Logistics, the complex process involving the delivery of goods, is as old as the concept of the trade itself. As time has passed, the process has seen numerous advances, many of them technological in nature.
With the current completion of our transition into the digital age, those advances are arriving with unprecedented speed; in this article, we take a look at three of the most exciting and useful logistics technology trends to watch in 2022, to help make your logistics process as simple and efficient as possible.
AI (artificial intelligence) is playing an increasingly important role in a number of sectors, notably in logistics. The management of supply chains, and the logistics process as a whole, involves sifting through an incredibly complex array of data; AI can help spot patterns and make predictions in ways that people would often miss.
Through AI, things like human error can be kept at a minimum, and analyses can be made far more rapidly with a higher degree of accuracy.
AIs can help predict seasonal demand, meaning that warehouses are kept stocked at the right times and unnecessary bottlenecks don’t occur. Of course, a human element will likely always be necessary for the logistics process, especially for aspects like client interaction, but the use of AI can make the job of human operators much easier.
More broadly, AI is being introduced to look after or operate on behalf of a warehouse or aspect of a logistics process. Whether that’s deciding which packaging is the most efficient for a product, or the most economical courier to send a certain package with, it’s absolutely incredible what the future holds for AI in relation to logistics capabilities.
It’s not time to ditch your warehousing operations yet! But, it wouldn’t hurt to take a look at 3PL and the fulfillment capabilities of AI to see where you can streamline your logistics operations by bringing them a giant leap forward into the future.
TMS (Transportation Management Systems)
Management of the logistics process can be made far easier through the use of systems that bring each part of the process together. Transport management systems, or TMS, can help bring all the different bits of information like delivery tracking, route optimization, and driver communication into one single space, saving management professionals time by negating the need to sift through multiple different systems throughout the day.
TMS can increase the efficiency of the whole process, leading to fewer delays and lower costs, both of which lead to increased customer satisfaction. As the multiple hurdles thrown up by the pandemic and other contemporary geopolitical occurrences have shown, logistics services need more help than ever with juggling all the potential disasters that can be thrown up with surprising regularity.
Automation is also becoming increasingly important for a number of stages in the logistics process. Especially in the distribution process and in warehouses, automation can be used to keep track of stock and pack items with previously unheard-of accuracy.
Automated picking systems which scan products as they go can be linked together with stock-taking software that updates in real-time, further decreasing the likelihood of bottlenecks when linked to AI systems.
Relatively repetitive tasks like picking and packing can be done with incredible efficiency by automated systems, further freeing up the human workforce to carry out more complex tasks where human error is less likely to occur.
Thank you to the team at Joloda Hydraroll for their insights and data for this guide.