing their carbon emission targets due to inaccurate data and collection methodologies.

Supply chain integration services. Supply chain integration services (SCIS) have the ability to elevate the role of transportation integration from a tactical, execution-centric and technical view of system interoperability to a strategy-led vision of a more interconnected world.

For logistics leaders in charge of transportation, the opportunity here is to create a comprehensive approach to the integration of different functions, processes, and stakeholders to optimize operations, reduce costs, enhance visibility and improve overall performance. The goal is to create a seamless flow of goods, supported by real-time data, from production to final delivery.

In short, SCIS could enable transportation operations to realize end-to-end performance advancement up to levels not possible with siloed, manual processes.

For example, integrating all inbound and outbound transportation data into a single real-time visibility technology platform can improve overall supply chain efficiency among internal supply chain partners and external suppliers. Visibility to inventory on a common platform can significantly improve end-to-end supply chain performance.

Advances in transportation technology do not end with these two trends. Other trends gaining in importance in the transportation technology space include composable applications, visibility, automation, and carbon emission calculation and accounting.

It is critical for logistics leaders to understand the differentiated, domain-specific impacts of the most innovative technologies and trends, as well as to obtain background information on maturing technologies, practices, and processes.