It’s the last few weeks of the year which means it is time to look back at the year in logistics. As always, it was a busy year covering the latest supply chain and logistics trends, emerging technologies, mergers and acquisitions, major news announcements, and more. We want to take this opportunity to reflect on the Top 15 most popular logistics articles written this year and see what our readers found to be the most interesting. It was a nice combination of topics and authors, including a few from our sponsors. So, without further ado, here are the most popular logistics articles from 2019.
- Supply Chain Trends to Watch in 2019 Clint Reiser
Many of the key supply chain trends in 2019 will be continuations from years prior. However, the details, progress, and intensity will differ greatly. ARC Advisory Group believes the following trends will be the most impactful to the supply chain and logistics domain through 2019.
- Digital Transformation of Supply Chain Chris O’Brien (C.H. Robinson)
Much of the conversation these days about supply chain centers around the “digital disruption” of the business. The very definition of “disruption” implies a major disturbance; that it’s all changing too rapidly and upending the accepted way of doing things. But in reality, we have been living within the digital transformation of supply chain for quite some time. Consider this, right now at C.H. Robinson, almost 70 percent of our interactions are completely digital. We are processing hundreds of millions of digital transactions every year.
- What Truck Driver Shortage? Steve Banker
Since 2005 the American Trucking Associations (ATA) has been releasing reports on the driver shortage. The ATA is the largest national trade association for US truck carriers. Most recently the ATA estimated that the trucking industry ended 2018 with a shortage of more than 60,000 truck drivers.
- 20 Things to Know About Artificial Intelligence for Supply Chain Management Steve Banker
I saw a good article by Gordon Benzie with a similar title, but with a cross industry perspective. Mr. Benzie is a director at AVEVA. I think his article provides a good premise for a more focused article on the topic of artificial intelligence for supply chain management.
- What 5G Means for the Transportation and Logistics Industry Greg Carter (GlobalTranz)
Last week, the Department of Justice gave the green light to the long-sought merger of telecom giants T-Mobile and Sprint. While the merger of the #3 and #4 American phone carriers, respectively, still has legal hurdles to overcome, it is expected to accelerate the deployment of 5G networks in the U.S. For consumers, 5G networks will deliver faster upload and download speeds, and decreased latency (the time it takes for devices to communicate with each other over the wireless network) with wide applications to everything from entertainment to health care.
- The Warehouse Labor Gap is Unsustainable Clint Reiser
I am in the process of updating ARC Advisory Group’s research studies on the global warehouse management systems (WMS) market and the global warehouse automation & control market. I hear two interrelated and repeated themes as I speak with suppliers in these industries. 1. Warehouse automation companies are having difficulties finding qualified personnel to fill open positions, and this is hindering growth, and 2. WMS and warehouse automation customers are having difficulty recruiting and retaining staff in their warehouses. The extent of these concerns led me to take a step back and review some of the relevant macroeconomic data surrounding the market.
- Best Logistics and Supply Chain Shows to Attend in 2019 Clint Reiser
Welcome to 2019! With a new year comes a new list of forthcoming supply chain and logistics events. I find that each conference has its own strengths. I’m sure you do as well. Maybe you are looking to assess the conferences available to you this year. Maybe you are looking to attend two conferences, back-to-back in the same city. Or maybe you want to see who is planning a conference at the same time as your organization. To assist you with your conference planning, we have assembled the following list of conferences that my ARC supply chain colleagues and I consider to be the premier industry conferences scheduled for 2019 – many of which Steve Banker, Chris Cunnane, and I plan to attend ourselves. Feel free to save this webpage to your favorites list for reference through the year.
- 20 Things to Know about Supply Chain Digital Transformations Steve Banker
Companies mean different things by the term “digital supply chain transformation.” For some companies, it means replacing manual, paper and pencil processes with digital data and process support. For some companies it means using autonomous mobile robots and other forms of robotics in their supply chain. For some, it means applying machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to supply chain Big Data. And for some, it means getting better digital data to support an end to end supply chain involving multiple tiers of a company’s supply chain.
- Transportation Trends: First Autonomous Spotters, Then Autonomous Trucks Matt Yearling (PINC)
Across all transportation-reliant industries, we see more experimentation with self-driving vehicles and related technologies. Focused on lessening their reliance on human drivers in the midst of a significant truck driver shortage and leveraging the capabilities of modern technology, these companies are leading a charge that one day could give autonomous vehicles a real presence on the world’s highways and byways.
- The High Cost of The One Percent Inventory Accuracy in Your Supply Chain Matt Yearling (PINC)
If your company is experiencing inventory accuracy problems, the problem extends across your entire logistics network—and right to your end customer. Here’s how digital inventory technologies are helping companies solve those challenges.
- Four Transportation Management Trends to Watch Chris Cunnane
The Transportation Management System market continues to grow at an impressive rate. I’ll get to the main factors that are driving this growth in another article, but the main reason is the robust ROI attributed to a TMS. Companies buy a TMS to achieve freight savings which can be attributed to simulation and network design, load consolidation and lower cost mode selections, and multi-stop route optimization. There are a number of key trends that are driving customers to explore TMS and suppliers to enhance their offerings.
- What is a Supply Chain Control Tower? Steve Banker
The term supply chain control tower is being used more frequently. Some think it is being overused. What is a supply chain control tower? From my perspective it must be a holistic supply chain solution. What does that mean? For me, it means the following ten things.
- Sustainability in the Supply Chain Madhav Durbha (Llamasoft)
Over the past several years, companies have been incorporating sustainability in the supply chain, thanks in part to younger consumers who place a higher premium on environmentally-friendly practices. In fact, according to a Nielsen study, 81 percent of global consumers feel strongly that it’s a company’s duty to help improve the environment, making “going green” a must for many organizations.
- 2019 Supply Chain Trends Chris Cunnane
As I wrote about a few weeks ago, I spent the first week of February in Orlando attending ARC Advisory Group’s Industry Forum. The event had a heavy focus on how digitizing factories, cities, and infrastructure will benefit technology end users and suppliers alike. While I was there, I had the opportunity to sit down and interview a few ARC analysts including Craig Resnick, Greg Gorbach, Larry O’Brien, Mike Guilfoyle, Harry Forbes, Will Hastings, and Jim Frazier. I also had the opportunity to sit down with Steve Banker and discuss some of the major industry trends the two of us are following and researching.
- The Micro-Fulfillment Center Automation Race Clint Reiser
ARC Advisory Group’s survey-based research shows that fulfillment responsiveness (time from order receipt to delivery) is rapidly increasing in importance. Companies are making a wide-range of changes to their warehouse operations to compress fulfillment times in an effort to meet consumers expectations for instant gratification. These changes include the use of waveless fulfillment processes, facility layout changes, the relocation of fulfillment centers to urban centers, warehouse automation investments, and any combination of the above. My current research into the automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) market has elevated my interest in the systems being designed, tested, and utilized for the automation of micro-fulfillment centers. Although this is still a relatively small market segment, my research indicates that it is poised to grow rapidly.
There you have it – the most popular logistics articles from 2019. We will be taking some time off to re-focus, re-energize, and re-fresh our minds. We will back after the new year to bring you the best supply chain and logistics stories in 2020.
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