The logistics sector has boomed more than ever due to COVID-19 and the consequent impact on people buying online and getting products delivered to their door. The boom is only set to continue as the pandemic has made people even more used to this way of buying products. Many businesses have had to flip their business model and partner other businesses to sell and deliver their products online.
This change to their sales model has undoubtably reshaped the face of logistics, and delivery.
So, to help guide you through this booming sector and keep you on the front foot, below we outline five key trends to look out for over the next few months as the sector looks to maximise efficiency while dealing with increasing demand.
Build more space
Most warehouses or logistical centres tend to be based next to motorways to help get the deliveries out fast, but now as demand has increased from across every part of the UK, more warehouses will be needed closer to the city centres and in other areas of that haven’t been previously used before. Warehouse key hubs and distribution centres will continue to grow in demand and value, so start thinking about which locations would aid distribution for your business.
Sustainability and green issues
This trend follows on from the above. Climate change, sustainability and the drive to net-zero will all have an impact on the future of logistics, not only from an operational point of view but on the construction of new warehouses and hubs. Construction companies and developers will have to consider sustainable energy when it comes to the actual build of warehousing and look at incorporating features such as solar panels and electric charging points for deliver vehicles. Sustainability is hot trend for the industry.
Technology and the growth of the Internet of Things.
The use of more technology and the Internet of Things will help control costs and drive further value in the supply chain right through from people to parcels. From a customer point of view this will allow them to track parcels, understand when it is out for delivery and mark it as delivered. From a company perspective it can help become more efficient, track shipments, be more organised, compliant and help with health & safety issues as the business flexes to meet demand.
Warehouse automation and A.I
We can expect to see increased reliance and investment in both warehouse automation and AI. Warehouse automation (e.g., pick and place technologies) which will increase efficiency, speed and productivity by reducing human interventions. A.I can be used for route planning and predictions, as well as playing a key role in warehouse management and rotation of supplies. Apps used by warehouse managers, auditors and compliance teams will also benefit from this as it will enable them to monitor activity closer as they link to this technology.
We had to mention this, didn’t we? But as we have seen in the news there are some teething problems despite a deal being struck. Rising costs will happen as customs require additional documentation to pass through borders and this will no doubt create delays – of which we are already seeing some happen.
Again, technology and software will help to navigate these Brexit bumps. For example, the use of cloud-based technology systems that can be customised will aid any logistic, compliance and health and safety teams to deal with a Brexit issue.
Warehouse Auditor: Make the smart move.