If technology was not moving fast enough for you already, 2020 must certainly have been a wild ride. With the local Mall closed, people self-isolating and sales teams grounded, if you were not online shopping before, you certainly were by now.
For the logistics industry, this meant unprecedented workloads, an ability to adapt quickly and keeping the world turning. Thankfully, the logistics industry has embraced technology. Automation has taken roles in warehousing and packing, and digital transfers of data have replaced endless amounts of paperwork.
Let’s take a look at the technologies that brought us to where we are today, but also at what we can expect in the future.
Supply Chain Visibility (SCV)
With advances in internet technology, software and GPS tracking, SVC is now something that end users can benefit from. With real-time data tracking traffic patterns, weather, flight times and port conditions, it’s possible to get within the hour updates on parcels estimated arrival times, even as a recipient.
Cognitive Supply Chain Management
AI and automation have taken a huge role in supply chains already, from automated pickers and packers to the digital transfer of information. Technology is improving performance, insights and transparency whilst also mitigating risks meaning supply chain management has never been more efficient.
By becoming more reliant on computers, machine learning and AI to measure volumes and track movements, same day shipping, 24-hour deliveries and real-time problem solutions are all made possible.
Automated Trucks and Vehicles
Successful trials by Embark and Uber have already seen long haul vehicles cover considerable distance with full automation. Tesla have announced they plan to release a truck later on this year.
However, trucks are not the only autonomous avenues being investigated. Amazon Prime Air has already carried out several tests with drones carrying parcels the last mile to user’s doors. Although the regulations around drones delivering parcels are inevitably going to be much stricter, so it may be a while before this technology is available on a global scale.
A Need to be Greener
One of the biggest backlashes logistics companies face is a need to reduce carbon footprints. Due to the cross-border nature of the industry, this can mean compliance with several different sets of rules and regulations in several different regions.
The efforts to reduce carbon emissions are a global one. With everyone putting measures into place, leaning on technology to cut waste is a simple way to get the ball rolling.