Digitalisation has changed the world we live in. The logistics sector is no exception. With the growing use of connected digital systems, the term Industry 4.0 is no longer a foreign concept to many people. Industrial value creation has also undergone a fundamental transformation. From product development and manufacturing to material flow control and last-mile delivery, new smart logistics systems are driving agility, adaptivity and flexibility like never before, paving the way for Logistics 4.0. Here are some of the trends that are transforming the industry:
1. Internet of Things
While the term Internet of Things (IoT) was coined in 1999, it still continues to transform smart logistics. Today, IoT is used as a general term to describe various aspects of the internet’s expansion into the physical world due to the widespread use of physically distributed devices with built-in capabilities for detection and/or activation. Applied to smart logistics, this means visibility into every step of the supply chain and improved inventory management efficiency. It enhances and enables efficiency, transparency, real-time goods tracking, condition monitoring and fleet management.
2. Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
In recent years, the logistics industry has begun to integrate artificial intelligence solutions, including intelligent transportation, routing and demand planning, into its operations. However, this is only the beginning! From delivery robots for last-mile delivery and sustainability solutions to automated picking systems for warehouses and predictive optimisation software, AI is already making a significant difference in logistics. Shipping agents, carriers, suppliers and consumers can expect these logistics technology trends to continue and evolve even further along with augmented intelligence.
3. Warehouse Automation & Robotics
There’s no doubt that warehouses have changed a lot in recent years. With the ongoing integration of technology, this is one of the trends in the logistics industry that is set to continue. One of the obvious and rapidly growing innovations is warehouse robotics. Whether it’s wearable technology, driverless vehicles or multifunctional robots, robotisation can drastically boost the efficiency and speed of warehouse processes.
Sustainability is a trend that is sweeping across all industries, logistics included. Last-mile delivery in particular has traditionally been rather time-consuming and energy-intensive, which is why it’s offering many opportunities to adopt fresh, smarter approaches. To minimise the environmental impact, companies are relying on a variety of technologies: from electric vehicles to AI-based software that calculates the route with the lowest emissions. The same goes for cargo ships and marine fuels with zero carbon emissions.
5. Last-Mile Delivery
Last-mile logistics is an essential yet incredibly expensive component of city logistics, responsible for a number of nuisances in urban areas. Most of the time, it’s also the most inefficient. In this context, last-mile delivery is the most crucial element of logistics, as it’s directly related to customer satisfaction. Nevertheless, deliveries face several issues, including delays due to traffic congestion, customer requests, government regulation and delivery density. This is where logistics will undergo many changes in the coming years – from delivery of goods by drones to parcel boxes and much more.
How is mobile access changing the logistics industry?
The entire logistics industry is going digital, and this includes access control. Mobile access ensures efficient, secure business processes, optimises the supply chain and opens up opportunities for new business models. From unattended delivery to smart waste management, digital access control is presenting entirely new possibilities. Discover more.