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January 02, 2024

5 Ways to Cope with Changing Logistics Demand in 2024

Author Icon Inés Alcántara, Senior Sales Engineer

In an era marked by unpredictability and technological advancements, understanding and adapting to the changing demands of logistics is not just an option, but a necessity for success. There are five pivotal solutions and trends that are reshaping the logistics landscape. From leveraging the power of AI to embracing eco-logistics, we will uncover the essential strategies to thrive in this complex and exciting field. Learn how these innovations are transforming logistics operations.

Data Analytics and Automation

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning within warehouses thanks to tools such as robotics could increase to optimize your supply chain and reduce operational costs. When order volumes decrease after the peak, it is the perfect time to optimize workflows and better position your warehouse with the help of your automation technology. An example of AI-enabled workflow optimization is traffic heat maps that you can use to identify and eliminate bottlenecks in your warehouse picking routes or putaway processes. This continuous process improvement based on data analytics enables warehouses to be prepared to ramp up activity during seasonal peaks quickly.

AI that is based on data from more than two dozen detailed reports and real-time dashboards provides companies with predictive insights that can improve productivity and analyze the path to higher resource efficiency. 

Greater Eco-logistic Awareness

In recent years, environmental sustainability has increased in weight and importance to become an increasingly relevant factor when making decisions.

This concern for environmental sustainability will continue to be relevant within the warehouse. Logistics companies are likely to look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint by adopting eco-friendly practices such as the purchase of efficient industrial vehicles; preference for products with eco-friendly or recycled packaging and little or no use of plastics; prioritizing local suppliers; and encouraging the purchase of sustainable products and solutions.

At Locus Robotics, we extend the operational life of our bots through proactive maintenance, feature upgrades, and new use cases vs. planned obsolescence. Our bots are expected to work for seven years, but through this approach, bots can be useful virtually indefinitely.

Automation for Peak and Beyond

Since 2020, there has been a significant evolution in the nature of peak periods and bid times. These periods, traditionally associated with events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or sales seasons, have expanded and diversified throughout the year.

Automation with autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) in the warehouse allows you to transport surplus or slower-selling inventory to storage areas in less busy sections of your warehouse, freeing up prime picking locations for products with higher turnover. This process improves productivity by placing products that are picked more often in easily accessible locations while optimizing your warehouse layout for greater order management efficiency.

Digital Technologies

Companies worldwide are adopting digital technologies to optimize their logistics operations, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.

When we talk about digitalization we refer to the implementation of logistics solutions capable of integrating software and hardware, warehouse management systems (WMS), track and trace systems, supply chain automation, electronic data interchange (EDI), and other digital solutions.

Locus Robotics for example offers the LocusOne solution, with which it is possible to provide operators with relevant and actionable operational and management planning metrics. In this way, robotics makes your associates’ jobs easier, whether they’re picking orders, replenishing products, building pallets, or point-to-point (P2P) transport within your warehouse.

Machine Customers to Automate Purchases

Machine customers are programs equipped with AI that buy or sell products. According to Gartner, this development will have a major influence on trade and industry in the coming years. The technology consulting firm predicts that by 2028, machine users will have rendered 20% of human-readable digital storefronts obsolete. The expansion of this type of consumer may have a greater impact than the invention of e-commerce, so Gartner recommends researching this trend and exploring market opportunities.

These new economic players have sufficient intelligence to act independently. Today's advanced analytics and AI, which can be used to personalize marketing offers, products, services and content, will have to adapt to these machines. For example, improved B2B sales forecasting (a necessary tool for predicting and qualifying leads) and process automation will depend on disciplined data management that produces high-quality information while data and analytics managers will also need to improve their capabilities to support machine-driven sales.

All of these forecasts highlight the ability of an industry capable of adapting to the demands of an increasingly connected, aware, and data-driven world. Automation, digitization, sustainability, and data intelligence are no longer mere possibilities; they are fundamental requirements for any company aspiring to succeed in a competitive and changing environment.

It’s evident that the logistics industry is undergoing a profound transformation. The integration of AI, the emphasis on eco-logistics, the strategic use of AMRs, the digitization of processes, and the emergence of machine customers are not just trends; they are key to logistics success. Embracing these developments is key to staying competitive and efficient in a world where adaptability and foresight are invaluable. As we look forward to navigating these changes, the future of logistics promises to be as challenging as it is exciting. Let’s talk about these innovations and how we can help you forge ahead in this ever-evolving industry.