Study Unveils the Future of Digital Supply Chains

Major drivers of growth entail Big Data, demand for greater visibility and transparency and the adoption of artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies.

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The next-generation supply chain market is expected to reach $75-plus billion by 2030, according to a report produced by LogisticsIQ, India. Major drivers of growth entail Big Data, demand for greater visibility and transparency and the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technologies.

5G to revolutionize NextGen supply chain market

2020 will experience a widespread rollout of 5G, equipped with high data speeds, improved quality and reduced latency. Also look for augmented reality in warehouses, mobile sensors and predictive analytics to better optimize transportation management.

Rise of the digital supply chain market in IoT

Organizations are looking to leverage Internet of Things (IoT) in supply chain management by installing sensors and communications devices to achieve more accurate asset tracking, improve inventory management, predictive maintenance and establish demand-driven supply chain network.

AI and Supply Chain 4.0

AI in supply chains is being used to address key challenges such as constant change in process, shorter product lifecycle and increased demand uncertainty. AI is already being deployed in supply chain planning and optimization, including demand forecasting, inventory management, warehouse management and fleet management.

The age of robotics

The rise of e-commerce has led robots to enter warehouses, sorting and micro-fulfillment centers and last-mile delivery situations. Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are now being used in an entire logistics chain, from order intake to customer delivery, resulting in faster order fulfillment and more.

Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) are also being deployed in warehouses as autonomous forklifts, carts and pallet movers.

Last-mile delivery with delivery robots and drones

Drones and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) are showing up in last-mile delivery.

For example, FedEx Corp. developed the FedEx SameDay Bot, an autonomous delivery device designed to help retailers make same-day and last-mile deliveries.

Nuro raised $940 million in financing from the SoftBank Vision Fund to make local delivery fast.

Drones enable Future of Logistics

More and more companies are testing drones for last-mile delivery, and are expected to have a major impact on the supply chain, not just for deliveries, but warehousing too.

In the future, drones could be the best way to track inventory anonymously and to move items quickly.

The micro-fulfilment market shift

Micro-fulfilment centers of today are utilizing high-end automated systems, AI and analytics to deliver good rapidly.

For instance, Takeoff Technologies develops micro-fulfillment centers located inside existing supermarkets and used to quickly assemble orders for delivery or customer pickup.

Takeoff Technologies and KNAPP also confirmed a $150 million, 50-site order that will take their partnership to the next level.

Blockchain for digital supply chain market

Blockchain in supply chain establishes provenance of products and authenticity and enhances traceability.

For instance, IBM and Maersk created TradeLens, a blockchain-based solution that uses the Hyperledger Fabric permissioned blockchain to guarantee the immutability and traceability of trade documents. 

Impact of 3D printing

3D printing technology helps companies achieve on-demand manufacturing and streamline their supply chains.

3D printing allows local facilities to 3D print designs on-demand.

Digital twinning

Digital twins is another breakthrough technology that creates virtual models of product design, production and IoT, and allows companies to realize new design in a proper supply chain network.

Digital twins provide greater insight and visibility to an infrastructure, resulting in proactive decisions.

Current uses include digital twins of packaging and container, shipment, warehouse and distribution centers, logistics infrastructure and logistics network.