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Over the past two decades, fast-evolving technology, growing customer expectations, and implementation of new business models have transformed the logistics industry. Today, supply chain players need to adapt very quickly to keep up with competitors.

Why Keeping Up with Logistics Trends Matter?

As a logistics software development company, we see the logistics technology trends as enablers rather than just trends. Companies can analyze data to better understand their customers, personalize decisions, speed up delivery, cut costs, improve job satisfaction of their employees, and get a competitive advantage over their competitors.

For instance, a full-cycle application for logistics and transportation management, developed by our company, enables Patriot Transport to create and import orders with a detailed description, monitor the delivery process in real-time, plan the route to eliminate delays, and more. As a result of TMS implementation, our Customer managed to reduce supply chain costs by 16%and significantly exceeded delivery time by eliminating wasted time between stops.

Therefore, to meet the skyrocketing customer demand, supply chains have to move even faster than they used to.

Below, we outline 12 technology trends in logistics industry that provide great opportunities and embed best practices into your organization.

Logistics Technology Trends to Watch Out in 2024

1. Blockchain Technology

how blockchain works

Blockchain technology has been a critical catalyst of change of evolution in the industry and one of the most disruptive logistics technology trends. The technology offers a range of benefits in logistics:

  • Supply Chain Transparency

Blockchain integrates data from all participants into a single source that provides performance history of suppliers and carriers past performance, real-time data on the status of different transport modes, and assurance of compliance and safety standards across the whole chain.

  • Security

Cryptography makes blockchain an encrypted and secure platform to transfer data. Every participant has access to every transaction and nothing can be removed from it without being detected. This eliminates the risk of fraud, such as double brokering. It can also include rules and data for pick-up or delivery, for example, photo ID requirements which prevent thefts.

  • Operational Efficiency Improvement

In combination with electronic logging devices, blockchain can send information about driving behavior in real time. It also eliminates the repetition of transactions and process errors by verifying each transaction. Being much faster than manual processes, blockchain fosters all automation processes and cuts off human errors.

  • Process Complexity Reduction

The technology replaces the role of intermediaries, enabling peer-to-peer models. Each organization that is involved in a transaction can assess and validate data. What is more, “smart contracts” automate payments, transfer of ownership, and arrangements of tariffs. They can also be used, for instance, for making automated payments once the delivery of goods has been verified.

2. Digital Twins

digital twins

The digital supply chain replica of hundreds of physical assets, warehouses, logistics, and inventory positions simulates the performance of supply chains. A digital twin identifies processes that can be optimized, enables scenario planning, makes data more accessible and easier to interpret from distance, and revolutionize such logistics operations:

  • Packaging and Container

Logistics companies often face difficulties with designing, monitoring, and managing packing and containers. Material digital twins facilitate the development of stronger, lighter, and more environmentally friendly packaging materials.

Math2Market uses digital twins to study and predict the performance of new materials in packaging applications. The twins can model the reaction of the material to temperature, vibration, and shock loads experienced in transit.

  • Shipments

A digital twin of an item to be shipped is already a common practice for shipping sensitive, high-value products such as delicate electronic elements, pharmaceuticals, etc. These twins are embedded with sensors that monitor temperature, package orientation, shock, and vibration.

  • Warehouses and Distribution Centers

Warehouses, distribution centers, and cross-dock facilities also benefit from digital twins that combine a 3D model of the facility as well as all inventory and operational data. Digital twins help companies to optimize space utilization, stimulate the movement of items, and equipment management, and enhance the productivity of personnel.

3. Automation and Robotics

Robotics solutions boost the productivity of logistics operations with zero-defect, helping companies to cut costs and meet customer demand.

  • Autonomous mobile robots (AMR)

These are small robots embedded with robust sensor technology that can deliver inventory all over the warehouse. These robots interpret the environment through sensors and computers, identify data on each package and accurately sort it.

  • Automated Guided Vehicles and Carts (AGVs, AGCs)

Automated guided vehicles and carts are great solutions for large warehouses as they can transport inventory around it following a track laid in your warehouse.

  • Aerial Drones

Aerial drones scan locations for automated inventory without markers to guide them. They also scan the inventory much faster than humans can and immediately send data to your warehouse inventory management system.

Amazon robots
Robots in Amazon warehouse. Source: The Guardian

4. Internet of Things

The IoT global market is growing at a rapid pace with a cumulative annual growth rate of more than 32%. Its implementation in the logistics sector is very broad and enables logistics companies to gain elevated results. Here are some of the areas of its usage:

  • Location and Route Management

The location and route of trucks, as well as driving activities, can be monitored in real-time from remote locations. The real-time alarm systems can send notifications about any weather anomaly, or accident on a freeway, identify time-delaying barriers, and more.

  • Warehousing and Inventory Tracking

RFID tags and sensors enable companies to easily track their inventory items, their status, and their position. It allows companies to efficiently locate their items, ensure their safe storage, and prevent losses.

  • Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles are becoming increasingly popular and some logistics giants are already using them. Traditional auto industry players have embraced some of the IoT elements as a component of their development strategy, whereas, relatively new entrants like Tesla, Google, and others are actively using their own patent AI and IoT and manufacturing techniques to develop autonomous vehicles.

  • Drone-Based Delivery

Drones can ensure automated process execution and quick delivery of goods, especially to people in remote areas. Amazon has already unveiled the use of drones for delivering ordered items.

  • Breakdown Prevention

The predictive applications of IoT help companies to detect defects in truck performance before they become catastrophic. By measuring and analyzing parameters, companies get alerts about unexpected malfunctions, create effective inspection strategies, and reduce risks and downtime.

5. Cloud Logistics

Cloud computing enables logistics companies to access, keep, share, and secure data. Therefore organizations are either migrating their existing transportation management systems to the cloud or investing in cloud-based TMS software. Such TMSes are accessible from anywhere in the world as they require only an internet connection, consolidate data from different internal and external sources, use advanced analytics, and automate manual processes which streamline workflows.

6. Artificial Intelligence

Most logistics companies have already shifted to a proactive and predictive paradigm with AI. Artificial intelligence transforms all aspects of logistics, and actually, every point mentioned in this blog is somehow connected to it.

Though we haven’t mentioned customer experience yet. AI personalizes customer experience, increases loyalty, and boosts retention. Through robust data analysis, companies can deliver goods before their customers have even ordered them. Drawing predictions with the help of AI, analyzing browsing and purchase history, weather data, and social media chatters, companies can predict the next order a customer will make. Not to mention, demand prediction and shortening delivery time.

7. 3D Printing

3D printing or Additive Manufacturing is believed to be one of the most revolutionary logistics technology trends. In 2019, the global AM market reached $10 billion and it’s expected to grow every 3 years. The portable nature of the technology will enable businesses to supply products to local markets faster, tailor offerings to customer-specific requirements, save on production costs, and reduce the carbon footprint.

L’Oréal, for example, has been one of the pioneers in 3D technology implementation. The brand leverages the technology for functional prototypes, components for automation lines, spare parts, and limited series of 3D-printed packaging.

Source: Smart Tech Publishing

8. Transportation Management

Transportation management systems are used for planning, executing, and optimizing the shipment of goods. Using a TMS, users can find and compare rates and services of carriers that are currently available to ship customers’ orders, book the shipment, and track the delivery process.

A TMS is a necessity for any company that transports a significant volume of goods, as

it significantly improves shipping efficiency, reduces costs, ensures customer satisfaction, and provides real-time supply chain visibility.

Here you can check one of the TMS developed by our company.

9. Big Data Analytics

The high volumes of structured and unstructured data generated by logistics companies get thoroughly analyzed with the power of big data. Advanced analytics helps companies to make clear predictions and optimize their performance.

With the help of big data analytics, UPS revealed that their trucks were stuck in traffic if turned left which led to delays and bigger fuel consumption. Now, UPC trucks go straight or turn right in 90% of cases. Such an approach saves the company 10 million gallons of fuel and increases its delivery rate to 350k more packages annually.

10. Virtual Reality

Virtual reality allows logistics companies to digitally model, try out, and evaluate various environments for optimizing material flows and training processes. The technology is super beneficial during the planning stage of warehouses in order to test it and then make decisions.

Training with VR is frequently dedicated to teaching new employees safety and emergency procedures in warehouse environments. This allows to decrease the rate of accidents, repeat training regularly without expenses for equipment and instructors and ensures better information retention as VR recreates the consequences of accidents.

11. Augmented Reality

AR-enhanced warehousing apps are now being actively leveraged by logistics giants. They optimize item-finding procedures, help lay the shortest possible routes in big warehouses, and reduce handling time.

What is more, such applications allow companies to use the warehouse storage and transportation space in the most efficient way and streamline the process of cargo loading. AR can indicate a loader the pallet can take next, where it can be found, where should it be placed, etc.

DHL reports that using AR software improves the picking process by 25%

Source: DHL

12. Self-driving Vehicles

The popularity of autonomous vehicles is rising at great speed. By leveraging AI, these vehicles can perceive and predict the changes in their environment, identify obstacles, interpret road signs, etc., which makes them outperform human driving capabilities.

In 2009, Google started its self-driving car project. In 2016, an autonomous driving technology company, Waymo, became a subsidiary of Alphabet, the parent company of Google.

In 2022, Waymo announced a partnership with Uber, under which Uber will integrate its autonomous technology into Uber’s freight truck service.

Source: Waymo


We are living in a time of endless possibilities to build and improve the way we work and relax. The 21st century is for sure the best time to innovate with a wide range of opportunities to exploit.

If you’re currently looking for an experienced partner to implement these technologies into your logistics organization or improve the existing software, feel free to contact us.

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