The only thing that never changes is that everything changes all the time. It’s especially true in 3PL, where innovation happens out of necessity and need. Here, we discuss some of the current Southern California 3PL shipping trends that are increasing in availability, as well as in development.
This is a frequent challenge for both B2B and B2C companies, and one we’ve discussed before, along with the benefits. Visibility is important to 3PL customers. They want to see their inventory whenever they want, wherever it is. Inventory records need to be accurate and available on demand.
A Transportation Management Systems (TMS) is software that manages every aspect of a company’s transportation procedures, including dispatching, tracking, routing optimization and more. TMS is a big part of tracking and visibility. Customers can view exactly where their shipments are, receive updates, and see their shipments on a map. As these systems gets “smarter,” companies will see faster ROI, while they increase efficiency and save time while lowering costs.
3PL companies will come to rely more on technology for everything from managing inventory to engaging and connecting with customers, leading to increased collaboration.
More and more, decisions are made based on data-driven criteria. Data, especially Big Data, will continue to play an integral part in both decision making and everyday operations, such as risk analysis. Using logistical analysis in identifying demand patterns, optimizing delivery routes, companies can streamline their shipping, warehousing, delivery and other functions that used to take a lot longer. Using data to your advantage will, in the long run, help increase efficiency, keep costs down and optimize all the related services.
All this data will also be helpful in driving supply chain automation, and reducing the bottlenecks that can happen in the supply chain.
Warehouses benefit from a wide range of automation based on data. From Amazon’s KIVA robots that grab items from shelves to self-driving cars and trucks that can automate most or all of the transportation part of a supply chain, utilizing data can improve a number of processes.
For instance, did you know that the “last mile” of a package’s journey to delivery is usually the most difficult? For all the weather and traffic on the journey, it’s the point at which the delivery driver gets the package to the customer’s front door that’s usually the most critical. Big trucks may not be able to park at the doorstop, so the driver has to walk a block or more, only to find a couple flights of stairs to get there. If the customer isn’t home, he or she can’t sign for that kind of package.
Data is very helpful for drivers of all kinds the type of information they need to successfully deliver packages and/or freight to its final destination.
Autonomous Trucks: The Future Of 3PL?
While driverless cars are still being perfected, autonomous trucks (without drivers) will probably arrive long before the cars flood the roads. But are American motorists ready for fleets of large trucks that drive themselves?
Not long ago, this was the stuff of science fiction. But companies like Peterbilt, Volvo, Tesla, Daimler, Toyota and Volkswagen are all working to bring driverless trucks to US highways in the next few years. The University of Michigan MCity is a testing ground for all types of autonomous vehicles, from cars to large semi-trucks.
The often-discussed driver shortage is frequently one of the reasons cited for an autonomous truck. Drivers have a time limit on how long they can drive. But with enough fuel, a driverless truck can literally driver 24 hours, increasing efficiency and reducing labor costs. “Platooning” multiple trucks on interstate freeways will also utilize “the drag effect” to save both fuel and money.
The infrastructure isn’t yet available for a nationwide fleet of autonomous vehicles, but driverless big trucks will be ready to roll within 10 years. 3PL and shipping companies will have a wide range of benefits from these vehicles, including increased efficiency and lower costs.
Stay Ahead Of The Trends With 3PL WorldWide
When you work with 3PL Worldwide, you’re working with a wide network of suppliers, logistical providers, warehouse facilities and other companies that come together to provide all the services you need with one phone call. We handle your supply chain logistics, and leave you to take care of your company.
3PL can offer your company additional services like call center services, warehouse space on the east coast and the west coast, and transport to every place in between. We’re located right here in Southern California, so contact us today at (888) 456-1920 or use our online contact form.