10 Logistics Changes the Industry Will See in 2020

logistics changes

The end of the year is upon us. Businesses are running their numbers, typing up end-of-year reports and strategizing for the year ahead.

So, we figured what better time to take a quick peek at all the logistics changes the shipping professionals can expect to see take place in the industry in 2020?

In short, the logistics world is expected to thrive in many areas. All this growth and logistics changes will be mainly due to advancements in automation, technology, and solutions that are streamlining the shipping process. 

Here's the full rundown... 


3PLs Will Become Increasingly More Valuable

For several years, third-party logistics companies have been the leading source of technology-driven solutions for supply chain management. Their businesses are built for efficiency, as they touch multiple sectors of the logistics space, serve several clients, and continue to thrive through all logistics changes and as volume increases. 

As innovative technology continues to be released and implemented, 3PL companies are slated to be busier than ever in 2020. After all, many businesses that operate a supply chain prefer to outsource the integration and upkeep of these systems.

Reputable 3PLs have knowledge of advanced technology and cloud-based solutions that they can put to use to improve communication with vendors and most importantly – customers. 

Lucky for you, you are already reading a blog post on one of the most sought after 3PLs available. Want to know how you can prepare your operations for 2020, reach out to the experts here at Redwood Logistics!


Mobile Apps will Increase in Popularity

People spend more time on their mobile devices each year than the previous one. They also depend on electronic technology and powerful online tools to maintain records, track orders, and connect with retailers, suppliers, carriers and more.

Due to this, companies might consider enhancing their tracking abilities with mobile apps. This permits stakeholders to monitor the flow and movement of commodities with ease and from just about any device. 

The use of RFID and other satellite tracking equipment is being accelerated as well. As more customers demand transparency for a truly open and visual supply chain movement, this makes perfect sense. Combine the reemergence of RFID with mobile apps and a business can monitor their freight and package delivery in real-time.


Smart Technology

The use of artificial intelligence in the logistics space has been fairly well-documented in recent years. As testing has improved, and solutions to problems have been resolved, more fulfillment centers, carriers, and retailers will begin to implement more smart technology within their TMS platforms

This includes allowing chatbots to reply to customer and vendor inquiries, implementing voice prompts for inventory and tracking solutions and making improvements to communications platforms to expedite order processing. 


Big Data Harvesting

Big Data has been used to allow stakeholders in logistics to make better-informed decisions.

However, the collection of Big Data is typically based on individual preferences and technology available. 3PLs will find it helpful in 2020 to harvest multiple data points, metrics, and reporting tools in an effort to offer clients Big Data tools of their preference – at any time. 



The global economy is headed for a dramatic shift.

With the likelihood of Brexit and approval of the USCMA trade agreement, freight movement and global distribution programs will likely head towards regional and more localized solutions. The globalization of shipping technology will be a hot topic in 2020, and logistics partners will need to do their due diligence to determine which method best fits their needs. 


Improved Shipping Visibility

As visibility and transparency become more important to customers (and it has done so increasingly over the last few years), 3PLs and others will openly collaborate with manufacturers and suppliers to create better production schedules, forecasting, and shipping schedules. 

It is important to note that many of these issues will more than likely be handled via blockchain solutions. One of the most innovative logistics changes happened about 2 years ago when the blockchain really started to show major promise for the industry.


Automation of the Workflow

The integration of automation goes much further than simple order fulfillment tasks. It’s a complete solution that impacts workflow, from reporting to inventory control, warehousing, and efficient fulfillment of supplies, raw materials, and more.

As 2020 approaches, logistics leaders should consider improvements that automate workflow in multiple business segments. Especially if they hope to keep up with their competition.

Automation is one of the most prominent hot topics in the industry for the moment and has been that way all throughout 2019. Cobots, drones and a new robotics innovation hub have all made the headlines this past year.


Diversification of Freight Movement

As the driver shortage issue appears to be getting worse, proactive shippers should begin to diversify their shipping solutions. Whether it’s opening regional-based fulfillment centers, improving railway or direct carrier networks, the shipper that has a diverse freight and package fulfillment network will be the one that can better move freight through the supply chain, with reduced costs, and better lead time. 


Robust TMS Solutions

At the heart of most supply chain movement is the dependable transportation management solution. However, as businesses become more streamlined, and hire fewer people to accomplish daily tasks, having a robust and flexible TMS is a critical component to improving overall logistics efficiency.

Upgrading TMS to cloud-based platforms that permit better connectivity, flexibility with networks, and improved accuracy is something to look forward to as 2020 approaches.



Inefficiency in supply chain processes consume valuable resources. While the past decade has been focused on improving environmental efforts, reducing the carbon footprint, and saving resources, 2020 and the new decade will introduce new sustainability efforts.

The improvement of automation with self-driving trucks, drone delivery options, and even regional-based transportation programs introduced by Amazon recently may have a huge impact.