Digital transformation is revolutionizing all aspects of the logistics and transportation industry. The industry is rapidly using digital tools to meet changing customer demands and to improve operations, business processes, and customer visibility. And they are doing all this while balancing challenges related to shortage of drivers and mechanics, fluctuating fuel costs and a heavily impacted supply chain. The transportation industry is clearly no longer in the business of just moving products effectively. These are technology companies that are in the business of moving goods.
Here are some of the top trends of digital transformation in the transport world:
1. Increasing Use of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
Machine learning uses algorithms to help logistics companies uncover repetitive patterns and meaningful insights in their supply chain networks. Algorithms can identify inventory levels, predict orders, manage transportation, minimize shipping risks, analyze shipping costs, and strategize routing, especially in multi-modal environments. Most of all these technologies can help make the the supply chain more efficient, cost-effective, and completely transparent.
Similarly, Artificial Intelligence (AI) allows logistics companies to access a plethora of information, including payment data, addresses, dates, billing information, parties included, etc. Such a wide variety of data greatly empowers companies to improve their operational efficiencies significantly. AI-powered demand forecasting improves the accuracy of demand prediction and reduces error rates. This can help logistics companies to reduce their operational costs and improve customer satisfaction.
2. Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized communications in the transportation industry. Leveraging powerful technologies, IoT helps businesses with anticipating shipping time, handling updates, tracking products, predicting delays, and thus saving time. With the help of sensors, IoT can gather important information about the product and vehicle movement, monitor the condition of vehicles, and assess the driver’s safety. IoT devices like the GPS allow logistics companies to gain more visibility over their freight movement and offer real-time tracking data to handle unforeseen situations. These devices can also be used to spot any driving hurdles and send alerts.
Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) can transmit information to the cloud in real-time, making it easier to make maintenance decisions based on vehicle health. Businesses can now leverage their ELD investments to gain much more.
3. Cloud-Mobile Technology
Cloud-mobile technology is one of the most significant trends to impact the logistics and transportation industry. Transportation companies achieve operational efficiency by leveraging cloud-based technology in logistics management. Cloud technology assists in vehicle tracking, logistics, and space management, tracking and handling real-time data, handling online ticketing, and saving storage. When combined with pervasive mobile tech – apps in the hands of drivers and technicians, information is updated in real-time between the vehicle, the workshop, and the back office. Every member of the supply chain including back-office executives, planners and truck drivers can access logistics information on their mobile phones and tablets. This information provides them with end-to-end visibility of the supply chain. Such data accessibility improves both planning and execution. Decisions are more efficient – and can even be automated for routine occurrences.
Mobile solutions provide further flexibility in handling maintenance in workshops or on the road – with alerts, as well as direct updates to back-end maintenance systems.
The modern customer is leaning towards sustainable products and processes. The pressure on logistics companies to go sustainable and they are already striving to reduce their carbon footprint and alleviate their impact on the environment. If companies go sustainable, they can reduce water contamination levels, decrease climate change, control global warming, and improve air quality. Some sustainable measures include using cleaner vehicles, driverless fleet, eco-friendly technologies, and E-cargo bikes.
Blockchain is a revolutionary technology based on cryptography. It can be used in logistics and transportation companies for decentralizing information, expanding detectability, and reducing complexity. With the help of blockchain, companies can reduce chances of fraud, prevent errors, improve security, record financial exchanges, prevent data manipulation, share real-time information, track assets, deliver better customer services, and improve transparency. Walmart Canada uses blockchain solutions to improve food safety by digitizing supply chain processes. Vendors can upload their product’s authenticity certificates on the blockchain, which was impossible before. This ensures that the food in stores is suitable for consumption.
Digitization is accelerating change in the logistics and transportation industry, as evident from this discussion. Companies are already utilizing IoT, machine learning, blockchain, and artificial intelligence technologies to enhance their operational capabilities. At Connixt, we specialize in digitizing and automating your workflow and maintenance processes across several of these technologies. If you are interested in improving the efficiency of your business, do not hesitate to contact us today!