The rise of new technologies has had a significant impact on the logistics industry as a whole. Logistics companies with a large consumer base are outsourcing a substantial number of projects to third party (3PL) logistics companies. The speedy transfer of goods to a great extent depends on the efficiency of 3PL shipping companies. Here are some of the major trends that are having a significant impact on the service quality of third party logistics companies: –

Widespread use of mobile applications

Use of paperwork in warehouses is becoming a thing of the past due to the use of mobile applications now. Keeping in touch with the changing trends, 3PL companies have started adapting to use of RFID enabled devices that can hold data. The use of mobile applications related to logistics by 3PL logistics companies has made it possible for them to ensure efficient identification and traceability. This has enabled customers to order and process freight shipments from any location and at any time, according to their convenience.

Greater collaboration between shipping and third party logistics companies

Shipping companies that have a large customer base often do not have the resources and time that they can allocate to new clients. Therefore, they often outsource these services to 3PL shipping companies. The latter is heavily dependent on technology in order to collaborate, connect and engage with clients. Electronic data exchange has become a vital aspect of the logistics process to ensure the integrity of data and also to ensure flexibility and speed in the process of delivery. Vendor managed inventory in which the shipping company tracks the buyer’s inventory and is responsible for taking periodic resupply decisions is increasingly becoming a common practice among 3PL logistics companies.

Adaptation of new technologies by third party shipping companies

Third party logistics service providers are adapting to the use of latest logistics software systems to enhance the efficiency of their business process. The use of applications such as Transportation Management Systems (TMS) ensures substantial time and cost savings and is playing a key role in minimizing the inefficiencies of their business processes. The use of voice prompts and commands is becoming a common feature of their supply chain process in many areas such as freight tracking. The use of high-quality speech recognition software will enable the personnel to communicate directly with the people in charge of their Warehouse Management System(WMS) in order to enhance the recording of stock, increase the speed of turnaround time, and reduce the staff training period.

Wide scale use of Big Data and Information Sharing

As more and more 3PL shipping companies are adapting to the use of cloud technology, they are adapting to the use of ‘Big Data’. One of the advantages of using Big Data by 3PL companies is that it enables their clients to have access to their own systems and enhance efficiency in areas that are linked to seasonal trends and demand flexibility in operations. Sharing of data will enable them to ensure the traceability of a product in the supply chain.