Automation and the Internet of Things imply that the process complexity often found across definite points of logistics operations can now be streamlined for efficient operations. Emerging hardware and software like asset and sensor tagging are shaping more reliable, connected settings for more tight and cost-effective asset control.
FREMONT, CA: Despite years since the democratization of the Internet, most sectors continue to carry out everyday operations using low-technology solutions and are mainly evident in the logistics industry. Providentially, many sections of the logistics are now undergoing modernization with a new wave of organizations shaping a contemporary supply chain marketplace, which embraces game-changing technology.
Below are some of the breakthrough trends that are seen gaining traction in transport and logistics.
Efficient Matching and Routing
Companies are dynamically turning to intelligent algorithms to mechanize the process of matching shipments with the capability to maximize money and time. While manual matching is restricted in the number of shipments that can be set, automated matching gets better and quicker with the more deliveries executed (easier to find a pertinent match and optimize routes). The matching and routing algorithms are also considering lowering the costs incurred from empty miles, the expanses traveled by drivers with empty trailers, saving fuel costs reducing air pollution.
Till now, manufacturing and logistics were considered less digitally mature than other fields marked by secure legacy systems like payments handled on paper, frequently causing long delays for carriers to receive cash.
The introduction of contemporary online payment systems is an instance of how digitization is now swiftly facilitating transactions between carriers and shippers. The process has not only enhanced customer satisfaction and trust but also has driven competence and lowered costs by consolidating all payments into one, proficient platform. As the logistics division becomes more digitally mature, business processes will become simplified, reducing risk and driving revenue with enhanced efficiency.
Blockchain technology is expected to be increasingly used by stakeholders across transport and logistics to deliver more accountability and transparency in tracking and managing documentation and assets across the supply chain process. Employing blockchain distributed ledger technology can not only enhance service levels by offering end-to-end visibility of the status of each shipment but can also advance on-time rates and facilitate for more proactive incident management.
New applications are already offering smart contracts utilizing blockchain technology. When a shipment order is made, an intelligent agreement can be instated and upon delivery, quickly executed if all validations and intermediate points are verified.
Well-versed data-driven decisions are fast becoming the standard across logistics for stakeholders across the supply chain ecology. The information accumulated from daily operations can inform businesses of upcoming fluctuations, peak demands, and, more importantly. Additionally, it also offers insights into demand and supply forecasts, fuel consumption, route optimization, and turnaround times, each of which can reinforce competitive advantage in the marketplace of third-party logistics. Shipment information can also be aggregated at the warehouse level with the help of loading and unloading times for an effortless flow of inventory control and shipping management.
Automation and Internet of Things (IoT)
Automation and the Internet of Things imply that the process complexity often found across definite points of logistics operations can now be streamlined for efficient operations. Emerging hardware and software like asset and sensor tagging are shaping more reliable, connected settings for more tight and cost-effective asset control. Inventory can be better administered in warehouses and cargo better controlled during transit. The IoT based systems can also facilitate real-time insights into performance and predictive maintenance in logistics, for instance, through the application of acoustic and visual sensors on rails and tracks.
The capability to remain agile and adjust fast to seasonal demands has also toughened the significance of flexibility within the supply chain. Being able to expand and shrink capacity-on-demand in agreement to peak periods while maintaining quality in customer service is vital. To remain agile but lean, most companies now partner with third and fourth-party logistics (3PL and 4PL) to leverage the expertise and resources of others. The global third-party logistics market is projected to grow at around five percent from 2016 to 2024, with the market anticipated to attain a size of about USD 1,054 billion by 2024.
Smart Road Technology
While still in the early stages of research, most startups are already emerging with objectives to bring technological innovations on to roads and highways themselves. The incorporation of solar panels into hundreds of miles of asphalt surfaces, for instance, could have the aptitude to melt snow, generate energy, reroute traffic and even possibly direct autonomous vehicles.
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