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The logistics industry changes more than most industries. The latest changes, including drones and autonomous vehicles, could put the graduating class of 2019 at an advantage when it comes to jobs, but how fast is it all changing? Let’s take a look…

The future of logistics will rely heavily on emerging technologies: 3D printing, drone delivery, and autonomous vehicles, to name a few. The 22-year-olds now entering the workforce have grown up reading about and seeing these kinds of technologies develop. They’re as familiar with these ideas as past generations were with the emergence of the Internet. Companies are now ready to adopt these emerging technologies into the workplace, and this generation is the most equipped to oversee its implementation.

3D Printing 

This technology has actually been around for a while. In the 1990s, the medical field started working on 3D-printed prosthetic limbs. It’s been used in recent years by the automotive and aerospace industries to build prototypes. Some are calling 3D printing “the next industrial revolution.

In the same way the assembly line changed manufacturing in the past, 3D printing is expected to change the way manufacturing works in the future. Being able to print on demand could mean not requiring products to be stacked on warehouse shelves. That’s a pretty significant impact on inventory and logistics.

Drone Delivery

Baby Boomers and even some Gen X’ers are still baffled by how Amazon can deliver packages using drones. Homeowners’ Associations are filled with members discussing whether they want to allow their neighbors to use them recreationally. There is still a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to drones and how they work, but there’s a useful application for them in the logistics industry. A 3PL study conducted by EFT found one-third of manufacturers and retailers want logistics companies to use drones for product delivery. However, just 1.5% of companies can provide expertise, knowledge, and service, and the same amount of businesses have comprehensive experience and know-how and plan to deliver the service.

Autonomous Vehicles

Possibly the most space-agey technology is self-driving cars (a.k.a. autonomous vehicles) There are already autonomous vehicles in most warehouses in the forms of autonomous forklifts and robotic arms. Spectra360 is frequently hiring autonomous operators for our clients. This technology helps to load, unload, and transport goods within the warehouse. They use advanced sensors, vision, and geo guidance technology to get the job done. But this is far from a self-driving semi truck making deliveries and picking up loads.

Mercedes-Benz is expected to release its prototype of a semi-autonomous truck in 2025. It won’t replace the driver, but it will be able to perform other tasks inside the cabin, and Mercedes promises it will make long-haul logistics cheaper, safer, and more environmentally-friendly.

Many careers in logistics require a college degree. The typical logistics education includes courses in accounting, economics, finance, management, and communication. In order to successfully bring these technologies into the logistics industry, it will be necessary for hiring managers to attract graduates who have at least some experience in emerging technologies, and the class of 2019 is the most likely to be able to fulfill this need.

If you are graduating and looking for an easy start to your career, Spectra360 can help. If you’re concerned about competing with graduates because you don’t have a college degree, don’t worry – Spetra360 can help with that too! We frequently help our talent to build upon their warehouse and logistics experience so that they too are headed for the career they always dreamed of. Contact us today or check out our job board to get started.