The spinning world: logistics trends for 2021

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By Natalie Golffed

March 17, 2021

Logistics are constantly surrounding us, whether we realize it or not. And truth be told, as time goes by, we rely more and more on them. More packages are delivered daily than ever before, and the number will shock you: 85 million packages and documents are delivered every day across the globe.

Incredibly, logistics has taken a slower pace when it comes to adopting digital innovation and practices. Lately, it has begun to pick up the pace, seeing as most industries connected directly to logistics, such as retail or pharmaceuticals, have been progressively adopting more and more innovations and have become digitally transformed. This in turn motivates logistics companies to keep up. An example of this behavior is the apparition or the strengthening of e-commerce, and the adjustments logistics had to implement in order to be able to provide that service, especially last-mile deliveries.

Innovations like these bring to light some inefficiencies in the industry. For example, 50% of trucks travel empty on their return journey after making a delivery. These opportunities represent costs that could be avoided or directly turned into profit.

So, what are the advantages of a digitally transformed logistics company? Here are a few:

  • Visibility: once all relevant information becomes available, efficiencies can be achieved with ease. This means having the ability to plan ahead because we can clearly see our fleet, the cargo to be delivered, the neighborhood’s they will visit and other factors not only for the current day but also for upcoming days.
  • One step ahead: if all our information is digital, we can anticipate and plan according to trends. This also applies to machinery and equipment. Imagine, for example, that you digitize the information concerning the fleet in a way that you know when an oil change will be needed, and you can plan accordingly and not include that vehicle in the day’s plan.
  • Business Intelligence: all of the aforementioned advantages are essentially data. This means that if logged correctly, they can be analyzed and put to use by understanding and predicting behaviors.
  • Connectivity: information can be accessed from a variety of devices. From the computers in the office, to the tablets used in the warehouse, to the phones the drivers use on their route.

Considering all of these advantages, it’s easy to see that the future of logistics is intertwined with the future of digital transformation. Let’s see some trends that will shape it:


Sharing resources, such as transportation and warehousing, allows for the maximization of the use of resources while minimizing the economic and environmental costs that derive from them. This can be implemented in a variety of ways, from having a private warehouse but sharing transportation, sharing the warehouse and transportation, or creating a network of warehouses that can be shared in an attempt to have smaller distribution areas and thus reduce expenses. This is made possible by the use of technology, from RFID to robot dispatching. And honestly, can you imagine the hassle and possible risk to the inventory that would ensue from doing this in a non-digital way?


Technology means reinventing delivery options is an everyday occurrence. We will see a rise in the plurality of delivery methods, as well as the consolidation of alternative delivery options such as 3D printing and crowdsourcing. These are more reasons to jump aboard the digital transformation train sooner rather than later.


In this 4.0 industry era, and even more so once we take the pandemic into account, responsiveness to demand that we could not predict is crucial for a well-prepared supply strategy. And if you have doubts, think back to the toilet paper debacle of 2020. Supply chains need to be ready to either expand or shrink according to demand. This concept is closely related to using 3PL companies since they already use highly elastic workforces.


As we mentioned before, this is a source of actionable information and insights for improvement and planning. From predictive maintenance to choosing the optimal vehicle for the cargo, systematically obtaining, registering, and analyzing information from everyday activities is sure to become a game-changer.

These are the top logistics trends for 2021, and the time to get aboard the digital transformation train is today. We can help you accomplish your goals: reach out to us and let’s explore how!