Top Food Supply Chain Tech Trends to Watch in 2020

top food supply chain trends to watch in 2020Let’s take a look at the top food supply chain tech trends to watch in 2020. In our previous article we explored four tech trends, that regardless of the hype, still can’t seem to find their place in the food supply chain. 

However, let’s take a look at some tech trends that may be at our doorsteps this year or in the ones to come (shortly). 

Machine learning:

While it’s hard to separate it from AI and augmented reality, there’re a couple of fields within the food supply chain where machine learning is right up to the curve. We’re talking about WMS and TMS. Let’s separate them:

    • WMS: in this section, machine learning fits perfectly, as it can readjust its functions to variable factors. This means it can help warehouses to automatically adequate their storage practices, and optimize the process in different case scenarios.
    • TMS: in a similar way to how Machine Learning helps in WMS, it enables transportation management systems to determine the optimal carriers, possible non-evident inconvenient, or repercussion in performance. They can also determine the time a route takes, and even prevent situations such as traffic and weather conditions, saving money in freights. Both WMS and TMS are currently benefiting the industry and will probably be adopted widely this year.

Robotic storage and retrieval: is for sure the most promising tech trend for the food supply chain going into 2020. The main benefit it offers is the capacity to obtain high storage and still have some flexibility when it comes to short-range transport. With e-commerce increasingly needing same-day-deliveries, these bots can solve the problem for supermarkets or even local suppliers.

Internet of Things:

The development of the internet of things sensors, and the connectivity between devices equipment, accelerates the data turning the supply chain’s visibility into real-time avoiding monitoring delays, optimizing fuel usage, making storage management proactive and making logistics, in general, more efficient.

Automated trucks:

In an article by Steve Bankers for Forbes magazine (Dec 30, 2019), he assures the world is not yet ready for automated trucks and highlights situations such as possible accidents, weather condition conflicts, and others. He argues that it’s still far away from being safer than drivers. But the general opinion aims to a shorter-term as the trials can be accelerated by trusting in other tech trends such as AI, IoT, augmented reality, and real-time data analysis.

Real-time data analysis:

There’s no need for much explanation for this one. Data analysis is getting faster and faster, and algorithms boosted by AI and ML are almost ready to be real-time. This analysis will simplify and optimize the general processes in the food supply chain.


All these technologies seem to be adjusting quickly to the industry’s maturity curve. They may even push other trends forward. Whatever the future holds, these are the Top Food Supply Chain Tech Trends To Watch In 2020; only the new decade will tell which ones reach the market.


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