Future trends in logisticsSeveral trends have emerged within the distribution centers and 3PL warehouse industry that will dominate the new year. The integration of automation is at the forefront of the third party logistics industry. So far automation has proven its worth by increasing efficiency and cutting costs and continues to grow within the distribution centers and warehouses.

IronLink Logistics is at the forefront of these advancements in 3PL technology, contact us to discuss strategies to optimize your logistics in 2023.

2023 Distribution Center and Warehouse Industry Trends

Aside from automation, several other technological advances will make a significant impact in 2023. Electric vehicles, autonomous machinery, and AI are emerging trends to the 3PL industry. The future of logistics will also see an increase in neighborhood distribution centers and micro-fulfillment centers. This concept is proving to be a potential alternative to keep up with the exponential growth in eCommerce.

Another key trend will be with companies re-aligning their inventory management systems to handle the volatile market and operate with the greatest efficiency. If you are concerned about your logistics keeping up with the 3PL trends of 2023, then contact IronLink:

Distribution Center vs Warehouse

Recent events have proven just how fragile the Direct-to-Consumer supply chain is. New advancements have been introduced in logistics and eCommerce. The evolution of the supply chain in 2023 has given way to the rise of the distribution center. Although some individuals in logistics use the term distribution center synonymously with commercial warehouse storage, they are two very different facilities that perform very different operations.

The warehouse is best defined as a large storage space to hold great quantities of goods often for long periods of time. In such a facility those goods are often stored long-term and usually distributed to manufacturers and distributors. Warehouse logistics have been an essential part of the supply chain for decades.

In the last decade the advent of eCommerce has placed new rules and demands on our modern supply chain. Companies are now faced with sending goods directly to their customers quickly and cost-efficiently. Enter the distribution center.

Distribution centers combine the traditional storage solutions of warehouses with the capabilities of a fulfillment center. Distribution centers are used to ship to external customers, focusing on the flow of products and short-term storage. Our 3PL warehouses and transportation services use the latest third-party logistics technology such as mobile data collection and automation. This complex technology requires highly efficient means of warehouse management, order processing, and transportation management systems.

Watch how our warehouse staff is able to efficiently use the tools to keep your logistics running smooth.

Distribution Processing Center Trends

A major logistics trend in 2023 will be managing inventory levels. Many companies will be addressing this issue now that the economy is changing to post-Covid demands. Supply chain volatility has become a harsh reality for the logistics industry, whether it’s due to diminished consumer spending from rising inflation rates or the deficit in certain products or materials. The new year will press companies even more to establish a balance in this tumultuous market.

Distribution centers are also trending towards utilizing micro-fulfillment centers and smaller, neighborhood distribution centers. Utilizing smaller, more available spaces to serve as fulfillment centers is proving to be more efficient and economical than large-scale centers. These smaller localized fulfillment centers have more flexibility in their geographic placement, allowing for strategic placement to help reduce cost and cut transportation time.

Future of Warehouse Inventory Management

In an age of increasingly great strain on our supply chains, the future of warehouse inventory management must quickly adapt to meet such demands. The advanced technology now available for 3PL warehouse inventory management has become a huge asset for the industry. Cutting-edge warehouse inventory management software has enabled such facilities to utilize wireless technology and real-time inventory tracking.

Warehouse facilities are also now utilizing the latest in hyper-connectivity. A hyper-connected warehouse is capable of operating with highly advanced tracking systems such as barcodes, RFID scanning, and GPS technologies. Another future trend in the warehouse industry is automation. Industry forecasters expect to see a drastic increase in the application of warehouse automation in the course of the next few years.

Automation in Logistics

Of all the technological trends in logistics, one has made a definitive impact so far and is continuing to be integrated into warehouses and distributions centers: automation.

The increased pressure on the logistics industry to quickly and efficiently move goods has many distribution centers preparing for the next potential crisis in the supply chain by proactively building automation into their systems now. Automation is being utilized through quick picking, sorting, packing, and shipping of goods.

2023 3PL trends will show an increased development in electric and autonomous last-mile vehicles that are also part of the automation movement. As the auto industry continues to move towards EVs and continue to develop electric versions of their trucks and fleet vehicles, the expectation is to see this area exponentially grow. Along with electric vehicles, several major automakers are progressing with autonomous and driverless technology for logistics to implement in the near future.

Connecting automated operations with logistics is the future of 3PL. Start a conversation with IronLink to discuss your concerns about utilizing AI in logistics:

Future of 3PL

The future of 3PL and the logistics industry is being shaped by several factors such as supply chain resilience, changing consumer behaviors, and final incorporation of new technologies.

While 2023 is aiming to throw several obstacles our way via labor shortages and inflation, our team at IronLink Logistics will optimize your business and position it for growth and success. IronLink is the logistics industry leader poised to be at the forefront of the latest logistics trends.

Choose IronLink as your logistics solution for 2023; request a quote for our expert 3PL services.