10 Keywords Logistics Professionals Should Keep an Eye on in 2020

This Article originally appeared in Logistics Brief on January 2, 2020.

The start of a new year means that it’s time to realign priorities and set new goals. This doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch! There are plenty of topics and information from 2019 that are important to carry over into 2020. Below are a few keywords that are sure to make headlines this year:

1. Network-based Communities

A network-based community is a group of people interacting through their network-based platform. Network-based platforms are formally declined as a piece of technology or software that connects its users to create mutually beneficial opportunities for all involved.

2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Often referred to as AI, artificial intelligence is gradually becoming more common in the transportation industry. Artificial intelligence is the development of computers that allows them to perform tasks that traditionally call for human intelligence.

3. Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual reality (VR) is an artificial environment a user experiences through sensory experiences created by a computer. The user’s actions alter what happens within the environment. In addition to its popularity in video games, virtual reality (VR) has begun to extend beyond the realm of entertainment. Many trucking companies use VR-based training programs for new hires.

4. Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics extends beyond a traditional view of operations. It refers to the process of using data, statistical algorithms, and machine learning techniques to provide the most accurate projection of a company’s future performance possible. Predictive analytics uncovers patterns and relationships within data that create room for growth and improvement within supply chains.

5. Autonomous Vehicles

An autonomous vehicle is one that can direct itself without human conduction. While many don’t realize it, autonomous vehicles are already making deliveries in some parts of the country and are projected to be a significant part of the transportation industry!

6. Digital Supply Chain

The term “digital supply chain” refers to a supply chain dependent on capabilities provided by the internet to operate. Digital supply chains are always on and hyper-collaborative with carriers, suppliers and shippers on a singular network.

7. Transportation Management System (TMS)

A transportation management system (TMS) is the key to staying competitive in a continuously evolving marketplace. It is a system that companies can use to digitally manage their freight operations and eliminate traditional processes like calling and emailing partners.

8. Customer Experience

As consumer expectations continue to rise, their experience as customers becomes more and more important. Customer experience refers to the customer’s thoughts, feelings and perceptions regarding the employees, channels, systems and products of the company they are interacting with. Satisfaction with delivery is a big part of customers’ overall experience.

9. Sustainability

Growing environmental concerns mean that sustainability should be on every company’s mind. Those who are considered to have sustainable operations often utilize a TMS to transition into greener, more eco-friendly habits. Users are able to optimize truck routes and reduce supply chain waste – All while helping the environment!

10. Amazon Effect

It’s no secret that Amazon is dominating the retail industry. Amazon’s free, 2-day shipping guarantee to its Prime members has become an industry standard. Th “Amazon effect” refers to customers demanding Amazon-like services such as fast shipping and visibility throughout the supply chain.