10 Logistics trends for 2023

Logistics trends for 2023 point to an increasingly robotized and digitized warehouse. Technological advances make it possible to provide greater agility, safety and reliability to logistics operations.

In such a changing environment as we are living today, the supply chain demands solutions that increase resilience and strength in the face of the challenges presented by logistics 4.0.

Logistics 4.0. serves as a link between the latter and the new technologies and the improvement that these advances can bring to the associated traditional problems. In other words, what we are currently looking for is a connection between the most advanced solutions and our traditional needs.

These are some of the main trends that will mark the logistics pulse of the year 2023.

1. Warehouse simulation

Digital twin technology consists of making virtual replicas of objects or processes with a view to reproducing what the real behavior of their counterparts would be like.

Thanks to the 3D representation of the installation, the customer can visualize how its logistics will be, allowing to simulate the layout of the warehouse, as well as the flows of operators and goods, providing greater competitiveness to companies.

In addition, once the warehouse is operational, the simulation helps to detect inefficiencies and possible opportunities for improvement to facilitate strategic decision making.

2. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

With RPA, software users can create software robots or “bots” that can learn, mimic and then execute rule-based processes.

At the logistics level, robotic process automation can help to better track goods, monitor the shipping status of orders, facilitate the execution of purchase orders based on automated criteria, and so on.

It can also be used to forecast supply and demand by automatically analyzing historical sales data or market indicators and thus maintain an adequate safety stock.

3. Storage capacity (JIC)

Derived from a sudden short-term demand for certain products and raw materials after the pandemic, another trend will be that 2023 will be the year of product availability everywhere.

Just-in-case (JIC) is a stock management strategy whose main characteristic is that companies have sufficient inventory to cover all kinds of eventualities. It works in the opposite way to the JIT or just-in-time method, in which products are manufactured and stored as orders arrive.

4. Data mining

Data mining is the analysis of large volumes of data with the objective of identifying patterns and trends to reveal useful information to support decision making in organizations.

It is very common for data mining to be used in pricing, promotion and product development… however, there are many more opportunities and applications of this type of techniques in the supply chain.

The greatest advantage of using these new analysis techniques is the minimization of uncertainty, which allows to provide the system with the necessary balance to guarantee the adjustment between supply and demand.

Although not all situations are predictable, data mining can help in other logistics issues such as identifying the optimal location for a distribution center, selecting the best logistics service providers or monitoring consumption patterns of specific products in various locations.

5. Cloud computing

Cloud computing is changing the way the supply chain is organized within a logistics company, as it allows easier and more efficient sharing of information and the use of tools and applications.

Digitizing logistics and having a WMS (warehouse management software) in the cloud increases security in the management of information by capturing and storing all the data generated in the warehouse through cloud computing technology, making backup copies automatically, thus saving costs in infrastructure and maintenance.

6. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence has been with us for some time now, but without a doubt it is possibly at its highest point of popularity thanks to applications such as ChatGPT. But how can artificial intelligence be applied to logistics? The answer is as part of a process in supply chains, aimed not only at improving efficiency, but also at facilitating the work of workers.

From now on, companies will have at their disposal technologies based on artificial intelligence, which will enable them to anticipate the behavior of their customers. In this way, they will be able to anticipate their needs and offer them exactly what they are looking for in a logistics company. The result? Offering a more agile, proactive and flexible service.

7. Drones and logistics

Companies such as Google or Amazon have been working for some time now with drone prototypes for the delivery of parcels by air. Although timidly, drones are beginning to gain ground in the logistics sector and could consolidate their presence during 2023.

One of the main benefits of this type of system is that handling a drone is not complicated and has a wide range of uses. In addition, drone delivery would bring other advantages such as cost reduction, faster shipments, relief from road transport and pollution reduction.

In some cases it is already being used for inventory management, detecting inventory mismatches automatically.
Therefore, despite being at an early stage, it is expected that further investment will be made in the future.

8. Increased security

In the wake of the health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, not only the security of information and data processing will continue to be a priority for companies in the logistics sector, but also the safety of their employees and customers. Thus, both the production, its delivery and other processes within the supply chain must be biosecure and be in permanent review and update according to legal provisions and medical research endorsed by Spanish control bodies.

9. Blockchain

Another of the great innovations in logistics and warehousing is the use of blockchain technology, which consists of a set of computers interconnected by means of a common protocol that uses a P2P network to authenticate and store information.

Some of its most interesting applications in the field of logistics are real-time traceability and collaboration agreements between companies (Smart Contracts) that enable any organization to optimize its processes, automating repetitive tasks and simplifying them in just a few steps.

10. Environmental logistics

DispatchTrack’s Last Mile Sustainability Perspectives report, based on a survey of more than 140 logistics professionals, revealed that 77% of companies are already prioritizing sustainability or plan to do so within the next year, an increase of 69% compared to August 2022.

However, despite the fact that customers and society in general demand that their suppliers and collaborators take more and more care in respecting the environment, many companies have remained in small sustainable actions.

We know for sure that it is practically impossible for a company to be 100% sustainable overnight, but making progressive improvements such as measuring the carbon footprint, the use of lighting technology and photovoltaic systems in warehouses, the use of new generation electric or semi-electric vehicles, etc., will gradually bring us closer to the ultimate goal: to protect the environment and human rights throughout the supply chain.

New technologies for better service

After automation and digitization in warehouses took hold during 2022 as pillars of logistics strategy, we have no doubt that throughout this 2023 companies will continue to bet on new technologies to maintain competitiveness, streamline processes and minimize errors.

So, if you want to have a flexible, efficient and updated logistics with the latest trends to get the most out of your supply chain, you are on time, but remember that the sooner you implement these developments, the greater the competitive advantage of your business.