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5 Trends Logistics Managers Should Keep an Eye on for 2021

5 Trends Logistics Managers Should Keep an Eye on for 2021

COVID-19, unstable economies and unpredictable consumer behavior left supply chains needing to respond and adapt quickly in 2020. As we look forward to 2021 and the advances in supply chain management to come, we should anticipate a rise in solutions that are ready to tackle some of these very challenges.

Moving into 2021, logistics managers need to be aware of these supply chain technology trends, especially when weighing Transportation Management Systems (TMS) solutions so they can remain agile and competitive in an ever-evolving market.

What are the new trends in logistics?

Notable trends to look for in logistics include advanced TMS platforms, bigger pushes for supply chain sustainability and increased agility. Logistics managers will find that with the right TMS software, greater supply chain visibility will help you establish high-ROI principles such as circular supply chains. To fully understand how to prepare for the upcoming year, let’s dive into each of these supply chain technology trends.

1. Better User Experience (UX) of TMS Platforms

Competition is driving the UX of TMS platforms to be more intuitive for logistics managers. As supply chains grow ever more complex, TMS platforms need to adjust accordingly to allow their users to respond to disruption in real-time. Yes, the software must be functional, but non-intuitive displays of data and reporting will drive customers away quickly in 2021. Accurate data presented in easy-to-use interfaces will appeal to managers across industries. This is an increasingly important supply chain technology trend as more millennials who prioritize seamless UX experiences move into positions of influence within logistics and supply chain management.

2. Cloud-Based TMS Software Continues to Grow in Popularity

Without a doubt, 2021 will show that cloud-based TMS applications are here to stay. As the capabilities of cloud computing grow rapidly, communication and transparency across the entire supply chain will continue to increase, this includes shippers, carriers and customers — a benefit that is sure to pay huge rewards in the uncertain future of 2021. What are some of the other benefits of cloud-based TMS systems? Compared with on-premise TMS platforms, companies of all sizes can implement and leverage a TMS. This scalability levels the playing field and allows for greater collaboration throughout the chain.

3. The Need for an Agile Supply Chain

The pandemic and its effect on the economy and consumer behavior will continue to have ramifications well into 2021 and beyond. Now isn’t the time to hope outdated TMS systems will help you through another tumultuous year. Investing in efforts to make your supply chain more agile is going to be key in the upcoming year. With real-time data and high levels of visibility across the entire chain, logistic managers can respond quickly to disruptions caused by the pandemic, natural disasters or drastic fluctuations in supply and demand.

Cloud-based TMS platforms will equip you with tools that keep you ahead of the game. Perhaps most importantly, they’ll equip you with a more cohesive contingency plan in the face of supply chain disruption.

 

4. More Pressure to Prioritize Sustainability

The majority of a company’s carbon footprint exists within the supply chain. Companies grappling with intrinsic and extrinsic pressure to re-examine their uses of water, energy and waste need to make sweeping changes up the supply chain to truly commit to sustainability. Consumers are becoming increasingly scrutinous of energy use, so those that fall behind in committing to clean energy will suffer for it down the line.

Luckily, it’s easier than ever to responsibly source, package and transport goods within the chain. With cloud-based systems like Alpega TMS, companies can commit to their initiatives through efficient load and route planning, monitoring their logistics carbon footprint by calculating CO2 of shipments, and switching to reusable transport packaging. With more data available through advances in supply chain management platforms, logistics managers can satisfy environmental compliances and their environmentally conscious customers.

5. Using Big Data and Data Analytics

The greatest advantage of integrating cloud-based TMS platforms is the availability of real-time data in each step of the chain. Actionable insights create opportunities for better warehouse productivity, performance management and optimal utilization of logistical resources. Supply chain visibility is equipping managers with real-time data and alerts to disruptions and opportunities for improvements so they can respond quickly to mitigate losses.

Although 2021 is expected to have the same level of turbulence as 2020, being able to respond to real-time data will prove to be invaluable for companies investing in cloud-based TMS systems.

2 employees working with Alpega's SaaS supply chain management tool

Alpega’s TMS Solutions for 2021

Alpega is ready and able to help you respond to the challenges that 2021 will present. In this uncertain time, it’s more important than ever before to have proactive measures in place in your supply chain to increase agility and maintain profitability. We have been on the cutting edge of logistics and continue to provide solutions that managers need to stay successful.

Are you ready to commit to a more efficient and responsive supply chain in 2021? Contact the team at Alpega.

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