7 Technologies Which Are Key To High-Performing Logistics

Feb 14, 2020 Frank Hamilton Frank Hamilton

Logistics and its several intricate processes like planning, material sourcing, production, delivering or returning customer products, etc. involve multiple technicalities that require technology. Thankfully, today, there is a vast array of useful technology such as Searates to go around the various processes involved in the logistics niche.

Today’s modern world and its digitized economy benefit immensely from logistics. The service plays a fundamental role in creating and sustaining long-term bonds between multiple companies and their respective clients across the globe.

However, this essential piece in the jigsaw is often plagued with various crises like late deliveries, scarce trucks, spoiled shipments, scares drivers, rising shipments cost, etc. Problems like these often jeopardize a company’s relationship with its customers or make the company’s bottom line.

Fortunately, however, today, suppliers have a lineup of cutting-edge technologies at their disposal. There is Machine Learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), the Blockchain, driverless vehicles, and so on to address various issues effectively.

Here are some of the most crucial innovations from technology that propelled several positive changes in the logistics industry.


7 TECHNOLOGY INNOVATIONS THAT ARE KEY TO HIGH-PERFORMING LOGISTICS

1. Internet of Things (IoT)

This technology brought about a lot of improvement to what was formerly available in terms of service delivery. With IoT, internet-enabled devices/systems can be connected to physical items.


The logistics industry benefits from IoT in several ways. IoT can be integrated with humidity/temperature sensors to observe supply-chain quality control. IoT technologies can also be incorporated to detect when a package has been altered or damaged.


Cisco estimates that over fifty-billion objects would be connected to the IoT in 2020. This estimate presents a business opportunity of over $1.8 trillion for the logistics industry. Currently, there are over five billion objects already connected to IoT.


2. Drones

Drones offer the logistics industry with endless possibilities in terms of promising applications. One of their most notable contributions to the industry is its ability to enable express customer delivery quickly.


No matter the location, drones can quickly deliver immediately and with ease. They can cut through dense places like overcrowded urban cities that already have the problem of too many cars on the road. They can also fly right into the most rural locations to deliver customer items.


Several companies are eager to launch their brand as early adopters of this technology on the rise. One of the companies that took hold of this opportunity is Zipline (a medical-drone-delivery startup), who recently got into partnership with UPS, to start their delivery service in Africa.


3. Robotics

Robots are exclusively designed to carry out several tasks at once, and with ease. This characteristic makes its value and potential in the logistics industry limitless. Robots play vital roles, particularly in eCommerce processes. Here, speed and efficiency are in high demand to cater for the rapid sales demands of customers online.


In 2012, Amazon acquired a monopoly on Kiva Robots. The new robots were instrumental in advancing Amazon’s sales delivery. Typically, they could execute one-click orders in less than fifteen minutes, the same task that took their former human employees sixty to seventy-five minutes to complete successfully. This innovation also cut down Amazon’s expenses by about twenty percent.


Today, a long lineup of companies are trying to integrate similar models into their business processes to stay competitive.


4. Automation

This technology enhances operational efficiency by integrating data-driven software. The trend also offers the logistics industry an assortment of various solutions. The technology has helped to improve package labeling. Also, it has helped to reorganize warehouse sorting systems.


Holland’s port in Rotterdam, popularly known as the most advanced port in the world, earned its title from being a pioneer in adopting automation technology. According to The Wall Street Journal, automation increases productivity in the Dutch port by over thirty percent.


The port features container terminals that are fully automated. The terminals use stacking cranes that have been programmed to unload cargo using special techniques that increase production. The method also improves handling and reduces the cost of labor.


5. Wearable Technology

Wearable technology is anticipated to become a compulsory feature in the logistics industry soon.


DHL, a famous German company in the logistics industry, did a pilot project at their warehouse located in Bergen op Zoom. The key reason for the project was to test the effectiveness of wearable technology. The test focused on the technology’s ability to minimize human errors while increasing speed during order picking processes at the warehouse.


After the test was completed, results from the experiment showed that Google Glass and other smart glasses in that category improved employees’ satisfaction significantly. Also, it increased overall efficiency by over twenty-five percent.


6. Cloud Computing

The ability for cloud computing applications to provide flexibility and enormous efficiency for the logistics industry makes it a potential powerhouse. Hence, SeaRates, Ukrainian startup, is currently propelling the charge.


SeaRates was able to use the technology of cloud computing to transform the non-digitized and complex operations of global shipping. Following the transformation, the company was able to digitize shipping operations and make them available on an online dashboard that was very user-friendly.


Cloud computing and other smart processes have also helped SeaRates to minimize transaction costs and expand its operations in various cities Europe and North America. Among several other benefits, the company was also able to improve on their transparency, while satisfying the rising crowd-sourced delivery preference of several customers.

7. Self-driving Vehicles

The early implementation of self-driving vehicle technology has added significantly to the recent remarkable successes of the logistics industry. Several logistics companies have found it easy to adopt self-driving technology, this is thanks, in part, to the controllable testing grounds, and low regulations.


Logistics companies can easily convert free spaces such as shipping yards and storerooms to testing environments. This effortlessness in implementation has made several logistics companies employ self-driving automobiles. Some of the most sorted after self-driving vehicles include small, driverless plant-trucks, autonomous forklifts, etc.


According to a report by the New York Times, it might still be another couple of years before self-driving passenger cars become mainstream. However, autonomous semi-trucks may not take so long before they become a standard feature on our highways.


Another leading anchor of this movement is former Google Engineer’s led startup, Otto. However, the company is of the opinion that long-haul self-driving trucks would offer fewer financial and regulatory setbacks than passenger cars would.


As each of these innovative technologies continues to establish its role globally across the industry, we can expect more improvements and optimizations. The incorporation of top-notch technologies like IoT, Artificial intelligence, Real-time Analytics, Big-data, twin technology, and several others are already raising the bar in the logistics industry today. By implementing these various technologies, the logistics industry has seen more progress. Some major areas that have benefited the most include more efficient delivery in terms of time and cost. Majorly, there’s been overall customer satisfaction throughout the industry.


Conclusion

Just like Online Writers Rating helps find good paper reviews, there are a lot of tools that help with shipping logistics. Thanks to constant updates from innovative technologies, the processes involved in the logistics industry are no longer a complicated concept. Meanwhile, the evolution has only begun as the future looks to hold more promise than what is currently on-ground. The companies projected to benefit the most from all the innovations are those that will pioneer the various technologies.


Frank Hamilton is a blogger and translator from Manchester. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English.

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