Global logistics have advanced remarkably with technology improvements. The world is now closer together because of better communication methods, faster and more reliable modes of transport, and better management systems. We can now buy goods from all the corners of the world. Technology facilitates how orders are received and packed and allows for real-time tracking and fast deliveries within days or a few weeks depending on what someone is willing to pay. Logistics are only going to get better. Here are some of the technology innovations that are set to greatly improve the coordinated movement of goods from one area to another, the logistics, in the near future.
Autonomous Delivery, Robots, and Automation
Self-driving cars and drones are already at an advanced level of testing. The possibilities are endless and could greatly improve the way deliveries are made. There are, however, a number of hurdles that this technology needs to jump over before it becomes the norm. There is a need for lots of safety testing and policy changes for these autonomous delivery robots to be let out into the world. Drones have had more success in this regard because they are smaller and can be remotely operated. When they are in the air at the stipulated height, they are not in the way.
Different kinds of robots are used widely already in warehouses and fulfillment centers. When the tasks are simple, straightforward, and repetitive, these machines really shine. Robots in packaging and filling orders are fast, efficient, and to an extent, tireless. Automation changed the manufacturing industry, and it is doing the same for the logistics sector.
Connectivity, the Internet of Things, and Mobile Apps
Wireless technology is a breakthrough when it comes to information sharing and tracking. With the internet of things (IoT), well-placed sensors can be used by transport operators and logistics providers to track and monitor their operations better. The development of various mobile apps also aids this process. Apps for fleet management, inventory management, order tracking, and customer care are all invaluable tools. All these technologies are helping operators improve efficiencies, cut down losses and wasted time, improve their profits, and ultimately, deliver better service to their customers.
Real-time information is one of the greatest advantages of IoT technology. Challenges and bottlenecks in any part of the logistics journey of a product from a manufacturer to a warehouse to an end client can be identified and resolved there and then. There are also great advantages for everyone in the logistics chain to be kept in the know about delays. Package tracking has made a huge difference in the customer experience.
Blockchain has the potential to make a huge difference in different sectors of society. These include healthcare, government, and logistics. Many companies have recognized this and just on this, but in many cases adaptation has been slow.
Blockchain technology allows data to be utilized in a public and decentralized archive. BiTA (Blockchain in Transport Technology) is working on setting standards for the use of blockchain technology in the transportation industry. This organization is certainly ahead of the trend.
3D printing has disrupted the manufacturing sector and is also transforming the construction industry. Because many products can be made more easily without the usual processes and molds and huge machinery setups, there are some definite advantages for logistics. The cost of 3D printed products is still much higher than large scale factory products, but when the cost of transport is considered, 3D printing could be a game-changer. Replacement parts can be 3D printed locally, which could cut down on the logistics if the manufacturer is on the other side of the world. This could also cut down on the need for a lot of replacement part storage.