The Future of Logistics Industry

What is the future of the logistics industry? This topic seems to be irrelevant and far-fetched. Anyway, most people don't realize that every local and international business tries to deal with the future now and then. The formal process to predict the future is called "Strategic Planning". A tool like Mission, Vision, and Value encourages every business entity to visualize the future (in an ideal state), develop team and an organization, creates the value for various stakeholders then creates a plan to materialize the goal.

Strategic planning usually covers 2-3 years time span. Long-range planning of more than 3 years ahead of time is not a common practice. The reason is that it requires a significant amount of data and method to interpret the data. If long-range planning is done properly, the logistics company will know what kind of product or customer service they should pursue, amount of inventory need, procurement strategy and kind of distribution network they have to develop, what kind of operations infrastructure they have to invest in and how they can develop capabilities of the organization (by implementing lean manufacturing or six sigma.)

In order to determine the future of the logistics industry in a quick and efficient manner, I've done a lot of literature survey and found 3 interesting articles. The first article is called "Transportation and Logistics 2030" by Pwc and the second article is called "Scenario Planning for Logistics An Experts' View for 2025" by the Supply Chain Management Institute. Both articles use the Delphi Method to predict the future. The last paper is called "Third-Party Logistics: A Literature Review" from Marasco 2007. Data is then extracted, evaluated and summarized in the infographic that is easier to follow.

- von der Gracht, H. A., Darkow, I. L., Gnatzy, T., Ruske, K. D., Kauschke, P., Reuter, J., & Montgomery, E. (2009). Transportation & Logistics 2030—Volume 1: How Will Supply Chains Evolve in an Energy-constrained, Low-carbon World. PwC, Düsseldorf.

- Heiko, A., & Darkow, I. L. (2010). Scenarios for the logistics services industry: a Delphi-based analysis for 2025. International Journal of Production Economics, 127(1), 46-59.

- Marasco, A. (2008). Third-party logistics: A literature review. International Journal of production economics, 113(1), 127-147.

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Last review and update: December 11, 2021
All contents are written by Ben Benjabutr unless marked as [Guest Commentary]

About the Author and Editor:
Ben Benjabutr is the author and editor of SupplyChainOpz. He holds an M.Sc. in Logistics Management with 10+ years of experience in supply chain management. You can contact him via e-mail.