4 Logistics Trends – Keep Your Supply Chain Moving and Digitally Enabled through Integration
Although the pandemic and economic disruptions of the past year have shocked supply chains and impacted the logistics industry, digital transformation with integration offers an opportunity for success—a way to turn a world of lemons into lemonade. In a recent study, the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) concluded that the more focused companies are on digital transformation, the faster they are able to recover operations from setbacks and move forward from uncertain times.
Accelerate logistics with an integration platform
Digital transformation boosts business resilience and is the integration of digital technology into all aspects of a business in order to deliver more value, reduce friction points and increase productivity. It’s about modernization and consolidation to make a business more agile in its ability to respond to customers and competitors, while launching new services, processing new types of transactions and connecting to new technologies.
Shipping volumes have skyrocketed as the shopping model has shifted from brick‑and‑mortar to online, which is why every logistics service provider (LSP) wants the same thing—one integration platform that:
- Supports different integration patterns, like EDI and B2B together with API
- Scales to massive volumes
- Achieves global reach
- Deliver anywhere
The right integration platform can accelerate the digital transformation of business applications, systems, and services essential to 4 trends in logistics management below that we see are driving the highly competitive logistics playing field.
4 Trends Driving the Logistics Playing Field
Trend #1: Last Mile Delivery
Last Mile Delivery is the final delivery of an online order—a supply chain process milestone in which an item is sent from a local warehouse or fulfillment center to the customer. Today, Last Mile Delivery is vital to e-commerce, which grew by 33.6 percent in 2020. LSPs and their partners are becoming more and more responsible for last-mile logistics, because e‑commerce has created a “culture of immediacy.”
To support Last Mile Delivery services, a major U.S. logistics and shipping company, whose customers include Amazon, FedEx and UPS, has grown and scaled from 300 to 10,000 partners since becoming a SEEBURGER customer in 2014. Originally, the company chose SEEBURGER to help provide a reliable, scalable and secure file transfer solution, because their FTP server had been compromised by hackers. In fact, even before the pandemic accelerated e‑commerce, 60 percent of major U.S. firms had been hacked in the cloud.
Today, the company’s entire business is powered by SEEBURGER Full Managed Service with EDI integration, managed file transfer (MFT) and a customized REST and SOAP solution for API integration. The company is making reliable shipping services for business customers its priority with nationwide next-day and two-day shipping, local same‑day shipping and package deliveries seven days a week. Plus, the company aims to modernize and increase its role in the industry by finding new routes to reach customers and providing residential and business customers with essential online tools and services for shipping items from any location.
Overall, SEEBURGER Integration provides the secure connectivity to deliver packages at the speed of now and:
- Gain immediate visibility into every second of shipment tracking
- Exchange massive volumes of information and data
- Meet 100% uptime requirements
- Enhance security
- Connect partners quickly
- Achieve standardized high availability
Trend #2: APIs for Tracking and Tracing
Tracking and tracing, commonly referred to as “Track & Trace,” are services that offer real-time visibility, monitoring and status updates into everything from online shopping orders to container shipments. Track & Trace services are made possible by integrating APIs into existing B2B strategies, ensuring seamless data flows and the ability to query the real‑time status of an order or shipment.
For an LSP like The Leschaco Group, all customer requirements are uniformly handled and efficient supply chain management is facilitated with an integration platform. SEEBURGER Business Integration Suite (BIS), our hybrid integration platform, manages all processes between the company’s Track & Trace system and its external business partners, including the integration of all customer orders; carriers; land, air and maritime shippers; transshipment partners and individual port community systems. BIS generates integrated EAI processes from the native logic of in‑house systems and then preconfigures B2B processes with standardized mappings, central message tracking and alerting.
Trend #3: Logistics as a Service
Many businesses outsource their warehouse distribution and fulfillment needs to a third‑party logistics provider (3PL). 3PL services manage, fulfill and ship inventory for multiple businesses. This helps to reduce transportation costs while also increasing customer service.
In response to the pandemic, a multinational food distribution company, and North America’s largest food industry redistributor, repurposed its trucking fleet to provide logistics services and products to retail grocery customers and distribute cleaning supplies to restaurant kitchens. They rely on SEEBURGER BIS for the platform’s real‑time, scalable, high‑volume processing capability, and as part of their modernization initiative, they migrated to a public cloud (AWS) to achieve scalability, quicker time‑to‑market, and be agile enough to switch gears and pivot quickly.
Trend #4: Cloud Solutions
A recent report by Ingram Micro, an American distributor of IT products and services, noted that the pandemic has made digital transformation tools indispensable, “fueling disruption along the entire technology supply chain—not just the physical supply chain, but also the virtual one, where the platform has become the focal point of every successful digital journey.” The report adds, “As customers deploy varying workloads across public, private and edge cloud infrastructure, they’ll seek out independent partners capable of integrating solutions from each of the top three cloud providers [Microsoft, AWS and Google Cloud].”
SEEBURGER Cloud Integration accelerates logistics by sharing information between warehouses, suppliers and Logistics as a Service providers for faster deliveries. Indeed, the largest container shipping line in the world has chosen SEEBURGER for migrating all their on‑premise ocean, air and land transportation business processes to iPaaS. The company’s goal is to modernize their ERP system for improved monitoring, reporting, security and automated partner onboarding—all while processing hundreds of millions of transactions a year without impacting their partners.
SEEBURGER Integration is digitally transforming the logistics industry – one package, one vehicle, one supply chain at a time
The logistics industry has become transaction-oriented with the need to share the right data at the right time, including expectation of visibility into high volumes. With SEEBURGER Integration, you can transform your ecosystem for new digital services and business models while optimizing the entire logistics journey.
- Achieve real-time visibility into your supply chain
- Centralize the transparent, efficient and reliable control of information and goods
- Secure mission‑critical file transfers in the cloud, on-premises, or with a hybrid solution
- Connect applications, ERPs, people and services in real time
- Automate and standardize B2B and EDI processes, including the usage of API to enable digital channels
- Comply with local and global regulations, such as e-Invoicing
- Integrate smart devices, machines, block chain and applications to support Industry 4.0 initiatives
- Reduce costs and ensure quality with digital processes
Ensure your competitiveness in the logistics industry with cloud‑based integration technology for standardized, automated and seamless workflows and data exchanges between your customers and suppliers.
 Digital Transformation: The Key to Unlocking Business Resilience | AI, Data & Analytics Network
 When You’re a Small Business, E-Commerce Is Tougher Than It Looks – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
 What is Last Mile Delivery? Trends, Challenges, Costs & More (merchantsfleet.com)
 Sysco Shifts Fleet to Grocery Supply Chain – Inbound Logistics
 Ingram Micro paints clear picture of a cloudy future
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Written by: Bill MetalloAs VP Sales, Bill is responsible for sales, pre-sales, marketing, and product management for SEEBURGER operations in North America. He and his team help customers in industries such as logistics, automotive, oil and gas, retail, healthcare and financial services to integrate their businesses and drive success. Bill joined SEEBURGER in January 2005. He now has over 25 years of high-tech operations, sales, and marketing experience, with the last 20 years in digital and cloud-focused enterprise solutions primarily for the Fortune 2000.