How Logistics Can Be Redefined Using Technology
May 7th, 2018
Like most industries, transportation and logistics has also started to embrace technology.
In the coming decade, technology will shape the way we perceive the industry. From drones for deliveries to unmanned robots in warehouses, the current logistics is undergoing a major transformation.
In this blog we will discuss about how automation technology will help improve the trends in logistics.
#1 Robotics Will Take Over Logistics Market
Robotics is supposed to change logistics drastically. A few years ago Amazon acquired Kiva systems which is now known as Amazon Robotics.
Since the acquisition, Amazon has increased the deployment of robots in logistics and other functions of warehouse like picking and packing.
Collaborative robots (also known as Cobots), can work in conjunction with Internet of Things (IoT).
Due of this, Cobots can operate 3 times faster than ordinary robots and can revolutionize the way logistics work. These robots are becoming key players in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data analytics movement.
They are involved in picking, packaging, and delivering through the logistics.
#2 Internet of Things
IoT plays a crucial role in logistics. As more than one device is connected on IoT, it can monitor people and tools, providing notification for each.
IoT helps managers to examine and understand the activities that are going on in the site such as performance of equipment, status of inventory, flow of materials, working status of employees, energy consumption, etc.
It can also enhance the in-transit visibility which in turn brings more orders to the industry.
Moreover IoT can predict the imminent problems that deter the development of different aspects of the logistics industry.
#3 Artificial Intelligence
Like the saying the future is already here, it is just unevenly distributed, AI is already here and will stay.
AI has already become part of the supply chain industry. Artificial Intelligence is the ability of a machine or a combination of different machines to make intelligent decisions based on the data available to them.
A lot of ecommerce companies have started using robots to automate different processes in the warehouse such as sorting or packaging.
These robots are programmed to pack goods and sort it based on the delivery requirements. In AI, machines learn by themselves in a process called machine learning.
Machines are thus able to make corrective decisions based on the actions they do and what they learn from it.
#4 3D Printing
3D printing is not just a possibility but a reality. It is proposed that within the next 20 years or so a lot of companies in logistics will be able to use this technology to facilitate the replacement of parts.
New technologies will revolutionize production techniques and make the whole process faster and agile.
Originally, 3D printing was developed for producing prototypes by an automated method. In comparison to 3D printing, traditional reductive manufacturing is highly inefficient in the use of raw materials.
Using 3D printing, products can be just as strong while staying lighter at the same time. The wastage is also very less.
#5 Drone Delivery
Imagine that you order something online and after an hour a drone comes over in an hour to your location and delivers it to you. Yes, this is possible.
Drone delivery is already in the making. It will be possible in the next few years. An unmanned aerial vehicle will soon be delivering your orders to your doorstep.
One of its greatest advantages is that it can surpass the road traffic. It also challenges poor infrastructure, and geographical conditions especially in remote places.
Moreover it improves delivery times. Use of drones could mean improved air quality, less road congestion, and such low shipping costs that is not even considered as an expense.
#6 Driverless Vehicle
The current supply chain is undergoing a major transformation in all its verticals. One of the significant changes that require special mention is driverless vehicles.
One of the first vehicles to become autonomous is the forklift. These machines are 4 times faster than humans.
Driverless vehicles are capable of navigating and driving without any human effort.
But the fact is it is not exactly clear how this would work out to be. We could see a restructuring of supply chains as the cost of transport reduces.
The word in the industry is that some in the supply chain sector think autonomous vehicles are still a long way off. But there are considerable developments that could have an impact much sooner than people think.
Logistics is really a part of supply chain and has its own branch of functions.
Recently there has been a change in the technology that is used in logistics.
From drones that deliver packages to driverless trucks there is a significant change in the way logistics operate. Many of them are still to be realized fully, yet they are implemented gradually.