Technology serves as a competitive differentiator, and nearly all respondents (87% of shippers and 94% of 3PLs) agree that emerging technology adoption is critical to future growth and overall success. Adoption is underway, with 83% of shippers and 39% of 3PLs reporting they’re either already working together or plan to in the future.

Both parties pointed to specific technologies that hold value. For 3PLs, it’s a higher priority on predictive analytics, warehouse automation, and wearables and mobile technology. Both parties also align on the useful role of supply chain control towers.

The top reasons for investing in technology are to improve process efficiency and productivity, reduce operational costs and improve visibility. However, barriers to adoption remain. The most common challenges include the lack of a clear business case, capital and talent.

The increased adoption of technology is generating more data throughout the supply chain. This data will lend itself to using advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). When coupled with human expertise, these types of approaches are poised to further transform trucking, maintenance and logistics.