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Emerging Trends Impacting the Future of Logistics

Posted April 26, 2016

Artificial intelligence and consumer demand for greater personalization are behind several of the most transformational trends identified DHL in its fourth annual “Logistics Trend Radar” – a “living tool” that aims to identify the development of significant societal, business and technology trends that could impact the logistics industry in the next five to ten years.

“Predicting trends is notoriously challenging. It is difficult to know ahead of time which trends will have long-term effect on businesses and which ones are simply parts of a short-lived hype, said Markus Kückelhaus, vice president innovation and research at DHL.

“To identify and understand trends early on in their development we established the Logistics Trend Radar to help us and our customers stay ahead of the curve.”

According to DHL, “the impact of data-driven and autonomous supply chains provides an opportunity for previously unimaginable levels of optimization in manufacturing, logistics, warehousing and last mile delivery that could become a reality in less than half a decade despite high set-up costs deterring early adoption in logistics.”

Changing consumer behaviour and the desire for more personalization are behind two other top trends set to have a big impact on logistics, the report predicts. It suggests that the growing demand for highly personalized products coupled with consumers’ desire to have their purchases delivered where and when they need them could “lead to decentralized production and rapidly changing supply chains that will require logistics providers to be fast and flexible to react to changes in time and place of production.”

The latest Logistics Trend Radar confirms some now increasingly familiar trends such as The Internet of Things, robotics, omni-channel and fair & responsible logistics, while also providing a glimpse at those which are only just beginning to emerge, from the adoption of self-learning systems to leveraging the possibilities of smart energy logistics.

“It is crucial that anyone involved in supply chain management and logistics understands these potentially game-changing developments and the implications for their own business or sector now,” says Matthias Heutger, senior vice president strategy, marketing & innovation at DHL.

Click here to download the report.