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Rapidly approaching 2021, is only several hours away. This calls for one and all associated with the logistics industry to look into the future and what it holds. After a haranguing 2020, there is hope for some respite with the upcoming year. Hope surrounds us all, as the Covid-19 vaccines are administered. However, the battle is not yet over.

(Pic Credit: Wikipedia)

Despite the conditions, there is much to look forward to in our industry. This article will look at some of the future developments that may become a reality for the coming year.

1. Brexit

From the 1st of January 2021, the former customs agreement between EU and UK will become redundant. This has caused quite the stir in the logistics industry as companies gear up to face the brunt of the trouble. Delays will be inevitable, as cargo will take time to clear through ports and terminals. At the same time, customs tariffs are expected, making it a costly affair. The only sliver of silver lining is that there will be more business for customs agencies, but the question will be at what cost?

2. 5G and Blockchain

These are two terms that took the logistics industry by storm, but soon the distraction of Covid-19 took over. Blockchain is described as an encrypted, distributed filing system that prevents tampering of real-time data. This technology is associated with bringing transparency in the logistical process and allows for administering smart contracts. With the help of blockchain, products can be tracked and traced from the moment they leave the factory till the final delivery.

Another remarkable technological development is of the 5G, which essentially will push the whole logistics industry towards digitalisation. However, infrastructural challenges await 5G technology.

3. Artificial Intelligence and Logistics 4.0

Technological advancement is the key to reducing labour intensity and increasing transparency in the logistics industry. With AI technology slowly seeping into warehouse logistics, sooner than later robotic equipment will work alongside human workers. This will reduce their burden and at the same time, prevent downtime. Moreover, with the adoption of Logistics 4.0, companies are already benefiting from networked warehouse systems and intelligent delivery solutions.

4. Sustainability and environmental regulations

In January 2020, Greta Thunberg, a school student from Sweden stood at the podium in Davos, in front of world leaders and billionaires to remind them that their house was on fire. These words have echoed on and on this year. In the world of logistics, sustainability has now become a central tenet for companies. Those companies complying with environmental standards and taking steps towards a more sustainable logistical process are inherently known to be more responsible and trustworthy. In this way, answering to the call of the hour, the logistics industry is on a continuous path to reduce their carbon footprint.

5. The Pandemic

The fact remains that Covid-19 will enter the new year along with us. With countless numbers of lockdowns still in place, the logistics industry has learnt to manage business around this situation. The new normal may continue into the new year, but at the same time, it has opened different doors to explore. One of the most exciting developments this year that will continue in the next is the solid footing gained by the rail freight industry. Faster than sea, and cheaper than air, this phrase took over the logistics field, as companies ventured to try their hand in conducting transport via rail.

We at New Silk Road Network, believe that 2021 will be a brighter, bigger and a better year for all of us. Our industry has proven to be one of the most resilient and adaptable. It will continue to thrive by leveraging opportunities that will present themselves in the coming times. With that said, a Happy New Year to one and all!

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