How Technology is Transforming Logistics, Part I

How Technology is Transforming Logistics, Part I

By Nick Bartlett on August 10, 2021
In logistics, new technology is rapidly changing the way business is done with consumer demands forefront in these high-tech developments.

Advancements in technology affect all of us in too many ways to count; in logistics, too, new technology is rapidly changing the way business is done. With consumer demands for shipping to be faster, cheaper, and more flexible, keeping on the pulse of the developments shaping today’s logistics industry is more important than ever. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at two of the most exciting changes at hand for the future of logistics: Automation and artificial intelligence, or, as it’s most commonly called, AI.

Read About CBIP’s Global 4PL Logistics Services

THE BASICS OF AUTOMATION AND AI

Automation is the practice of developing and using technology that reduces human input.  Artificial intelligence, on the other hand, refers to using computer science to solve complex problems—problems which, until now, have required creative thinking, human capital, and adaptability. While automation may be more widespread and developed today within supply chain procedures than AI, both are wide and still-growing fields.

When it comes to these technologies and modern life, it’s all around you. From hands-free operating systems like Siri and Alexa to self-checkout lines at the grocery store, automation and AI are slowly but surely becoming a go-to tool for businesses at the cutting edge of their respective industries.

And where logistics is concerned, they’re poised to make a big splash.

AUTOMATION, AI, AND SUPPLY CHAIN: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

AI and automation play a crucial role today in packaging, route optimization, and predicting breakdowns in supply chains.

Estimates show that trucks often travel with as much as half of their storage space left empty. This occurs from human errors, breakdowns in communication, and even different units of measurement used for different products. 

AI can better analyze databases and automated procedures in warehouses to pack crates more efficiently than a human ground crew. It can make sure more crates are packed quickly, cost-effectively, and—most importantly—in a way so that nothing falls over and breaks. 

For day-to-day operations, AI is also a crucial tool for warehouses. Warehouses are growing in size and taking on more and more types of goods. AI and robotics technology step in to allow for more precise inventory controls and cut back on errors like misplacing goods and incorrect scanning of digital tags.

Trend-prediction is another way that AI is shaping innovation in the logistics industry. Using big data and algorithms, computer systems are increasingly able to help companies manage warehouse stock with more accuracy. All in all, this combines with increasingly-automated warehouse operations to greatly reduce waste.

A heat wave in Hong Kong or a port closure in Vietnam both require fast action—action that can be best managed with the help of automation and AI. If a company employs systems that can understand how demand will change in-the-moment and react quickly, the benefits of being one step ahead of the curve add up.

THE FUTURE OF LOGISTICS 

According to a study by research firm P&S, AI in the transportation market is expected to reach US$3.5 billion by 2023. Automation is set to see massive growth, too, with a projected market value nearing US$90 billion by 2026. What does that mean for you?

  • Reductions in human error
  • round-the-clock shipping 
  • unlocked routes previously out of reach

For customers, wondering exactly where a package is may become a thing of the past. Highly-accurate, real-time tracking from start to finish could soon be an industry practice. And looking even further ahead, a large-scale uptake in driverless vehicles may become a transformative asset for logistics providers across the globe that works to eliminate hold-ups like driver delays or staffing complications that may have previously stalled operations.

RELATED: What is 4PL? And Why is it Making Logistics Unrecognizable?

WORK WITH A LOGISTICS COMPANY INVESTING IN THE FUTURE OF SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT

In an industry where transparency and accessibility can still be a problem for large-scale providers, working with a company who’s on your side and values flexibility is key.

Don’t miss out on the exciting developments happening in logistics and make sure your business can take full advantage of technologies that push you forward in efficiency, scale, and more.

At CBIP, we’re committed to working with you to find the best approach for your unique logistics needs. To do so, we’re implementing new systems to manage shipments, such as Gravity Supply Chain and Anchanto, that streamline operations and make sure all parties can work in sync. With an extensive partner network, we’re able to implement our tech systems flexibly to maximize the benefits for your business.

We’re also constantly developing relationships with logistics partners and tech solutions providers  who share a forward-thinking vision.

To learn how CBIP can help you work smarter and keep on the cutting edge of logistics solutions, get in touch for a free consultation today.

About Author

Nick Bartlett

Nick Bartlett is CBIP’s director of sales and marketing. His expertise lies in marketing, supply chain management, and corporate retail experience. He honed his skills over 10+ years working across the Asia Pacific region and beyond.

Nick keeps a close eye on new markets and believes successful business operations come through value-based relationships.

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