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Are You Cashing-In On The Growth In Logistics Industry? Think Again! E-commerce is growing monstrously. Retail businesses are investing more than ever into their online marketing strategies. What does that mean to the Logistics industry?

By Hanish Agarwal

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Driven by the pressure to stay on top of the market, Logistics industry is investing colossal amounts of time, money and resources in innovation. Time has changed from "meeting customer needs" to going a step ahead and "foreseeing what the customer will need". Considering the expected surge in commerce and transportation, it's only logical to gear up and adapt to the ever changing trends!

One of the greatest challenges in this industry to understand what the customers want. To narrow down, there's a lot of customer data but integrating it effectively in such a manner as to offer them what they need and at the right time can be strenuous.

The Indian market is not far behind in keeping up with the technological advances of the logistics industry either. Mobility plays a critical role in keeping the industry ahead in India, and several players such a Camelport have taken the step ahead to keep their customer connected through their logistical transport journey.

There are several factors to watch out for.

Data is getting more and more complex each day and blending them right is a whole different complex ball game. The conventional systems are not agile or fast enough to keep pace with the business and customer needs.

E-commerce is growing monstrously. Retail businesses are investing more than ever into their online marketing strategies. What does that mean to the Logistics industry? More places to buy from, more orders, more resources, more traffic and more business!

Startups in this space are growing at roughly 65% each year and the fact is they will have the power to embrace the latest technologies, deliver more efficient and at a much lesser cost.

What trend changes should the Logistics industry expect and implement?

Augmented Reality

It is one of the recent trends in marketing that's exciting businesses all over the world. It will shape the future of shopping and customer experience since an individual can get real time shopping feel while actually staying remote. This is one of the best methods of integrating customer data with the system and service can be offered through mobile phones, glasses, or wearables.

Drone delivery

Global E-commerce leaders have announced their intent to eventually introduce "drones' into their delivery strategies. This means the products could be delivered in matter of hours, or probably much lesser. Although this is not out into implementation at the moment, it is bound to happen even if not on massive scale. Intel has already set a world record in this arena by flying the most aerial vehicles in a particular region, at the same time.

Machine delivery

Unmanned vehicles are out there on the roads already to perform much better than humans. Google's self-driving cars will transform the transportation industry. So, unmanned vehicles will get common and a player in Logistics in the USA has already brought this method into practice. Two of the many benefits will be: 1. Catering to driver/ delivery man shortage 2. Minimized possibility of product damage. Global leaders have expressed their plans to roll-out self-driving cars in the years to come. As more enterprises indulge more in this idea and its benefits, the aspect of this technology will become increasingly vital and associated with the logistics industry

IoT suffuse

There has been a lot of buzz about IoT for quite some time now. IoT has the power to virtually connect anything and everything to the Internet and accelerate data-driven logistics. Research says, it is estimated that by 2020, over 50 billion things will be connected to the Internet, presenting an immense $1.9 trillion opportunity in logistics. No wonder, this is now falling in the top priorities of most companies. However, there is a lot of room for development with respect to security concerns and other fool-proof methods.

I, Robot

Research suggests robots will take over the task of loading, unloading and other backend tasks which are handled by manpower today. Prominent leaps are being made in the areas of machine-human interaction and integration in logistics. DHL, a leader in the market, has already tested using collaborative robots to demonstrate that robots can work alongside with employees, supporting repetitive and physically painstaking tasks in logistics operations.

Interactive 3D services

The food industry has already rolled out this method. This is an approach where an app essentially allows users to view images, ingredients, and nutritional information for any item in the menu. Similarly, from the end customers' point of view, they will want complete transparency and information on their goods – be it the current status/ location of their purchase or when exactly it is going to be delivered to them.

Going Omni-channel

Being the backbone of Retail, Logistics will have to embrace newer strategies to deliver better. Omni-channel logistics would include offering effortless actions across various channels, both online and offline. This will also mean more personalized services to the end customers.

The industry is undergoing a phase of major and remarkable transformation which is going to play a crucial role in changing the dynamics of businesses. The future of logistics will completely be infused in technology and innovation.

Hanish Agarwal

Managing Partner, Camelport Logistics

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