The logistics sector is the fuel that drives the global economy and a critical link that binds the supply-side of the value chain to the demand-side. Over the past decade, consumer demands have evolved at a rapid pace and its impact can be felt across the smart logistics sector across the world. The flourishing e-commerce sector coupled with the evolving consumer requirements has compelled participants in the smart logistics market to curate cost-effective, reliable, and efficient logistics solutions.
In the current scenario, technological advancements are enabling operators in the smart logistics market to achieve these goals. Strides taken by data analytics over the past few years is expected to drive the adoption of data-centric software tools within the logistics sector – a trend that is likely to gain considerable momentum in the upcoming years.
Digitalization in Logistics – Architect to a Safe and Efficient Transportation Ecosystem
Industry 4.0 continues to revolutionize and automate operations across warehouses and factories while simultaneously optimizing the entire product distribution process. Digitalization is expected to play an imperative role in transforming end-to-end logistics during the forecast period (2018-2028). Participants operating in the current smart logistics market are increasingly leveraging new technologies including big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and sensors to address the existing bottlenecks within the entire value chain.
At present, players operating in the current smart logistics market are primarily focused on optimizing their route networks, streamlining logistics management, and tracking deliveries in real-time. Smart logistics market is expected to stand the test of time during the COVID-19 pandemic and play an integral role in delivering essential goods and services.
However, during the post-pandemic era, the onus will most likely remain on the smart logistics sector to bring the supply chains around the world back on track and ensure safe transportation. The smart logistics sector is expected to play a crucial role in addressing the existing challenges within the supply chain and provide a clear roadmap pertaining to the transportation of goods and services in different industrial spheres.
Rise of Industry 4.0 Paves the Way for Logistics 4.0
Technological advancements within the transportation and logistics sector have progressed at a rapid pace over the past few years due to which, the adoption of transportation management systems and warehouse management systems has increased across a broad spectrum of industries including automotive, electronics, e-commerce, and more. The onset of Industry 4.0 has led to significant improvements pertaining to the management of supply chains and other sciences related to the management and control of goods, data, and other resources. At present, players operating in the smart logistics market are increasingly deploying advanced solutions to fulfill customer requirements, streamline data integration, and enhance inventory management, material handling, packaging, and other aspects involved in the transportations and logistics space.
The paradigm shift toward digitalization has paved the way for smart logistics or logistics 4.0. While participants in the current market landscape are expected to focus on addressing the existing challenges across supply chains, improving performance, and maximizing the overall speed of operations, enhancing the quality of services is likely to remain a key differentiator. Digitalization has led to a revolution in the smart logistics market and assisted in the development of a networked supply stream chain which in turn has increased transparency pertaining to the logistics tasks. The introduction of novel technologies including the Internet of Things (IoT) has enabled efficient tracking of products with bar codes and RFID tags. The automation trend is expected to play a key role in minimizing operational costs and time.
Assistance from Smart Logistics Solutions in Combating Supply Chain Challenges
The novel coronavirus pandemic has crippled the supply chains across all the major industrial sectors worldwide. While the supply chain issues are largely linked to orders related to China, companies around the world have reported capacity shortfalls due to the transportation disruptions caused by the novel coronavirus. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to put forward logistics barriers, companies operating in the smart logistics market are focusing on carving out new techniques to restore normalcy across the supply chains worldwide. As per the current observable trends, the deployment and utilization of smart robots including automated guided vehicles are expected to grow at a considerable pace over the upcoming years. While an array of industries on the brink of automating their workflow models, the advent of the novel COVID-19 pandemic is expected to fast-track the process.
The demand for automated guided vehicles has ascended at a consistent pace over the past few years due to two major factors – surge in investments and the advancements in e-commerce warehousing and smart logistics. While robots and automated guided vehicles are expected to gain considerable traction in the upcoming years, the adoption of freight analytics is expected to increase at a rapid pace. Apart from causing a major health and financial crisis across the world, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the logistics industry is alarming. Several tech startups are focusing on the development of freight analytics systems, machine learning, and cloud-based applications to overcome the looming logistics problems. The spike in the demand and sales of essential goods & services, grocery, and medical products is expected to augment the demand for smart logistics solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to boost the prospects of the smart logistics market during the assessment period, the adoption of new technologies such as machine learning, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence coupled with the growing demand for efficient warehouse management systems is likely to create new avenues for smart logistics companies. Another trend that is expected to provide a substantial boost to the growth of the smart logistics market is the growing number of mergers and acquisitions. Retail giants are increasingly acquiring small-medium sized smart logistics companies. For instance, Walmart acquired Parcel, Target acquired Grand Junction and Shipt, and Alibaba’s acquisition of Cainiao Smart Logistics Network among others is expected to set the tone to the future of the smart logistics market.
By Industry Vertical
Smart Logistics Market: Key Players
Some of the key players operating in the smart logistics market are AT&T Intellectual Property, IBM Corporation, Intel Corporation, SAP SE, Cisco Systems, Oracle Corporation, Freightgate Inc., Arkessa, Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions GmbH, Honeywell International Inc., and Orbcomm Inc., among others.
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The booming e-commerce sector coupled with rapidly evolving consumer requirements is propelling the smart logistics market towards a highly efficient, reliable, and cost-effective solution. The market has been benefitting from the high adoption rate of warehouse management systems and transportation management systems across different industries including e-commerce, automotive, and electronics. The introduction of digitalization across different industry verticals is strengthening the growth trajectory of the global market. The digitalization led transformation in the existing supply chains has improved the performance and speed of different operations. The introduction of advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) has substantially enhanced the efficacy of tracking the products with help of RFID tags and bar codes.
Buoyed by the capacity shortfalls and supply chain disruptions, the companies in the market are evolving new techniques to restore the normalcy in operations across the disrupted landscapes. Automated guided vehicles along with the robots are expected to gain traction in the coming years, propelling the adoption of the freight analytics ahead. Several startups are focusing on technologies such as machine learning, cloud-based application, and freight analytics systems to aid the economy in overcoming the looming problems of logistics.
Established players in the global smart logistics market include Cisco Systems, Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions GmbH, IBM Corporation, and SAP SE.