The evolution of technology in the past decade has changed the course of all businesses. Many sectors and industries witnessed drastic transformations.
The task, which earlier took 2 hours to complete, is now completed only within half an hour! Not only the production but the products' accuracy and services' speed has also improved to manifolds. Advanced technology has also increased productivity in the supply chain. Combined, these all factors result in minimizing production costs.
Like all other industries, the transportation services and logistics industry also has undergone many technological shifts in the last decade. These advancements benefit all sections of the logistics industry, including trucking transportation, production, intermodal transportation, supply chain management, and shipment tracking.
Here are those 8 significant technological advances that are transforming the future of the logistics industry.
Automation can be defined as the process of utilizing data-driven software to improve the operational efficiency of the machine in order to achieve maximum output and the highest possible accuracy.
Automation has paved a long way in the logistics industry -from improving package labeling to streamlining warehouse sorting systems to faster deliveries.
It is believed that the Logistics Transport Companies that adopt automation sooner are more likely to be leading the logistics business in the future.
But there is another side of automation too. As more and more logistics service providers have started to adopt automation because of its higher output and higher accuracy, many people are losing their jobs. This could result in a social imbalance in society.
Drones have become a part of the modern logistics industry. Drones have many promising applications for the logistics industry, including warehousing and customer delivery.
Drones service has the potential to deliver the products in the dense, congested, and rural areas with urgency. In addition, this will also help in reducing road traffic, which will ultimately reduce incidents of accidents as well. It is also believed that less traffic will also lessen air pollution to some extent.
Global logistics transport companies and startups are equally eager to adopt drones as next-generation technology.
The logistics service provider giant like Amazon and UPS has successfully completed trials of drones, and it is expected that they will launch the drone delivery full-fledge in coming days.
Unlike Automated machines, robots are designed to perform tasks similar to humans. It resembles a human being, as well as it replicates certain human movements and functions. This makes its applications in the Logistics industry endless.
Due to the rapid expansion of e-commerce business, it has become inevitable for the logistics service provider to increase the efficiency and speed of overall e-commerce operations. For which, robotics would be the perfect option to play the decisive role.
The giant logistics service provider and supply chain companies like Amazon, Flipkart, Alibaba, and UPS, have already made robotics as a part of their delivery and supply chains. The robots fulfill a task in 20 minutes, which typically takes humans 70-80 minutes to complete.
Besides, robotics has reduced the organization’s overall production cost by 20% and improved production by 25-30%.
On-demand delivery is another important agent that is changing the Logistics service industry. The on-demand delivery service was started in the food industry to deliver the foods from the restaurant to home. But eventually, it paved its way in the Logistics industry too.
Using On-Demand Delivery (ODD), Logistics Transport Company can offer the recipients various flexible delivery options, such as choosing the delivery place and the time. In other words, customers can choose when and where the logistics service delivers the parcel.
Due to such flexibility, on-demand services are becoming increasingly popular in a short span of time.
5. Internet of Things (IoT)
The internet of things (IoT) is a technology that allows physical items to get connected to internet-enabled devices and systems in order to transfer data over a network without requiring any human interference. IoT collects more refined data and practices more in-depth intelligence for all parties connected to the supply network.
The logistics industry uses IoT services in different ways. From ensuring the safe delivery of the shipments to the recipients to utilizing it for weather sensors to manage the supply-chain quality control, IoT plays an important role. Many Logistics Transport Companies have adopted IoT technology.
A study by Cisco revealed that more than 50 billion objects will be connected to the internet by 2021, compared to 5 billion objects currently connected.
6. Crowd shipping
Wikipedia defines Crowd shipping as an example of people using social networking to behave collaboratively and share services and assets for the greater good of the community, as well as for their personal benefit.
It is a delivery model where person-to-person (P2P) delivery takes place. The crowd shipping does not require any processing facilities or fleet of trucks and delivery men. Also, it can be scaled easily. For the same reasons, Crowd shipping, also known as crowd logistics, is a cheap service compared to traditional logistics services.
7. Autonomous vehicles
Self-driving cars or autonomous cars were a fantasy for us just a decade ago. But today, it has become a reality! The autonomous or self-driving cars not only deliver the shipments with efficiency and on time, but it is believed that it will also reduce the incidences of accidents.
As the tech giant- Google and German-based automobile marque - Mercedes has already invested billions in the Autonomous car project; it is certain that we will witness significant shifts in the logistics industry in the coming future.
8. Improved GPS Accuracy
Those years are now gone when we have to keep a handwritten address with us to reach a certain destination. GPS technology has also revolutionized the Logistics industry. With the help of GPS technology, we can now reach any place faster with fewer efforts.
There is no doubt that GPS accuracy has also improved much in the past few years.
Using GPS, the logistics service provider can pinpoint the exact delivery or pick up location and can also get proper direction with the real-time traffic and other guidance. This will help the logistics service provider in providing better and quicker service without any delay or damage.
As these eight technologies continue to play their role in the global logistics industry, we’re likely to witness significant changes & optimization throughout the supply chain — from manufacturing to warehousing to delivery.
Although we are uncertain about the overall impact of these emerging technologies, we are sure that the logistics transport companies that adapt to these technologies at the earliest will grab better benefits.