One of the biggest drivers in every industry is technological advancement. From web-based interfaces to big data, apps, blockchain, IoT, and even flying drones, the art and science of shipping, transporting, and receiving can benefit from a wide range of technologies that weren’t even thought of ten years ago.

New Technology And The 3PL Industry in Connecticut

Investing in the technology as well as accompanying analytics brings more opportunities for 3PL companies to offer more services to their customers, as well as improve efficiency. Responding with increased capabilities as well as continual improvement and investment keeps a 3PL current for their own productivity as well as response to customers’ needs.

What kind of 3PL technology can the world look forward to? We’ve discussed new trends in 3PL technology before, such as blockchain and autonomous trucks. Here are a few of our picks for 2020.


Long used in manufacturing, robots are making their way into logistics.

Using robots to pick, move, and pack products, Amazon’s warehouse robot team takes on many of the mundane everyday tasks and leaves humans to jobs that require higher thinking. In 26 of the company’s 175 fulfillment centers, robots pick up heavy items and ready them for shipping or stowing. Products are brought to the employees, who are better able to identify the items quickly instead of spending time looking for them on shelves.

Amazon’s foray into robotics will eventually find its way into everyday supply chain logistics, helping more companies become more efficient.

3D Printing: Products On Demand

What’s a faster way to get a product to a customer without having excess stock? Make one as it’s ordered.

Many products made of metal, plastic, or mixed materials can be created with this technology whenever the customer orders it. The company no longer needs to stock products waiting for someone to deliver them.

Additionally, a 3PL can also deliver the raw goods to the consumer to 3D print at home or offer those same 3D printing services if the consumer doesn’t have the capability. Both scenarios will have the potential for shortening the supply chain and reducing the need for additional warehouse space.

Augmented Reality (AR)

You’ve probably heard of virtual reality (VR), which is primarily used in gaming. Augmented reality is an enhanced view of an environment, blending the “real world” with overlaid images.

AR is actually not futuristic, but currently available, in things such as GPS programs. The best example is Pokemon Go, the smartphone game that got parents and kids walking around their neighborhoods looking for digital “prizes.” But beyond games, AR has a wide range of everyday applications that you are likely already familiar with. If you’re a football fan, you’ve seen graphics (lines, arrows, etc.) that are added that appear to be on the turf, listing statistics and other information during the game.

3PL operations can also benefit from AR technology. DHL began rolling out their AR program in 2016, following a successful trial in The Netherlands. Employees wearing smart glasses can complete order picking much faster because they can see where packages are and where they go on a trolley, increasing speed and reducing error rates. On a wider scale, warehouse workers can complete a range of tasks much faster, including picking, validation, and real-time stock updates.

AR can also help reduce training times for new employees, especially for heavy machinery and specialized equipment. Instead of sitting in a training room and listening to a lecture, AR-enabled smart glasses allow a worker to go directly to a job site and see exactly how a task should be performed. The worker is able to learn in real-time, on their own, and practice while they’re working, shortening the learning curve.

3PL Worldwide Keeps You Ahead Of The Game

Getting on board with a 3PL may be one of the smartest moves your company can make to make your supply chain and customer deliveries better and more efficient.

3PL Worldwide can offer your company logistical services as well as additional services such as a call center, warehouse space in Connecticut and Southern California, as well as product transport to nearly anywhere. Based in Southern California and Connecticut, we can work with you no matter where you are in the US. Call us today at (877) 444-0002 or use our online contact form.

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