Data and Drones: What’s The Future of Logistics?

Every day, thanks to new technology, we shrink the borders between countries and take a step forward in our global economy. New machinery, computing systems and mobile devices are just a few examples of what’s led to instant, around-the-clock communications and streamlined logistics processes across the planet.

These logistics processes are made possible by experts driving new developments in the fields of shipping, transportation, manufacturing and distribution, and more change is to come. From job outlook to advanced education, here’s how logistics will take shape in the future.


Shipping technology makes it easier to run smooth and secure trade operations, but it requires strong attention to detail. This is the role a supply chain manager plays, as they are often the one ensuring every process is executed smoothly and securely. With so many moving pieces, there is plenty of room for failure, which can affect international relations and commerce. This is why management roles should be occupied by qualified logisticians who not only have a holistic view on logistics processes, but also a keen eye for details.

Job Outlook

Although advanced machinery and automated systems have reshaped the industry, the demand for a logistician’s human touch remains. A logistician’s ability to cut costs and find more effective product distribution methods is valuable to employers in all industries.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for logisticians will be driven by the “need for logistics in the transportation of goods in a global economy.” According to Payscale, the median salary for logistics managers is $63,000. New technology also offers many opportunities for logistics startups, where entrepreneurs can use anything from drone deliveries to RFID tags to revolutionize existing logistics processes.

STEM and Technology

In most industries, using technology to replace manual labor would be considered a job security threat. Logistics industry experts, however, not only understand these systems, but also optimize their use for a smoother process. Logistics degree programs at STEM-focused universities thoroughly prepare students for both of these areas. Training often goes beyond learning the functions of these machines and tools, and nurtures core skills such as problem-solving, analytical thinking and communications.

Data-Driven Analyses

The influence of STEM within the logistics industry can be seen in data-driven analyses, which logisticians use to cut costs and enhance customer service.  A data-driven analysis drives companies to build new software that simplifies enterprise warehousing, calculates price negotiations and improves fleet management. The service, accuracy and time of delivery is also improving; today, end-users can track packages online and receive shipments at specific times.

Logisticians need to be well versed in technology in the future, and STEM-related studies are a key starting point to build the right skills. The logistics industry is changing quickly, with a new focus on creating more efficient shipping and distribution processes across the globe. A higher education degree in STEM gives students the experience they need to lead this movement. With vast hands-on experience, these students learn how to effectively manage the systems used to transfer goods on a global scale.

Lauren Willison

As the Director of Admissions at Florida Polytechnic University, Lauren Willison is responsible for supporting the Vice Provost of Enrollment in managing recruitment efforts. She develops and coordinates on- and off-campus events, as well as manages the campus visit experience.

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