Supply Chain Expectations for 2019

New year, new expectations!

Now is a great time to look ahead at some of the key changes that may affect your supply chain in the upcoming year. Many of these factors have carried on from 2018, but in a world of rapid growing trends and ever changing technology, one can never be too informed.

Here’s what you can expect for 2019.

  1. E-Commerce Demand will Drive LTL

While most establishments operate by the guidelines of “No shirt, no shoes, no service”, online shopping proudly says, “No shirt, no shoes, no problem”. E-commerce has become so popular that the demand for delivery drivers simply cannot keep up. While this customer-centric growth provides a boost to LTL carriers, it’s only at the expense of their inevitably limited resources. The reality is that the shipping industry demands more drivers, which means more trucks, more fuel, and even more unique shipping lanes.

  1. Labor Shortage

The demand for truckers will continue through 2019 and beyond. As the older generation of drivers retire, there aren’t nearly enough fresh recruits to fill the gap. Consequent wage increases may help to recruit some bright-eyed young drivers, but this “solution” only raises the total cost of doing business. Fulfillment demands of the E-commerce movement are also making warehouse labor extremely tight.

  1. Digital Supply Chain Concepts

Transportation has gone from a technology enabled process to a technology dependent one. There’s no fighting the trend, and while Artificial Intelligence is a buzzword many industries seem to throw around, the supply chain technology is already here. From warehouse organization robots, to delivery drones, to website features like chatbots offering a direct point of contact for questions or comments. A wide variety of self-learning algorithms can already be found in industry today.

IoT (Internet of Things) technology is streamlining logistics processes through optimally networked devices that know exactly what to do, and when. For example, smart sensors can be installed into delivery trucks for better maintenance practices. Attaching sensors to items before they are shipped can improve quality control practices, and provide alerts and updates regarding products that may be getting damaged in transit.

When important inventory is given IoT sensors, warehouse managers can receive alerts when critical stock is low. As inventory management systems continue to grow their digital capabilities, the warehouse floor will be a prime playing field for new and innovative technologies this year.

Building Your 2019 Strategy

It’s easy to focus solely on AI and IoT technology as they currently hold the greatest potential for major change. While building your 2019 supply chain strategy right now, stay mindful of the current e-Commerce boom and subsequent LTL capacity crunch. Planning ahead can contribute to significant competitive advantages, and with Radius you can trust that you’re backed by unparalleled customer service, detailed reporting, and a strong track record of finding cost-effective solutions.

Contact us today to learn how we can help streamline your shipments this year!