The Technology-Driven Future of Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

The industry of Third Party Logistics (3PL) is going through dramatic transformations, which mean that the upcoming years will be quite momentous for its future. Although customer satisfaction has been decreasing over the past few years, 3PL providers are preparing to take the opportunities and challenges presented by the most recent advances in technology head on. Those that are optimistic as well as technologically savvy are seeing a very bright future for the industry, but the future is already here.

logistics technology

The face of 3PL is more than likely going to change due to augmented reality, drone delivery, driverless vehicle, 3D printing, internet of things (IoT), Big Data, cloud computing and mobile applications. Some of the technologies are currently being utilized, others remain within the testing phase. Regardless of the state that they are in, the technologies are before us presently and it only a matter of time before implementation can be achieved successfully.

Innovations are Driving a Service Market

It should be keep in mind that the main focus of the technologies is to enable the companies of 3PL the ability to engage, collaborate and connect with their clients as a whole seamlessly so that the quality and speed of service can be improved.

Imagine a day when packages no longer become misplaced or lost and when drones or driverless vehicles are able to deliver shipments to a customer’s door. Additionally, consider that when this day arrives, consumers will be able to monitor the progress of their shipments in real time, making their prospective businesses more effective and dependable.

With the rate of technologies and software solutions that are cropping up within the logistics industry, there will be only a matter of time before the logistic process will become automated in its entirety. Human interaction will still be provided for tasks that are deemed critical. Yet, the automation of the logistics process will increase the rate of delivery and transportation as well as decrease unneeded costs and human errors. This will assist managers with their ability to make accurate and swift decisions in addition to ensuring the safety of the goods being transported.

The Speed of Technology is Driving the Current and Future State of Logistics

3PL is being thoroughly revolutionized by mobile technology. A great number of third-party logistics companies within the industry have begun to utilize mobile applications and devices as a method of improving upon agility.

The devices that are being used have been outfitted with radio frequency identification (RFID) chips. The RFID chips are not only able to transmit location, but additionally they have the potential to hold data for instant identification and tracking. With the use of mobile applications via a mobile phone, consumers will be able to, at any time, place an order, process and track freight shipments.

The Enablement Age is Empowering Shippers and 3PL

Internet of Things (IoT) is a revolutionary technology that will deliver products and devices with the ability to communicate with one another within a network. In the (near) future, products and devices will have an RFID implanted within that will be used for them to identify themselves. This will allow consumers to know precisely their location in a warehouse while gaining information regarding its surroundings that will be transmitted to handlers.

The integration of cloud based technology will make the inroads into business faster as it heralds in the age of big data. Presently, businesses across all platforms are beginning to utilize applications that are cloud based so that the information can be accessed from anywhere.