The end of the year is always a popular time for forecasting what’s expected in the subsequent year(s). However, when it comes into predicting the future for the shipping, courier, and related businesses, those types of predictions should be driven less by gut feelings and assumptions and more by data and informed industry analysis.

Of course no one can predict with 100 percent certainty what the future of the industry holds. Nonetheless, being updated on new trends in the industry will go along way in
helping businesses keep up with the fierce competition in today’s markets.

Without much ado, below are the top 4 shipping industry trends to watch in 2017

Increased adoption of Drone delivery

One of the most talked about delivery trends is the upcoming surge in the adoption of drone delivery. In the coming years, more and more drone delivery options is expected, especially in the metropolitan areas.

Big courier services firms are already investing a lot of money in drone experimentation and have even made successful deliveries. In future, the use of these unmanned flyers will extend to even smaller businesses.

Big Data

Big data is already changing every industry, providing significant insights and capabilities that are making business operations safer and smarter. By leveraging on technical and engineering data, shippers will have greater visibility into pricing and other market trends. Data driven analytics will also improve tactical decisions, allowing shippers to choose optimal routes by taking into account piracy risks, fuel consumption and weather conditions.

Free shipping as an after-sale service

Even with the increased shipment costs, providing free shipping has proven to be more valuable than ever. The trend is expected in many e-commerce markets simply because the leading competitors are offering it. Of course, not every company will be ready to provide free shipping on every order that their customers place. A common strategy that will gain more ground in the coming years is the provision of the service after a given order value threshold.

Going Green

Like any other sector, today’s delivery industry is shifting towards a green image. A wide range of innovations are proposed on a daily basis to reduce environmental footprint of the industry as a whole—better propeller performances, air cushion, skysails, and high-tech coating technologies are being adopted. But these are just the beginning; more specialized technological trends are expected to push the industry towards greener and environmentally-friendly era.

Conclusion

Shipping is an important aspect of any e-commerce business, and every firm should come up with working and efficient strategies. Staying updated with the latest trends while implementing and tweaking them as necessary will go a long way in helping big and small business shipping firms figure out what’s working and what’s not. For more resources, the FlagShip blog may provide you with additional information.