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International Forwarding Association Blog » Supply chain » The trends in logistics and the supply chain management to look for in 2019

The trends in logistics and the supply chain management to look for in 2019

We are close to the end of the first quarter of 2019, and the freight forwarders and European logistics companies from IFA are already prepared to meet the expected trends which will likely shape the logistics and supply chain industry this year. They are all a direct result of the growing diversity and increasing globalization, as well as the rapid development of AI, IoT and automation technologies in the last few years.

Here are the main trends to look forward to in 2019, according to the International Forwarding Association:

3PL trends for 2019

Third-party logistics is expected to continue expanding among the forwarders throughout Europe and all other national and international freight services and companies.


The forecasts for 2019 are that 3PL will earn about 1.5 trillion dollars in the next 5 or 6 years.

This boost is due to the boom of e-commerce business, transactions, as well as the newly emerging markets in Asia, Europe and elsewhere, and also the latest technological developments of ocean container shipping which will impact the sea freight in Europe as well.

This is why the companies from the freight forwarders association must focus on the 3PL advancements and monitor its impact on all other logistics operations and the cost-effectiveness of the services provided.

With the rise of globalization, more producers, customers and international freight forwarders are embracing the 3PL services such as package logistics management, accounting benefits, and enhanced logistics management and collaboration. The sharing of information and increased transparency of the transactions and processes will also continue expanding.

Some of the technological developments which will directly affect this process and expected trend include the use of cloud storage and computing and the improved connectivity technologies and automation system and robotics.

The trends for warehouse management

Expectations are that warehouse management will be based on the new smart and technology-driven solutions which can boost the efficiency of the storage and distribution services and lower the costs for manual labor.

Even though many of the members of the freight forwarders association are still using mostly manual labor for their warehousing processes, the rapid development of new technologies such as IoT, AI, drones, cloud storage, and wearable smart devices are already starting to get implemented into them as well.

Chances are, that in a matter of a few years, the warehouses will be completely digitalized and automated, which will help improve the efficiency of all of the processes, lower the costs for human labor and other manual operations, and improve the overall inventory management systems of the list of logistics companies.

The trends for the Transport Management Systems for 2019

Today, when the freight forwarders network is facing serious issues with shortages of drivers, as well as limited vehicle capacities and increasing transport rates, the companies from IFA are turning to technology to resolve some or all of these problems.

The Transport Management Systems (TMS) can help the international freight forwarding companies to cope with the pressure of the growing demands of the customers in the past few years. With the help of TMS systems, the freight forwarders will manage the transportation networks much more easily and quickly.

With a cloud-based Transport Management System, the processes of automating all outbound and inbound freight forwarding services and the execution and shipping can be made possible, along with the option to optimize the transport, analyze the data collected, as well as track the Key Performance