Key Shipping Logistic Trends to watch in 2022

January 20, 2022

By:  John Tomblin, Senior Solutions Architect
Los Angeles Bizz, a division of Sofvue, LLC
Printed with permission of Sofvue, LLC and the author

The shipping and logistics market has always been one of the most critical industries in existence. Just look at the sheer size of the container ships that travel the globe with up to 22,000 containers per vessel. That’s a lot of containers, but even with all the improvements over the past thirty years, from the size of the ships to RFID to reductions in fuel consumption, the marketplace is not without its challenges. Add the global pandemic, political rifts between countries, increased regulations, radical shifts in customer behavior, channel restrictions and anything else you can think of, and you create a recipe for disaster or opportunity -- you decide.

But like most industries, technology helps pave the way to the future with innovative ways to stay relevant and keep profit margins real. And 2022 is no different. Businesses need to embrace many of the changing trends to keep their businesses running smoothly.

With this thought in mind, let’s take a look at some of the logistic trends unfolding in 2022.

1. Automation of Operations

The global driver shortage is at an all-time historic high, and it will be one of the key issues in the logistics industry in 2022. According to The American Trucking Association (ATA), there was a shortage of 80,000 drivers in 2021. At the current pace, the shortage could surpass 160,000 by 2030.

To meet the shortage, the logistics market is taking advantage of automation. Here are three major areas in which automation will play a key role in 2022 and beyond.

  • Autonomous Vehicles: Self-driving cars have been a hot topic for years now. The global self-driving market size was valued at $ 1.04 billion in 2020. The number is forecasted to increase to $1.69 million in 2025. Additionally, leading e-Commerce marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart have already started testing self-driving cars for delivery, and companies like Tu Simple are now rolling out autonomous vehicles that are in service right now, with shipping points in Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso, Dallas and Houston, with Southern California on its radar.
  • Automated storage and retrieval: Everyone already knows that robots can store and retrieve products faster and more accurately than humans. They don’t have coffee breaks and they can work 24-7-365.  Exotec, a robotic company in Atlanta, Georgia, has already sold 2,000 robots to various retail and warehousing companies to help them increase throughput and productivity, and Prime Robotics, a company based in Denver, Colorado, touts an 800% productivity gain using their robotic tools versus using us mere humans.

Automation and robots, powered by artificial intelligence, increase productivity, reduce manual errors, and allow human workers to focus on other value-adding tasks.

2. Increase in Adoption of IoT

IoT (Internet of Things) has seen an increase in adoption in the logistics industry in 2021. And the trend seems to continue its dominance in 2022.  

For starters, IoT can connect almost any type of hardware device used in logistics, from packages and delivery trucks to people, making the entire shipping process seamless.

This, in turn, makes the entire process from storage at the warehouse to delivery to the end customer more organized and cost-effective.

Here are two major areas where IoT can be a game-changer:

  • Locations and route management: By using GPS and geofencing techniques, you can monitor vehicle locations in real-time. Moreover, the alert system of these vehicle tracking systems can alarm drivers if they’re over speeding and can even notify an administrator about any anomaly (like a thunderstorm or accident) that might affect the vehicle delivery time.
  • Inventory tracking and warehousing: IoT facilitates a smart warehouse ecosystem where warehouse workers can track the status of thousands of inventory items with a few clicks, something that just thirty years ago would have taken days, or even weeks, to complete.  This ensures safe storage of goods, helps prevent loss, and speeds up the delivery process.

3. Implementation of Cloud-based Systems

Many industries have already adopted cloud-based systems, and the logistics industry is no different.

The benefits of cloud-based systems for logistics companies include,

  • Easy scalability
  • Reduced operating costs
  • Increased efficiency and productivity
  • Improved back-office operations

Since cloud-based systems allow you to manage your operations from anywhere, you can reduce the number of employees in the actual warehouse, along with other key areas, freeing up resource time and consolidating administrative staff wherever possible.

4. Last Mile Delivery Will Become the Norm

With customers demanding faster and more accurate deliveries at cheaper prices, last-mile delivery has become more important than ever.

Brands like Amazon, Egghead and Office Depot are generally capable of meeting these demands meaning other logistic companies must ramp up their services to keep up with the competition, and especially for B2b and D2c where growth is off the charts.

5. Cross-docking Facilities to Reduce Storage Costs

Cross-docking refers to the practice of unloading incoming delivery vehicles and loading the goods directly into outbound delivery vehicles, bypassing traditional warehouse logistical processes. Check back soon where I will be posting some articles on this specific topic, because logistically, this is going to have profound implications in the coming decades.

The global cross-docking market is projected to reach $342 billion by 2030, up from $200 billion in 2020. The primary reason behind the rapid growth of the cross-docking market is the rising customer expectations for delivery times.

However, to make cross-docking work, businesses need more carriers to move goods as soon as they arrive. They also require better inventory management technology to improve the speed of unloading, scanning, sorting, and reloading.

Final Thoughts

The logistics market is going through a rapid evolutionary phase and increased technology adoption like no other time in history. If your company is looking to take advantage of these technologies, you may be in need of a new or updated mobile application (app) to streamline your operations in real-time, and from anywhere.

And when you do, you will need a technology company that can help leverage automated artificial intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and cloud solutions to improve your operations.   

Los Angeles Bizz is a leading mobile app development company in Los Angeles County and regardless of the size of your project, whether for a small ten-person company or a large warehousing storage and distribution center with a hundred employees, we can help guide you through each step of the process. Ready to get started? Give us a call at 623-845-2747.

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