6 technology trends that shape logistics: from autonomous trucks to planning software
In today’s fast-paced world of globalization, the logistics industry must keep up with the latest technology to hold the supply chain together. Customers are more demanding and delivering great customer service can be challenging as never before. And as technology continues to evolve faster every day, logistics and transport companies must adapt to stay competitive. These six technologies can significantly enhance the efficiency of your company.
1. Cloud computing
Cloud computing is a rapidly expanding technology that has brought about significant transformations in various industries, including logistics. It entails a computing infrastructure and data centers that can be rented and accessed over the Internet. In today’s highly interconnected and predominantly online environment, cloud computing has emerged as a valuable solution for companies due to its numerous advantages.
It presents plentiful opportunities for cost reduction and efficiency enhancement, making it an appealing choice for businesses of all sizes. Logistics companies can use cloud-based solutions to streamline operations, improve collaboration, and enhance data security. The flexibility of cloud computing allows for seamless integration of applications and data across different departments and locations, enabling real-time access to critical information. For example, by integrating transportation management systems with cloud computing, companies can achieve real-time access to critical information and streamline their logistics operations. This integration enables seamless communication and coordination between different departments involved in order processing.
2. Container and truck loading software
Fleet management systems are not the only modern software solutions being used in logistics. Without route optimization software or warehouse management systems, logistics would be ten times more stressful than it is nowadays. Ease your mind and help your logistics specialist—start using modern software such as EasyCargo. With its help, you can optimize the shipments of trucks and containers in the most efficient way. Save your money and time with EasyCargo.
3. Online tracking systems
Online tracking systems have become an essential component for many transportation and logistics companies. They serve as online tools that enable users to monitor the movement of specific shipments and provide real-time information about their location. However, logistics specialists utilize these handy tools for more than just tracking purposes. Many online tracking systems now also offer valuable details regarding the current status and condition of shipments, facilitating the identification of potential issues and allowing for prompt resolution or repair. All well-known shipping companies like Amazon, FedEx, UPS, DHL, and others, use their own online tracking system that allows users to track packages and shipments in real-time. It also provides them with detailed information on the status, location, and estimated delivery time of shipments.
Container and truck tracking systems can help streamline the supply chain by reducing the time it takes for cargo to reach its destination. This can help reduce costs and increase operational efficiency. According to Strategy & PwC. report, the automation of processes will reduce logistics and transportation costs by 20% by 2025 (Source: Frotcom). If you choose to provide location information to customers, it will benefit the relationship with the customer as well. By sharing information about the location of shipments with customers, you will increase the transparency that goes hand in hand with trust. Customers also appreciate knowing the whereabouts of their shipments. It gives them peace of mind and reduces anxiety about delivery timelines.
4. AI and ML
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are technologies you probably hear about the most in the context of fast advancements. Especially in the last few months, nobody seems to be talking about anything else but ChatGPT, OpenAI’s most advanced system. In recent years, many software and applications mainly using AI have been developed and found use in logistics. For example, OptimoRoute or Route4Me are software that provide route optimization. There is plenty more that can help with warehouse automation, demand prediction, or other parts of logistics. The utilization of AI-powered algorithms in logistics enables the analysis of extensive data sets, facilitating the identification of patterns, optimization of delivery routes, and accurate demand prediction. ML algorithms, on the other hand, enhance warehouse operations through efficient inventory management, waste reduction, and automation of repetitive tasks. However, this is just a glimpse of the vast potential and expected growth of AI and ML in the logistics sector. As technology continues to evolve, these technologies will continue to reshape and optimize the industry. One of the most popular AI use cases which will transform the logistics industry in upcoming years is process mining, which allows automatic tracking and analyzing data to help companies make processes more efficient.
5. Autonomous trucks and drones
This topic might be slightly controversial in the logistics and transportation world and causes heated conversations, especially among drivers. Autonomous trucks have the potential to transform the whole sector and decrease the number of accidents, considering the fact that 94% of crashes on the road are due to human errors. Thanks to AI and ML, this percentage can be reduced to a minimum, but not totally—as we are currently witnessing some backlashes. Concerns are caused not only regarding partially automated car crashes due to their autopilot but also regulatory concerns and the potential job displacement caused by the adoption of autonomous trucks. It is also good to keep in mind that there have been unfortunate incidents where accidents involving autonomous cars have resulted in fatalities.
So, while regulatory and mainly safety concerns persist, autonomous trucks seem to hold great promise for the future of logistics as they should ensure a great deal of efficiency. Drones, on the other hand, represent a smaller safety concern and can access remote and hard-to-reach areas, facilitating rapid delivery of small packages.
6. Fleet management software
To ensure shipments are delivered safely, undamaged, and on time, efficient fleet management is crucial for companies. But no matter the number of managed vehicles, it can be challenging and time-consuming without proper software. Fleet management systems, like Ecofleet, Verizon Connect, Trimble Transportation, Omnitracs, and others, that are integrated with GPS tracking allow logistics specialists to monitor vehicles on the road in real time.
Based on gathered data, these systems provide route optimization, improved fuel management, and enhanced security through proactive maintenance scheduling. Additionally, they often collect valuable information regarding driver behavior and overall vehicle performance, such as information about fuel consumption. It can also monitor vehicle diagnostics and driver behavior like harsh braking, rapid acceleration, speeding, and idling. This data enables your employees to make better decisions, leading to increased overall fleet efficiency.