Insights to Help Your Business

Technology is Driving the Future of Shipping and the Supply Chain

The shipping industry is transforming

With eCommerce sales predicted to increase by more than 10% annually from 2024 to 2027, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are realizing the true cost of errors in the post-purchase journey. Shipping and delivery issues, such as lost, late, damaged, or stolen packages, not only threaten a business’s bottom line but also endanger positive customer experiences.


To help, SMBs are turning to advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to be the driving force behind transformative changes. These emerging solutions are reshaping traditional supply chain approaches, bringing heightened efficiency, accuracy, and transparency to the forefront.

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AI Takes Center Stage

A recent survey conducted by UPS Capital revealed that a staggering 77% of SMB decision-makers have already implemented some form of AI-enabled technology in their supply chain. This enthusiasm underscores the belief that AI is poised to revolutionize the shipping industry. Merchants recognize AI's potential to enhance efficiency (67%), reduce human error (58%), and optimize warehouse operations and inventory management (44%).

Surveyed merchants view AI not only as a catalyst for positive change within their own businesses but also as a revolutionary force capable of reshaping the broader landscape of the shipping industry. When asked about shipping challenges they face, surveyed merchants pointed to difficulties in predicting demand spikes during peak periods (49%), manual processes limiting speed and accuracy (48%), and a reactive approach to managing disruptions (44%). AI-driven solutions are seen as the key to addressing these challenges.

IoT Gains Popularity

The excitement for innovative technology solutions extends beyond AI to include IoT. Surveyed merchants see IoT as a tool to provide real-time tracking updates, monitor changes in delivery timelines, and improve communication with customers. Additionally, IoT's ability to monitor environmental conditions and enhance efficiencies in fulfillment facilities is highly regarded.

However, as with any technology implementation, concerns around data security and privacy still linger. Nearly half of the merchants surveyed (49%) express apprehension about unauthorized access or misuse of sensitive shipment data. As a result, the industry is actively addressing cybersecurity challenges, reflecting a commitment to securely integrating IoT technologies within the dynamic supply chain landscape.

Revolutionizing the Post-Purchase Journey

The collective excitement among SMBs about AI and IoT reflects a shared eagerness to embrace advanced technologies to address shipping and supply chain challenges. To meet this demand, UPS Capital recently launched DeliveryDefense™ Address Confidence, a predictive analytics solution that empowers merchants to proactively assess the likelihood of successful delivery for addresses nationwide. This forward-thinking offering helps SMBs make informed decisions before shipping goods to mitigate losses, boost revenue, and significantly improve the customer experience.

This evolving, technology-driven strategy is not merely about overcoming current obstacles but propelling the eCommerce ecosystem towards a more efficient and customer-centric future as it continues to grow. As technology continues to drive the future of shipping, SMBs that actively embrace these innovations are set to lead the charge in this transformative era, thereby strengthening their financial performance and reputations.

Don’t get left behind in 2024 – download our whitepaper now to stay ahead of the curve and embrace the future of shipping.

The Future of Shipping Report
Download the complete report for essential insights into the current state of shipping and key drivers that will help shape the future of logistics by:
  • Protecting packages and building loyalty
  • Integrating technologies to streamline shipping operations
  • Elevating the returns process

For more data on post-purchase trends and insight into how merchants can master the shipping experience, get the full report.

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