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5 key supply chain trends that will change the industry in the coming years

TSL5 key supply chain trends that will change the industry in the coming years

Recent years haven’t been easy for the logistics sector. Companies involved in the supply chain have been significantly affected by the pandemic, geopolitical tensions in Europe and Asia, energy price increases, as well as inflation and recession. In an attempt to increase resilience and business stability, many companies are investing in technological innovations that will strengthen the supply chain and make it more predictable. Experts from Blulog, a Polish-French technology company operating in the TSL and industrial sectors, have identified 5 key supply chain trends.

AI in the supply chain

Artificial intelligence (AI) was one of the hottest technological trends last year. Current levels of development and high growth dynamics suggest that AI will have a significant impact on every industry and field, including logistics. A study by Accenture[1] shows that 36% of firms in the sector have already implemented AI in their supply chain and logistics processes, with a further 28% planning to do so in the near future. Analysts predict that the use of this technology could increase companies’ efficiency by up to 40% by 2035.

“Solutions based on artificial intelligence can address multiple challenges in the logistics sector such as staff shortages, human errors or events disrupting the supply chain. These are, for example, solutions that allow intelligent management of warehouse stock, systems based on computer vision that analyse images from photos or video recordings, assisting in inventory management or alarming when unusual situations occur in the warehouse…” – said Szymon Miałkas, Head of software and application development at Blulog.

Electrification of vehicle fleets

Electric vehicles offer numerous benefits for logistics companies. On one hand, they reduce carbon footprint and improve air quality. On the other hand, a company with a fleet of electric vehicles is less susceptible to fuel price fluctuations and has a chance of reducing costs in the long term. A study by McKinsey[2] states the most prominent conditions necessary for this transition: reduction in the cost gap between electric and combustion engines, the improvement of EV infrastructure and technology to be more accessible and price-competitive and the harmonisation of regulations and local laws, including those related to emissions.

Drones in logistics

Drones, initially used by the defence sector, are becoming increasingly popular in the supply chain. The Covid-19 pandemic was a turning point, significantly disrupting the supply chain. Factors contributing to the growth in popularity of drones in logistics include delivery times, heavy road infrastructure in urbanised areas and the need to reduce carbon footprint. The global drone logistics market is projected to reach a value of $53 billion by 2028[3], with the major players being companies such as Deutsche Post DHL Group,, United Parcel Service of America, FedEx Corporation and Zipline International.

Real-time shipment information to reduce food waste

Stakeholders in the supply chain, both business customers and consumers, increasingly expect real-time updates on order status and delivery times. Therefore, the integration of pertinent platforms into the supply chain processes is crucial. In the wider context of sharing real-time information, concerns about maintaining quality and reducing spoilage are significant. Every year, 59 million tonnes of food are wasted in the EU[4], which generates losses of €132 billion, with almost half of the losses occurring before the products reach consumers. The EU is taking action to halve these losses by 2030.

Nearshoring of production

After years of relative stability and the effect triggered by the pandemic, major supply chain participants are increasingly deciding to move production closer to the end client. McKinsey[5] indicates that while only 17% of the largest companies undertook business initiatives in this direction in 2021, 42% did so in 2022. Reasons cited for this trend include global inflation, a worldwide recession, and geopolitical tensions. According to recent data, in the last 12 months 47% of buyers in the EU have increased their nearshoring, 22% have re-shored (moved production back home), with 31% engaging in both approaches[6]. Considering the continuing uncertain macroeconomic and geopolitical situation worldwide, it’s likely that companies will maintain the current supply chain policy for the foreseeable future.

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