One of the factors contributing to the rapid growth in logistics is technological innovation, and the development of some of them will fundamentally change this market. Today the processes in transport and warehousing logistics are actually provided by progressive technological innovations that inevitably change the market.
Artificial and advanced intelligence will accelerate processes and enormously increase efficiency.
One of the technological trends that change logistics quite quickly is artificial intelligence. Auxiliary, augmented and autonomous AI systems solve and help solve the following problems:
- analysis of a colossal number of online orders with instant results on transportation directions and forecasting of delivery time based on data on weather, traffic conditions, etc;
- application of integrated management systems (ERP);
- automation of Warehouse Management Systems with Addressable Storage Systems (WMS);
- algorithms for calculating rational transportation routes and analyzing the efficiency of logistics schemes;
- Automation of fleet management systems (TMS);
- management of warehouse operations and other warehouse automation tools.
A special role will be played by the type of AI, such as advanced intelligence, which combines the experience of a living specialist with the capabilities of automatic calculations and analysis.
Drones will leave couriers out of work.
Today, drones are rapidly replacing people on the battlefield, and tomorrow they will rob millions of couriers of their jobs. It’s already happening. It is predicted that in the next 5-7 years similar projects will be launched in the U.S. and EU, the same modernization, albeit with some delay, is expected. Air travel, independence from traffic jams, high load capacity, autonomy and sufficiently low depreciation costs will make drones a widespread type of delivery.
The augmented reality finds application in both warehouse and transport logistics. For us, as a full-filling company, this is a significant story, because any technology associated with accelerating logistics processes increases our capabilities. AR makes it easier to find the right storage unit in the warehouse and allows the logistics operator to learn about the environment more quickly.
It is most likely that in the future most of the employees of logistics companies will have wearable augmented reality devices that allow them to obtain data about cargo (weight, content, movement conditions, localization), routes, transport, etc. This will reduce labor and financial costs for logistics operations, increase processing speed, and reduce delivery time to the destination.
Smart routing and delivery times
Smart routing is another technology that will significantly change transport logistics. The use of modern systems of dynamic route definition allows to reduce the time and reduce the time interval of cargo delivery. For the vast majority of online stores speed and “window” delivery is a big problem. These are the factors that retain interest in offline trade, as well as one of the main factors affecting the choice in favor of a particular online retailer.
Most of the systems currently in place are adapted to the real-time routing model through a fixed concept of time windows. More advanced and “smart” systems, which determine future routing trends, apply algorithms with flexible real-time time windows that allow for instant route corrections.
Digital platforms and road condition data collection services are increasingly being introduced into transport routing processes in logistics. They make it possible to avoid congestion, choose the most optimal modes of traffic lights, take into account sudden weather changes in different regions, and evaluate and account for the speed of traffic flows.
Systems for informing recipients about delivery times
Trite as it may seem, the development of technology and, more importantly, delivery notification models is one of the innovations that will significantly change logistics. It may seem that ideas in this direction have exhausted themselves, but if we look at the domestic market, we can see that even some recognized industry leaders simply send the recipient in the morning a single SMS indicating that delivery will be today, followed by anticipation, which can last a whole day.
You can also run bots that are able to algorithmically respond to the customer about the delivery options, with the ability to track the courier’s movement, eliminating unnecessary questions from the couriers, and the customer’s anxiety with calls. It is possible to automate notification about the possibility of changing the delivery time, if the route of the courier changes.
Geolocation and tracking of cargo status.
Tracking capabilities are also in demand. They, as well as alerts have been used by everyone for a long time. But at the moment most systems of this kind are relatively primitive and not accurate. Even at an actual level it is possible to provide more accurate tracking of parcels in real time, as it happens with cars in transport aggregators such as Uber and Yandex taxi.
Apart from location tracking, the status tracking will certainly develop. For example, temperature, humidity, mechanical damage to packaging, lighting, etc.. This is especially important for shipments that require special transport conditions (plants, pets, vintage wines, food products, fragile items, etc.).
The consumer of the service always wants more
The demand for innovation is not only driven by the needs of logistics companies, but also by the growing demands of the market. Consumer expectations, both b2b and b2c, are growing annually and require companies to constantly improve their services. These growing expectations and demands exacerbate competition between logistics companies and encourage the adoption of advanced technologies.