How is technology transforming the logistics industry?

By Nimish Handa, Managing Director- India, cargo-partner

There is a completely new way how business is being conducted worldwide as they have gone through technology advancement and automation. Logistics industry is not left behind, rather has been in the forefront as this is the main driver to connect the producer to the consumers. The logistics industry has brought massive improvement over last couple of years and Covid pandemic has helped in speeding up the process. There are new tools with better technology to manage the complex operation which have improved the overall consumer experience, bring more transparency and visibility to the supply chain, and reduce the order processing time.

There is a lot of change in customer buying behaviour, corporates are getting used to the online platforms to run their procurement exercise, and individual like to buy products online and expect quick deliveries, even willing to pay additional price sometimes for express deliveries. This is where logistics providers were to ensure they use the right tools and technology and be prepared to support their customers (sellers) to fulfil their delivery commitments to the end customers.

Every stakeholder in the logistics industry i.e. the shipping lines, airlines, ports, terminal operators and freight forwarders have made investments to establish EDI connections between their systems to capture real time information exchange with automated milestone updates. All of them were willing to review their transport management systems, explore new software and digital tools which provides better connectivity, information exchange and process automation. The service providers feel much more confident now and can be more flexible with information readily available and take timely actions to overcome the challenges.

Full and partial automation, robotics, and AI-enhanced tools that optimize routing can speed up transportation and improve service levels between segments. RFID Sensors being used on the containers at the container terminals, GPS devices and tracking tools to monitor vehicles and traffic provide better visibility and faster delivery options. Technology in warehouse automation has also enabled faster order processing and cut down latency and delays. Blockchain technology is being used now to simplify the document interchange between shippers, consignees, freight forwarder, carrier and the banks, this is more secured now and eliminates discrepancy and delays at every stage.
Data integration, security and reliability in the new digital world is the basic expectation and we are confident the industry is very sensitive and able to manage this effectively.

Customers feel much more comfortable now with all information readily available through customized reports and online access so that they are able to provide better forecast to other stakeholders involved.
Shippers, carriers, suppliers, and consumers can all expect to benefit from these logistics technology trends continuing in the years to come.

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