Immense change awaits the LTL shippers come 2021. This is similar to many other
industries, especially after the 2020 pandemic that brought many to their knees.
The change brings with it opportunities and risks that carriers have to be ready to face.
Digitization of the logistics industry continues to give birth to more innovation, leading to
huge industry changes.
Technological advancement has made shipping more efficient and effective than before.
Also, it continues to make many analog parts of the industry obsolete.
Another way change is affecting the industry is by changing up the marketplace in many ways.
Only now are many carriers becoming aware of how much the market is changing or about to change come 2021.
With new entrants who heavily rely on tech, the industry will never be the same again.
The main changes that await LTL carriers can be summarized into 4 categories —Change in customer expectations, change in technology, change in business models, and new carriers.
Changes in Customer Expectations Leading to LTL Shippers Improvements
LTL carriers continue to grapple with the fact that they have to change to remain
competitive come 2021.
This means they have to improve their services to be in line with rising customer expectations.
The race is on, and it’s definitely going to define the future of this vital logistics industry.
Individual customers began the revolution that saw same-day shipping become a part of their services.
The same service is now required by companies and industries that require shipping services.
This has resulted in faster shipping and more services like door-to-door delivery.
Changes in customer expectations mean the industry must embrace ways to meet these customer expectations. Failure to do so has resulted in many struggling to remain afloat and some closing down their operations.
Consumers were the first to embrace digitization and set the pace for what is now an expectation of many retailers.
This caught many LTL carriers unawares, and now the race is on for those who embrace automated systems.
These are seen as the best ways to boost transparency and efficiency within the industry.
3PL Logistics Companies are leading the charge to a more automated shipping and logistics industry. Many of the older companies find themselves grappling to keep up with the constant changes in technology.
They must find a way to not only embrace technology but also bring about rapid innovation.
Technological breakthroughs don’t only impact individual LTL shippers but the industry as a whole.
Still, going completely digital is still a massive challenge for the industry.
Being a data-driven industry means it has a vast room for technological advancement compared with other sectors.
Additionally, embracing automation can impact the workforce in many ways, both positive and negative.
Though the improvement means more efficiency in service delivery, automation will result in job losses.
Many shipping companies are embracing automation in many areas, including warehousing.
Another area that can benefit from automation in 2021 is the packaging of goods before shipping.
More innovations are required to make parcel packaging more efficient and less time-consuming.
This cuts down on risks of damage and delays along the way.
More Industry Collaborations and Partnerships
Business is changing, especially when it comes to the last stretch of delivery.
A spot check on the industry reveals that horizontal collaborations are taking place now and will continue in 2021.
Additionally, higher standards can lead to more efficiency as more alliances are formed.
A quick look around the industry reveals many competitors who are now working together to improve service delivery.
Examples of this include DHL and FedEx, whose collaboration extends to many postal services and local logistics companies.
This is not a new concept but is now gaining momentum as such partnerships’ importance becomes more apparent.
2021 will see more LTL shippers come together in a bid to use new technology in their service provisions.
Still, this is not an easy move due to issues of transparency and accountability cropping up.
Only those that find ways to work effectively with one another can have successful partnerships that last.
New Players Shaking Up the Industry
Start-ups are coming up every day, and their impact is felt across the industry.
They come up with more advanced means for LTL shipping, and customers flock to them.
These startups can have an even more significant impact in 2021 with the rise in
New business models are coming up thanks to numerous startups.
Their use of new technology brings about a wave of change like never seen before in the logistics and
shipping industry. With such growth, other LTL companies must follow suit fast.
One area startups are making massive changes is in freight charges. Pricing has long
been an issue that most customers have with freight companies, and new entrants are
now offering solutions.
With lower prices, it’s getting harder for most to resist these changes.
What to Expect from LTL Carriers Come 2021
The main theme associated with the shipping and logistics industry come 2021 is
After the pandemic shook the industry, a lot of innovation is happening or on its
way. This will only lead to disruption of the logistics marketplace.