Logistics has become a hot term given the protracted supply chain chaos and recent shortage of the crucial diesel engine additive AdBlue.
So what are the top four logistic industry trends and innovations for 2022? Read about them here.
Cutting-edge delivery vehicles, known as levels 3, 4 and 5, are moving into the realm of conditional, high and full driving automation. It’s happening at every leg of the journey on land and sea.
Global logistics company DHL is expanding its autonomous forklifts and pallet trucks in its warehouses across Europe, the UK, Ireland and North America. Meanwhile, closer to home, US company TuSimple plans to roll out its fleet of long-haul driverless trucks in Australia in 2024. Those vehicles have sensors giving them 360-degree awareness and can ‘see’ up to one kilometre away. They’re also fuel-efficient, safer and deliver faster with no humans on board.
Late last year, 7-Eleven and autonomous delivery vehicle manufacturer, Nuro, launched a service using Toyota Prius to fulfil orders in half an hour or less. These are for smaller deliveries. It’s early days, though, with a human driver behind the wheel.
Self-driving vehicles, along with robots and drones, are expected to feature more for the last leg or ‘last mile’ of deliveries. It’s the most expensive, inefficient and time-consuming part of the whole process due to many stops with a single or a small number of items. Accenture says last-mile delivery accounts for 53% of the total shipping cost and 41% of the total supply chain costs.
However, while costly, this is where companies can offer customers a more personalised and improved buying experience. This trend expands the crowd-sourced approach to deliveries using digital platforms like Uber Eats and Deliveroo.
To shrink the distance of the last leg, companies such as Amazon are creating local logistic hubs. In London, they’re converting leased parking spaces into a hub so it can deliver by foot or e-cargo bikes within a two-kilometre radius. Closer to home, multi-storey warehouses are likely to be built in South Sydney this year  and Port Melbourne in four years, reports The Australian Financial Review.
The demand for improving the last leg of delivery will see a rise in third-party logistics (3PL) and even fourth-party logistics (4PL). A 3PL company deals directly with service providers and arranges freight carriers and warehousing, so it’s largely transactional. Meanwhile, a 4PL has broader responsibilities and accountability to help their customers reach their strategic goal. They partner with sellers to cover all of the supply chains, including transport and warehousing. In short, they’re a single point of contact. The 3PL and 4PL market is expected to be worth US$920 million by 2024, up from US$760 million in 2019, says
Last-mile logistics tend to be greener, more sustainable options, so reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With e-commerce consistently rising in popularity, supply chain operations and logistics are coming under increasing scrutiny. Governments, customers and businesses and organisations are all highlighting the importance of sustainability targets.
E-commerce businesses are investing in sustainability in the following ways:
- Using more sustainable package types
- Opting for more efficient freight solutions, such as focusing on a greener last mile or using software to optimise routes for fuel efficiency, or using digital freight matching for fewer empty trucks
- Choosing greener transportation options, including automated delivery robots, electric vehicles even an intelligent drive axle for trailers to capture and store power when the truck slows down
- Digitisation, for instance, Agility’s app, Shipa, lets customers collaborate to instantly design optimised supply chains with a low environmental impact.
Be prepared for anything
The strong theme for logistics is digital disruption. How ready is your business for that and the wider risks that logistics will deliver for 2022? The most common issues for those who operate in the transport and warehouse sector include:
- Accidental damage to property, including third-party property such as driving into walls or fences
- Accidental damage to stored goods
- Damage to property from fire or storms.
That’s why you should protect your business with transport and warehouse insurance to include cover such as:
- Public liability
- Physical loss or damage to your business buildings from fire, wind, water, lightning, explosion, sprinkler leads, earthquake, vandalism, etc
- Electronic or machinery equipment breakdown
- Property or stock theft from your business premises
- Legal action by employees
- Legal action by government
- Commercial vehicles
- Personal accident and sickness.
Such cover can also help position your business for success in the face of trends in logistics. Chat to us to better manage your risk profile.