Corporations work very hard to provide the best customer services. Logistics is such one service. These companies manage the flow of things between the origin and the terminating end to provide necessary products and services to meet the requirement of other corporations and industries. These companies have huge responsibilities on their shoulders. They have to manage their fleets, both tracking and platooning, and have to deliver goods in time with utmost care and most importantly, with agility. The day-by-day evolution of technology gives the companies an ultimatum; “Transform or be terminated”. Companies like Amazon are front-runners in accepting the new trends in logistics. Their tested drones delivered goods over the air, emitting the long ordeals of traffic. It would be tremendous to see Amazon turning the “same day delivery” into “same hour delivery”.
The involvement of the Autonomous vehicles
An autonomous vehicle is not an unheard term anymore. These vehicles eradicate the need of a physical driver thus improving the overall delivery time. Vehicles like these can map their route in advance and can improvise it based on the requirement of situations like change in traffic, weather, and accident-prone areas. These autonomous vehicles are better coordinated and would have seamless and frictionless delivery process. Further, these automobiles can go to areas where humans face difficulties in reaching. Citizens of rural and low density areas, often have to compromise either with the delivery duration or in order to receive their product, they have to a reach a recognisable landmark themselves. These vehicles can go anywhere and can deliver materials to anyone. Robots and AI-powered forklifts will aid in loading and unloading of freights. The human handling and consolidation of load will be minimised. Shipping agents will be able to supervise the loading and unloading of freights from an appropriate safe distance.
This revolutionary technology will impact the way products are produced. The product will not have to be manufactured halfway across the planet. The product will be manufactured near the user/customer, thus eliminating moving costs and saving time. As the process involve saving the data in digital form, the spare parts can be printed on demands, eliminating the need to administer the overall inventory status. Virtually, the spare parts will never go out of stock and can be produced at the demanding time. Furthermore, the companies will be able to customise the product as per customer’s requirement, even if the product is in its production pipeline.
The interconnected web
By upcoming decade, internet will consist of extensive fiber and fast broadband capabilities. This high-speed internet will be coupled with connected sensors capable of detecting and monitoring traffic, regulation on heavy-duty vehicles, etc. This technology will further be installed in autonomous vehicles for location monitoring and in providing routing information. The revamped internet will also support the internet of things (IoT). By using IoT, the data can be transferred over any network. Monitoring of staff, employees, and equipment will be much easier. The overall performance of machines, equipment, energy consumption, inventory status, and material flow will be boosted.
Guiding the way- Augmented reality
Augmented reality will simulate real-life situation by computer-generated sensory inputs. Additional inputs, such as wearable, handheld devices, and drones will assist in supervising in calamity-prone scenarios. These devices will help in generating holograms that can be extremely helpful. In several scenarios, supervisors can virtually see the variables that can happen in accident-prone situations. AR will inform supervisors, the miscalculations and the probable outcome of such miscalculations. AR will scan the cargo in freight loading and can help in placing them properly. In simple terms, remedies can be applied every time before any problem arises. This artificial reality will further assist in monitoring the inventory, employees, reading barcodes, and recognizing products thus eliminating the existing paper-based process.
The Uber of trucks
There are several companies testing out the “Uber” like applications to transport goods. This helps companies in outsourcing their transportation to other drivers. The software provides a direct link for truckers to connect with shippers who want to move their loads. The main purpose is to remove the third-party brokers between the truckers and shippers. By eliminating the middleman, expenses are saved. These applications will feature online maps and GPS for their exact route. These apps will monitor exact distance and arrival times, eliminating paper, phone, fax and price haggling issues.
Technology on its way
The evolving trends in logistics technology will definitely help in improving the transportation of resources. The transportation management systems will be live, dispatchers will be autonomous, freight and fleet tracking will be extremely accurate, back office efficiency, routing, tracking, and blockchain business will be improved. By using AI and robotics, inventory status, management, supply chain design and modeling tools will be monitored. The list goes on and on. Some hurdles involved in this industry are the minimal use of such technologies. Only 3% companies are using 3D printing. Augmented reality is yet to fully function to secure its place in the market. The internet needs more cybersecurity. Cyber-attacks happen commonly nowadays and privacy has always been a concern. Some CEOs suggests that autonomous vehicle are essential, but the human element should not be eliminated. However, the everyday changing technology will definitely overcome such obstacles and it’s easy to say that the ‘future of logistics technology is shipped on time and will be delivered to industries on the exact estimated day’.