The outrageous success of e-commerce and global trade has had a remarkable impact on the growth of the logistics industry. With the increasing demands, the logistics industry needs to come up with constant innovations to cater to the ever-growing needs of the market. Additionally, the dynamic nature of business processes, new consumption patterns, and changing consumer behavior is bringing about constant innovations in the logistics industry.
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Key innovations in logistics
Internet of Things (IoT)
The ability of multiple sensors within the vehicle and other monitoring devices to communicate with each other can provide highly integrated real-time transportation and warehouse management solutions. IoT paves the way for efficient resource planning by giving businesses the ability to monitor the condition of their packages remotely.
Blockchain technology has the potential to eliminate all persisting problems faced by supply chain managers. It improves the supply chain efficiency by reducing errors (eliminates paper-based documentation), enhancing supply chain security (reduces fraud), and eliminating bottlenecks (3rd party certifications).
Companies can make sense out of the plethora of data available to them by identifying patterns and making effective business decisions. Companies are leveraging the use of data analytics in real-time route optimization, environmental intelligence, and real-time operational BI.
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Cloud computing empowers the supply chain stakeholders to access real-time pricing, real-time inventory, utilization patterns, and office resource flexibility. For instance, “uberization of trucks” will enable a company to reposition its empty containers immediately, turning a lost space into a business opportunity.
Autonomous vehicles can vastly improve the efficiency of delivery processes by providing considerable savings in human capital costs. The safety concerns pertaining to autonomous vehicles seem like a pointless argument as Google’s autonomous vehicle has driven more than a million miles without a single incident.
UAV and Drones
The problem of last-mile delivery has been causing a lot of sleepless nights for procurement professionals. Drones can bypass all the challenges faced by such last-mile delivery inexpensively and efficiently.
Although 3D printing cannot replace traditional manufacturing, its mass-customization ability and capability to produce complex products are undoubtedly disrupting the logistics industry. Manufacturers will no longer require stocking vast levels of inventory and the pattern of goods transportation will change, both in terms of volume and flow.
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