Tracking Logistics Trends in 2023

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Logistics industry trends

At the start of the year, our team predicted what they thought would be the top trends of 2023. Over half the year in, and with our first industry-wide report data in, we take a look back at the industry trends and tactics they predicted, to see what stuck. Let’s see how they did! 

Accurately forecasting what the year ahead may hold for logistics operators and businesses takes a bit more than peering into tea leaves or a crystal ball. Our team works closely with our customers day in and out, to understand their needs and ensure our software solution has the tools and features they need to scale their businesses with ease. 

Logistics news leaders DC Velocity shared our team’s predictions for 2023 logistics trends in January; let’s take a look! 

Logistics Industry Trends to watch in 2023

  • Partnerships and outsourcing
  • Software integrations will be key 
  • Saving time with automation 
  • Customer expectations leading trackability 

Compared with our recent industry report data collected through the Q1 2023 CCLI report, we can see how the trends aligned with what industry members cited as their biggest challenges and opportunities of the year to come.

👉 Want more data and the chance to win a $250  Amazon gift card? The Q3 2023 CCLI survey is open now, to all members of the logistics industry currently working in warehousing or transportation. 

CartonCloud Logistics Index Q1 2023 two years of data

Logistics partnerships and outsourcing

Deemed one of the top tactics for logistics business growth in 2023 (according to over 1,800 respondents in the CCLI Q1 survey), outsourcing services and building industry partnerships is certainly a trend to watch in 2023. 

3PL providers are using outsourcing and partnerships to offer new revenue streams and services to customers, providing a single touch point to outsource their logistics needs, made possible with integrated systems and software

“We’re seeing a shift in the services 3PLs are offering, as more and more businesses look to outsource logistics altogether. 3PLs are acting more like 4PLs, providing storage, freight and handling services as well as reporting and advice, and even acting as a single point of contact for customers, as they manage a range of logistics providers on the customer’s behalf.
“Our software is an integrated WMS/TMS, which means our customers can play it smart, listen to what their customers need and find new and innovative ways to provide that, under one umbrella,” said CartonCloud COO Shaun Hagen. 

Many operators may be providing additional data and reporting based on the data they were already collecting, relying on reporting automation and integrations to share this valuable data with customers and partners. 

Logistics Software Integrations 

As the logistics industry continues to expand technical and digital capabilities, it’s no wonder software integrations are key to success. 

Data accuracy, speed, and security remains front of mind for 3PLs looking to grow in 2023, with the ability to connect systems and securely share data seamlessly across systems and platforms as a part of day-to-day operations a key focus for 3PLs looking to optimize operations and expand. 

The Q1 CartonCloud Logistics Index report showed on average, most logistics companies were using 3-5 systems in daily operations — highlighting the role integrations play in allowing companies to define a unique tech stack based on their requirements.  

“In 2022, we built over 1,000 integrations for CartonCloud customers, allowing them to streamline data flow between systems — from linking to their customer’s online stores like Shopify and WooCommerce, to direct connections with specialty ERP systems like Crafted ERP, accounting platforms like Xero and Quickbooks, or DIY integrations through our public Zapier or self-service API,” said CartonCloud founder and CEO Vincent Fletcher.

Find out more about secure WMS/TMS software integrations here.

Saving time with automation

We predicted the new year would see 3PLs focus on building efficiency in more than just their operations, highlighting logistics businesses would be looking at how they can save time in all areas of their business, especially through automating manual tasks like rate calculations, invoicing, and ordering.

It's no surprise this trend has been a top focus in 2023 for growing logistics business! Automation and logistics technology is for everyone! The Q1 CCLI showed a whopping response for technology investment intentions from logistics businesses across the globe. 

The top tech investment choices for logistics companies in the coming 6 months were AI/ machine learning and automation — overshadowing investment intent for electronic vehicles and fleet upgrades. 

CCLI q1 2023 tech investment results

The team predicted companies would want to focus on building a deeper understanding of tech features available to them, and making the right decisions for their own tech stack — a trend reflected in the CCLI data once more.  

3PL providers will take time to ensure they have the right software for their system, and they will want it to be usable and easy to roll out across their team and operations. They want to do more for their customers, and they want to know all the ways their software can help them save time and money, and increase their output. 

The Q1 CCLI report highlighted the average companies are using 3-5 systems daily, suggesting companies are selecting systems based on niche requirements. Once again, this shows the importance of software integrations, in allowing data to flow securely and effectively through systems and automated workflows. 

Customer expectations and track-ability

Outside of rising operational costs, CCLI respondents raised increasing customer demands as a key challenge for logistics businesses in 2023. 

This trend has developed over the past few years, following increased home delivery and new customer behaviors emerging from the global pandemic lockdowns.  

Our team predicted trackability as a key expectation logistics companies would need to prioritize in 2023; from the ability to see a shipment in transit, view stock levels in the warehouse, to receiving an electronic POD (ePOD) at the point of delivery, track-ability provides important usable data to all members of the supply chain. 

What do the key logistics trends in 2023 mean for your business? 

We believe in data-led decision-making, to help our customers stay ahead of trends and one step ahead of their competition. The CartonCloud Logistics Index reports are available for FREE to all members of the logistics industry, providing actionable insights to help you plan for the future. 

You can sign on to receive the reports by completing the survey or downloading the latest report from our industry report archive.

Want to know more?

Contact the CartonCloud team today to find out more, or to book in a FREE DEMO to see our software in action. You can also download the CartonCloud mobile app in demo mode to view a handful of features for FREE. Download from the Apple store or Play store to see for yourself! 

We're logistics people too, which means our team can understand your business needs and ensure your setup is correct to streamline your operations, and scale up your business. 

Subscribe to CartonCloud news to stay up to date with all new feature releases for our powerful, cloud-based WMS and TMS software.

Streamline your logistics operations today

Streamline your logistics operations today
Oct 23, 2023
Aug 23, 2023
 min read

Streamline your logistics operations today

Streamline your logistics operations today