What the Future Holds in Store for Logistics

Nov 24, 2019 Helen Spade Helen Spade

Drones, robotics, driverless cars, robotics in warehouse, artificial intelligence, machine learning… It has to start with revolutionary technologies because the Internet is already being utilized to allow all sorts of devices to communicate with each other like never before which means increased delivery speeds and a reduction in costs. With all these revolutionary changes it is inevitable that the workforce will evolve too and as the time goes by, the workforce requirements will change. Climate change, air pollution in all industries are one of the most important issues and the logistics industry is responsible as one of the main contributors to emissions around the globe. Restraints are being put in place and they are seen as a challenge that Is already showing impressive results.

Like every other industry, logistics is being revolutionized by the advancement of technology and big-game players within the sector, and will also be impeded by rising fuel costs and increasing environmental impact awareness which will see the general public demand changes in the status quo. Driverless cars, drones, robotics in warehouse, artificial intelligence, machine learning…

What does the future hold in store for the logistics industry?

Revolutionary technologies

It has to start here, because recent developments within the world of tech will have huge ramifications for the logistics industry.

To start, the Internet of Things is already being utilized to allow all sorts of devices to communicate and collaborate with each other like never before. The result in terms of logistics will mean increased delivery speeds, more specialized storage solutions, a decrease in waste, and of course a reduction in costs.

And then from the delivery side of things comes drones and driverless vehicles. Amazon has already stated its intention to utilize drone technology.

“In the short-term, drone technology will probably only be seen in particularly specialized forms of deliveries, such as important supplies and medical equipment/drugs to isolated areas. It’s unlikely there will be a drone delivering your new book to your apartment in downtown Manhattan anytime soon,” warns Sheila Rhodes, a tech blogger at 1day2write and NextCoursework.

Regulatory issues will be a handbrake upon this development too, as already authorities are struggling to come to terms with drones occupying airspace reserved for commercial airlines, just as one relevant example. There are still plenty of creases to iron out before this idea becomes fully adopted.

As for driverless cars, a lot of the same points apply. It is really only likely that in the short to medium term, only special instances will be seen. Once again, the possibility of a driverless car being used to make deliveries within the confines of a busy city is again a little premature, and regulatory restraints will again play their part here. But step by step these technologies will start to make their appearance.

One such technology that is already making an impact is robotics within the logistics warehouses. Robots are currently being employed by the likes of Amazon for tasks such as picking and packing, and delivering the right stock to the delivery vehicles in the parking bays. Certainly robotics, tethered up to the mainframe through the Internet of Things, of course, will rapidly increase in terms of adoption rate, and in terms of the tasks that those robots complete.

A changing workforce

As all of this technology comes to the forefront of services within the logistics industry, it is inevitable that the workforce will evolve too. Traditionally, logistics has employed high volumes of relatively unskilled workers to drive the trucks, and pick, pack and load the products back in the warehouses. Yet as this technological revolution gathers pace, the workforce requirements will change.

“There are those that speculate that millions of jobs will be lost in the logistics space due to the march of technology, but this is simply not true. What we will start to see is the importance of tech-savvy workers, programmers, developers and engineers who will be responsible for collaborating with the technology utilized within the space. The workforce won’t deplete, it will simply evolve,” says Kevin O’Donovan, a logistics analyst at BritStudent and WritemyX.

Ecological restraints

Reducing the carbon footprint within all industries is of growing relevance, and the logistics industry is culpable as one of the main contributors to emissions around the globe. Restraints are already being put in place, but this is a challenge that is already showing impressive examples of workable solutions.

Amazon, for example, recently announced that it intends to deliver in batches on specified dates to their Prime members, meaning there will be no more dispatching of goods immediately they are ordered. This will mean that goods will be delivered on set days (as chosen by customers), and grouped in bulk orders. Many more developments like this are expected to be rolled out over the coming years, so watch this space for some of the most creative problem-solving solutions in any business sphere, all of which is heavily influences by regulatory issues emanating from ecological impact reduction plans

Entrepreneur Helen Spade is usually found assisting organizations in their technical business approaches. She is an editor at PHDKingdom and AcademicBrits, and a regular contributor to Originwritings.

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