Like many other industries, the transportation and logistics industry is poised to grow exponentially with the advancements in technologies. As the latest technologies are redefining traditional business models, they must adapt themselves to stay ahead of the competition. According to Mckinsey, many operations will be automated by 2030, as artificial intelligence takes over the many repetitive activities that logistics companies perform. With endless possibilities in machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics, and IoT, enterprises are looking at automation to streamline logistics on a global scale. 

Factors driving adoption of automation 

High per capita cost of manual labor 

Enterprises may find it challenging to find skilled labor, or they cannot meet the per capita cost for maintaining a large manual labor force. Because of fierce market competition, enterprises must keep their expenses to the minimum to win this race. Also, it is not an ideal solution to hire more labor to meet fluctuating demand and supply. To address this situation, enterprises can leverage automation as the best choice.

Technical advancements

Technological advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning technologies, and IoT is redefining the entire ecosystem, and transportation & logistics is not spared. From planning until execution, AI will play a vital role such as automated transportation, order prediction, optimizing warehouse locations in line with requirements. However, lack of clarity on which technology will emerge as the winner may create some amount of confusion among the organizations to channelize and prioritize their investment in these technologies. 

 

How is automation moulding the future of logistics industry?

Automated warehouse

Warehouse automation is one of the first areas companies try to attend when it comes to investing in automation. On a bigger scale, it encapsulates the automation of existing processes to improve efficiency, reliability, enhance accuracy, and leads to improved ROI. Bringing inventory to the order picker to minimize his movements inside the warehouse, automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS), automated carrying vehicles, automatic conveyors, etc. are some areas where automation can play a significant role in a warehouse. 

On-demand Automated trucks

Consumers have moved from owning a product to avail its benefits- the sharing economy. Uber and Airbnb are classic examples of how taking away the ownership of privileged customers. Transportation & Logistics industry is also witnessing the same “shared economy” model in the form of on-demand automated trucks. On-demand autonomous trucking improves the efficiency of freight movement and reduces the increased cost of hiring and training drivers. The autonomous truck would work round the clock with double the work done by non-automated trucks. On-demand trucks remove the burden of enormous initial capital investments from the organizations, reduced transportation costs, and ultimately elevate customers with competitive prices. 

Real-time tracking

Consignment delivery has always been a significant concern for enterprises as timely delivery of goods is directly proportional to customer experience. Real-time monitoring can enable logistics providers to address demurrage and detention problems and take corrective measures such as informing the customers about any possible delays due to traffic or bad weather, resulting in reduced failed delivery instances and improved customer satisfaction. 

Automated Analytics Systems 

In this era of “Data is the new Oil,” T&L companies must leverage the power of data analytics to stay ahead of the competition. Those organizations who rely on traditional or outdated IT systems can’t drive insights from available data and hence fails to understand and meet customer preferences and market dynamics. T&L companies are sitting on a vast amount of data which is not explored for generating insights such as customer churn prediction, demand generation analysis, and supply shortage prediction.  Automating the entire system help enterprises to create actionable insights periodically and salespersons can act accordingly. Sales figures can directly be induced back to the system from sales POS, and the system can generate revised insights to best suit the current situation. 

 

Automation: Gateway to the future

Though Transportation and Logistics companies have been relying on advanced technologies to handle the complex network, they haven’t explored the commercial side of automation yet. When employed correctly, automation can substantially improve organizational efficiency, sales growth, performance, reduce the cost, and most importantly increased revenue. 

 

At Experion, we have implemented several projects spanning across the transportation and logistics industry building future with digital. To know more about our offerings in the T&L industry, drop a mail to sales@experionglobal.com