The “2018 22nd Annual Third-Party Logistics Study” is out, with the message that the greater availability of data and the ability to make real-time decisions are encouraging collaboration between shippers and 3PLs, when it comes to making supply-chain decisions.
“Shippers have greater expectations of what they want their logistics providers to accomplish, and the proper alignment of those expectations is the key to guaranteeing success between both parties,” the report found.
The study examined the latest technological and market trends impacting 3PL companies. Among the top trends are:
- Blockchain: While the new, automated information-sharing technology opens the doors to unprecedented data collection and data-driven decision making, companies are still some ways from integrating those information flows and deriving value from data related to each movement of a shipment.
- Automation and digitization: Big data has the potential to drive efficiencies across supply chains, and data-driven decision making is the key to increase asset utilization. Automation has the potential to improve safety and limit the impact of human error in transportation.
- Risk and resilience: The real-time exchange of data allows faster responses, which can minimize supply chain disruptions. Increased visibility gives 3PLs an opportunity to provide greater value.
- Logistics and talent: Technological advances have not negated the requirement for human skills in the supply chain. Instead, technology will “enable employees to reach their full potential and make human talent even more valuable,” the study found.
- Contemporary issues: The growth of 3PLs in China, managing supply chain costs, the role of logistics in humanitarian efforts and the greening of the supply chain.