2016 will be a big year for many 3rd party logistic companies. Up until recently, “cutting-edge” and logistics weren't two words you would normally see together. Shipping freight is becoming more streamlined with every passing year. Consumers can expect booking freight to be much like picking a flight or booking a hotel. And, the growing presence of 3PLs is changing just how transparent logistics can be. No longer does booking freight have to be a long process. In an instant 3PLs provide access to multiple freight companies and freight quotes to choose from and they will work to provide carriers that offer the best services to give them an edge over their competitors. Shippers will move away from fixed contracts and towards 3PLs who will provide them with the best freight rates for each lane, allowing them to maximize on savings. Yes, 2016 will be big, changing the mindset of the entire industry by moving freight online.
Another thing to look for in 2016 is lowering emissions in freight transportation. Most industries were affected by the Paris COP21 conference in December 2015 and now focus will be set on emission reductions from both freight and airline industries. To help encourage change, governments will offer subsidies and low interest loans to freight carriers who lower their fleet emissions in the coming year. Consumers will also have lower emissions options when shipping.
Automation will play a huge role in the coming years making freight shipping more efficient. Automatic cranes moving containers to trucks or trains that have specific automated schedules and routes are some of the ways automation is already cutting energy demands. Automated vehicles are also becoming more of a reality as technology grows. Self-driving vehicles will reduce energy costs by having optimized routes and deliveries, which also means there will be less of them on the roads all together.
Battery technology has come a long way with the emergence of electric cars. You see more electric cars on the road than ever before. The question is “why hasn’t this technology been implemented into the freight industry yet?” The major issue is that until now there hasn’t been a need to adopt electric vehicles, it simply wasn’t profitable. 2016 brings new advances that will put pressure on the freight industry to go green. Manufacturers are beginning to see the huge profits to be made by embracing the future of battery technology. The first implementation is expected to be zero emission trucks that will specifically be used for final mile deliveries.
While 2015 started some major changes in the industry, 2016 is where we will begin to see exactly how these changes impact global logistics as a whole. Freight shipping will be much like booking a flight, supply chains will become more flexible, shippers will break contracts in favor of using 3PLs, and technology will move forward in automation that will make freight shipping more cost and energy efficient.