It seems like this is the age of innovations for logistic businesses. And for a very good reason since the logistic industry is the one that heavily relies on manual processes and great amounts of data stored in different manners.
Tech innovations are bound to change and improve logistic businesses all around the world. So, if you’re curious about all the tech innovations, here are some of them that will transform the logistic industry.
1. Cloud computing
Let’s start with something that will bring huge freight forwarder companies into the internet age – cloud computing. Cloud computing will allow logistic companies to overcome communication problems, collaborate, and securely share data.
The best part about integrating cloud computing into logistic companies would be the low risk and cost of maintaining the IT infrastructure. Cloud computing can offer flexibility and accessibility.
2. Internet of things
IoT or the internet of things connects physical things that have sensors, software, processing ability with internet-enabled systems and devices. The logistic industry already uses this technology to enhance visibility in every step of the supply chain. For example, temperature and humidity sensors can improve the efficiency of inventory management.
Implementing IoT into the logistic industry will improve efficiency in the supply chain, transparency, and real-time visibility of goods, monitor their condition and properly manage the fleet.
3. Big Data & Analytics
The goal of most logistic businesses should be the improvement of warehouse productivity, management, and proper utilization of logistical recourses. All this can be achieved with big data analytics which deals with examining too large or complex data to uncover hidden patterns, correlation, and market trends, among other things.
In the logistic industry, big data analytics can help gather data about weather, position, and fleet schedules, and all this data can help you optimize routes and plan delivery. Analysis of market trends can help with the optimization of supplier pricing, inventory levels, and so on.
The analytics part can sometimes help you identify certain anomalies and find maintenance solutions.
4. Automation technology
In the logistics industry, the use of automation technology can help improve the operational efficiency of machines, as well as streamline other logistic operations. For example, automation tech is used for labeling, packaging, sorting, and other similar systems.
Some logistics businesses have the fully-automated container terminals that improve cargo functioning. If used this way, automation can improve overall logistics productivity up to 30%. It goes without saying that automation will also improve handling and reduce labor costs.
Robotics can have endless applications in the logistics industry. Robots are supposed to perform more jobs at once, which can, in turn, boost the accuracy and speed of supply chain processes, as well as reduce human error.
With that said, it’s important to add that robots will by no means replace humans or take their jobs. They are meant to work together to increase productivity and efficiency.
There are at least three types of robots – autonomous mobile robots, physical and software robots. Autonomous mobile robots and physical or co-bots (collaborative robots) should be used to pick and transport goods in warehouses and storage, while software robots should do boring and repetitive tasks.
6. Wearable tech
Wearable technology in the logistics industry can significantly speed up processes such as packing and shipping and thus reduce human labor. With wearable tech, the efficiency of these processes can be increased by 25%. So, you can see why this sort of technology is a must in the logistics industry.
Of course, it’s expected that this technology improves in the coming years and with the improvements, efficiency and customer satisfaction will rise, as well.
Blockchain is a hot topic in almost any industry, so it’s no wonder that it’s so popular in the logistics industry as well. To logistics businesses, blockchain can offer security, streamline the flow of operations and improve transparency.
Blockchain is a digitally distributed, decentralized public larger that allows data to be stored on a shared global network which gives stakeholders and other companies access to information but makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system.
With blockchain technology, there is no need for intermediaries, which means no commission expenses.
8. Artificial and Augmented Intelligence
Another innovation that the logistic industries have slowly started integrating is AI (Artificial Intelligence). AI is being integrated into transportation, route planning, warehouse automated picking systems and predictive optimization software and so much more, however, this is merely the start. In the coming years, we can expect to see AI technology pretty much everywhere.
A technology that we can also expect to see more of is Augmented Intelligence. Augmented Intelligence is a mix of human intelligence and AI automation. The integration of these technologies can significantly improve flexibility, customer service, responsibility, and so on.
So, as the technology improves, we will be seeing a lot more AI and Augmented Intelligence being integrated into the logistics industry.
All these technologies and many others are bound to improve the whole supply chain, everything from manufacturing to delivery, and in between. What we do know is that the logistics industry is a massive market that has been on the rise for the last couple of years, and with these technologies, it’ll only continue to do so.