DHL publishes 2016 Logistics Trend Radar

DHL’s 2016 Logistics Trend Radar identified ‘self learning’ systems and on demand delivery among other key trends in this, the third edition of the analysis of global logistics trends by the German delivery and logistics company.

It “introduces new trends, tracks the evolution of trends spotted in earlier editions and ones that have faded or become mainstream since the series started in 2013″.

“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,” said Markus Kückelhaus, Vice President Innovation and Trend Research, DHL.

Personalisation and Artificial Intelligence are behind some of the most transformational trends in this year’s report, including intelligent supply chains using 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,” according to DPDHL.

Changing consumer behavior and the desire for personalization are behind two other top trends identified by DHL: “On-demand Delivery and “Batch Size One”.

On-demand delivery enables 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 personalized products goes head to head with mass production over the next 20 years”.

DPDHL predicts that the trend for items in “batch size of one” (i.e. a uniquely customised)  would “lead to decentralized 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, DHL, commented: “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.”