Revealed: 26 trends to impact logistics

DHL has revealed 26 key trends that could impact the logistics industry in the next five to ten years.
The supply chain giant’s 2016 Logistics Trend Radar, the third in the series, introduces new trends, tracks the evolution of previous ones and identifies those that have faded or become mainstream since 2013.
Markus Kückelhaus, vice president innovation and trend research at DHL, said: “Predicting trends is notoriously challenging. It is difficult to know ahead of time which trends will have long-term effect on businesses and which ones are simply parts of a short-lived hype.
“To identify and understand trends early on in their development we established the Logistics Trend Radar to help us and our customers stay ahead of the curve.”
According to DHL: “Artificial intelligence and personalisation are behind several of the most transformational trends of the 2016 report – including intelligent supply chains that use self-learning or ‘machine learning’ systems.
“The impact of data-driven and autonomous supply chains provides an opportunity for previously unimaginable levels of optimization in manufacturing, logistics, warehousing and last mile delivery that could become a reality in less than half a decade despite high set-up costs deterring early adoption in logistics.”
Changing consumer behaviour and the desire for personalisation are behind two other top trends.
DHL added: “Batch Size One and On-demand Delivery are set to have a big impact on logistics, on-demand delivery will enable consumers to have their purchases delivered where and when they need them by using flexible courier services.
“Batch Size One explores what could happen as consumer demand for highly personalised products goes head to head with mass production over the next 20 years.
“A batch size of one would lead to decentralised production and rapidly changing supply chains that will require logistics providers to be fast and flexible to react to changes in time and place of production.”
Matthias Heutger, senior vice president strategy, marketing & innovation at DHL, said:"Key trends featured in this year’s Logistics Trend Radar could transform the global logistics industry and with 15 of the 26 trends likely to make an impact in under five years, it is crucial that anyone involved in supply chain management and logistics understands these potentially game-changing developments and the implications for their own business or sector now."
All trends are analysed in more detail including key opportunities, challenges, implementation insights and timeframes in the report, which is available for free download at

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