The transport and logistics industry means more than just receiving, loading and shipping boxes via ground, rail, air and sea. Imagine that a natural disaster could occur at any given moment. A tsunami impedes the ships from leaving the port or a dangerous and powerful storm forces the authorities to close the highways, shut down the airports and the bridges. Apart from causing panic and terror among citizens, these types of unfortunate events result in a real crisis for the transport and logistics sector. Even though executives still need to move products from one place to another, they also need to embrace and become familiar with the emergence of advanced technology. Consequently, we can safely state that working in such an industry today requires having certain skills and understanding extremely complex technological innovations. Of course, the entire purpose of technology is to facilitate transport and logistics management and processes. The reality is that not exploiting the new technologies including platform solutions, automation and data analytics is a great risk that no business activating in this field should take.
In fact, technology gave transport and logistics sector a massive growth in the first place taking into account the increasing number of online consumers and the appearance of e-commerce. The internet changed people and businesses’ expectations. After making a purchase, they want faster delivery while keeping costs at a minimum and real time-tracking. Consequently, digital technology intervenes again by facilitating and speeding up the process of receiving, packing, tracking and shipping deliveries. One of the most significant advancements that gave the industry a “facial lift” is automation, which became possible after taking big steps in artificial intelligence (AI), sustainable energy and robotics. According to experts, automated delivery vehicles will become something ordinary in the transport and logistics field, meaning that companies will be able to content even the most demanding customers by prolonging delivery shifts. Drone delivery represents another technological innovation that logistics providers plan to explore closely because they are fully aware that it will cut shipping time and costs significantly. Cheap and fast delivery will make customers rejoice and purchase more keeping companies in the industry busy.
Since we are talking about vehicles, massive Chinese and American brands have been planning to shake up the industry for quite some time by setting high goals, one of them being driverless technology. Furthermore, they intend to perform some tests on electric, automated trucks. These trucks have the purpose to cut logistics expenses considerably, particularly due to higher fuel efficiency. Apart from saving money, another main benefit brought by these new types of vehicles refers to safety. Statistics confirm that many accidents occurring on the road and ending in death involve trucks, one of the causes being driver’s fatigue. This is where driverless vehicles intervene and lower the rate of truck accidents. Technology somehow represents a threat for workers and this should not come as a surprise because they simply fear that they will no longer be a necessity for transport and logistics companies. However, although automation will have a notable effect on the workforce, the human factor will not disappear completely from the picture. Yes, these drones can do all the picking and packing process, but they cannot approach human tasks like finding quick and efficient solutions for unexpected issues. Moreover, those enjoying a job within the industry should perform the usual activities with more peace of mind taking into account the implementation of vehicle safety technology. The transport and logistics industry strives to provide employees the necessary training in order to handle successfully these technological innovations.
Automation and driverless technology are not the only trends shaking up the industry. Transport and logistics represents a crucial part that contributed to the productivity of big enterprises, which they can only enhance by having access to real-time data. Nevertheless, there are many factors like increased traffic, unpredictable fuel costs and ever changing regulatory environment that make operations more difficult. In order to enhance their performance and increase their profitability, companies in the industry need more visibility into enterprises, equipment and personnel. The Internet of Things and mobile technologies provide customizable solutions for processes in the transport and logistics industry, allowing enterprises to connect all their devices to cloud network, thus sharing critical data and benefiting from visibility of operations in real time. By acquiring knowledge regarding Big Data, cloud and mobile, transport and logistics no longer encounter difficulties with warehouse and fleet management.
The warehouse represents the starting point of businesses in the field. If things do not go well here, it can lead to great financial losses and notable disadvantage. By going digital, companies have the ability to detect products and make sure that the process is going to be smooth. In addition, we notice a significant reduction in human intervention in the warehouse and an increased presence of machines. From the warehouse management, transport and logistics companies move on to fleet management, which practically reduces to service routes and the use of various vehicles. The main goal in this area is productivity improvement while keeping in mind safety. Computers and mobile scanners allow continuous fleet moving and Traffic Angel ensures the safety of field technicians or drivers. Vehicle tests are vital for assessing performance. However, this is a basic type of operation because thanks to technology or, more specifically real time connectivity, drivers can keep in touch with enterprises and receive updates concerning traffic congestion and weather forecast. This way, they can prepare for issues that may appear during the transport and together they can find effective solutions. Moreover, technology enables communication between technicians and customers. Undoubtedly, the transport and logistics industry experienced major changes during the last few years and who knows what the future may bring.