2021 has seen its fair share of challenges for the logistics and warehousing industry. The covid-19 pandemic forced supply chains to evolve as demand for e-commerce increased and customer’s shopping habits changed.
The future of logistics is always changing and in 2022 the way warehouse’s function and operate is also set to advance. Thanks to developing technology, logistics looks a lot different than it did a decade or so ago. Looking towards 2022 there’s even more change on the horizon.
Warehouse management systems
A Warehousing Management System (WMS) is one of the major ways in which technology has helped advance logistics going into 2022.
WMS consists of the software and supporting hardware used to manage stock movement. Its objective is to help goods and materials move from receipt, through storage and on to distribution; all in the most transparent and efficient manner.
Looking towards 2022, a modern WMS will reduce the need for people to spend time completing paper forms or entering data from documents into spreadsheets.
Scanning technologies have also increased the efficiency of warehousing and logistics. In 2022, the majority of warehouses will use barcode scanning to take away much of the administerial tasks, allowing operatives to simply scan a pallet and enter quantities on a keypad.
Increased demand for 3PL and 4PL services
This past year has seen a phenomenal rise in e-commerce and with that an increased demand for Third Party Logistics (3PL) and Fourth Party Logistics (4PL).
3PL is the management of the movement and storage of parts, products and orders for your business by a skilled partner. 4PL takes 3PL a step further by not only delivering core logistics but managing resources, technology, infrastructure and even other 3PL’s.
Both these types of logistics offer numerous advantages including cost savings, lower capital expenditure, greater focus and flexibility.
In 2022, choosing the right 3PL partner for your business will be critical, as demand rises and more businesses look to expand. You’ll need a flexible service that scales easily to meet your demand. Beyond having the facilities, skills and experience to deliver what you need now, a great 3PL partner should be able to provide value-added services like cross docking, pick n pack, transport relationships and reworking.
Warehouse automation and AI (Artificial Intelligence)
Warehouse automation is another aspect of warehousing technology that will push logistics companies into the future in 2022.
Warehouse automation encompasses a combination of sensors, cameras, lasers and software which can be used to enable forklifts to work autonomously without operators.
In the last decade, warehouse automation experienced strong growth, with online retail and fast-moving consumer goods using IT to streamline assembly operations.
AI (Artificial intelligence) and robotics continue to be used increasingly in the logistics industry and are expected to become a trending topic in 2022.
The goal of AI is to automate the processes and make machines capable of learning and evolving practices. By using AI, warehouses can improve the efficiency and speed in which they sort products, move them from one environment to another, track their inventory and fulfil other manufacturing processes.
It’s only a matter of time before both warehouse automation and AI is ubiquitous for warehouse processes. Maybe 2022 is its year?
Environmental sustainability or ‘green logistics’ is a warehousing trend that has been increasing slowly over the last few years.
Companies can adapt environmentally responsible practices by using technology to gauge and monitor the usage of resources such as electricity, heat, water and gas in their facilities. They can also invest in electric and solar-powered vehicles, use biodegradable packaging and use software to calculate and reduce their carbon footprint.
2022 is a big year for environmental initiatives thanks to the recent UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). In a busy market, warehouses need to stand out from their competitors and one way to do this is to give their clients what they want, a warehouse with green initiatives.
How can PF Whitehead Logistics help you in 2022?
Here at PF Whitehead Logistics, we have been delivering warehousing, Third Party Logistics, pallet distribution and outsourced transportation for businesses for almost 60 years. In this time, we’ve seen warehousing and logistics’ technology change and develop for the benefit of our clients. We look forward to implementing further technology improvements in the future.
We handle a wide range of fast-moving consumer goods and other manufactured items from our 500,000 square feet facility in South London. With six decades of experience, we’ve gained enviable reputation for service and dependability that will continue into 2022 and beyond.
For more information on how PF Whitehead Logistics can help you in 2022 call us at 020 8684 4507.