We’ve certainly stepped into a new age. An age where every facet of our lives is experiencing the positive impact of technology in a way or the other. So, it isn’t a surprise for us to see the transformation of commercial businesses, and even entire industries, as they continue to embrace wide-ranging technologies across their day-to-day operations. And like all things commercial, the industry of logistics and shipping is also not the same anymore.
How Logistics Industry Is Getting A Facelift With Ultramodern Technologies?
Here are some of the ways in which different technologies are being used to improve the challenges experienced by the logistics and shipping sector.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
Soon, screens and monitors are going to become a thing of the past as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) continue to step into the ‘picture’. It is paving the way for the sector to inspect the mode of transportation, analyse the storage area, and optimally place packages to utilize maximum space. Who knows, one day the technology might even help to ‘view’ a package in real-time rather than just receiving its location!
Delivery, Drones, and Droids
The idea of drones and droids transporting packages seems to be from some sci-fi movie. However, it is not a sci-fi fantasy anymore as several logistics operators are continuing to adopt the approach to make last-mile delivery more efficient and effective. As a matter of fact, India has also issued regulations for consumer drones within the nation. So, you might as well see drones carrying freight around in the near future.
Another positive development that we can observe in the sector is the increased influx of industrial IoT, thereby driving India closer to the novel concepts of Logistics 4.0 and Industry 4.0. This implies simplification of entire shipping process and will lead to around 15% productivity boost in delivery and supply chain performance.
Some of the advantages are real-time tracking of the shipment, lower operational cost, increased efficiency, quick customer redressal, lesser paperwork, holistic data analysis, and much more. It will also help in the safe transportation of hazardous freight with sensors that measure heat, vibration, and sound frequency. DHL SmarTrucking and Delhivery’s IoT infrastructure are some of the best examples.
Ever heard of Hyperloop? It is a revolutionary transport system designed to carry people and cargo at a speed of over 1,100 kmph via a tube. In other words, you can reach Pune from New Delhi in around an hour via Hyperloop through the land – or just the time it takes via a flight for the travel. Some of the advantages of Hyperloop include reduced greenhouse gas emissions, time-efficient deliveries, reduced operational cost, reduced accidents, and a more efficient supply chain overall.
Virgin Hyperloop One, in association with Hon’ble PM of India and CM of Maharashtra, have collaborated to develop Hyperloop between Central Pune, New Pune International Airport, JNPT Port, and Pune’s economic and industrial zones. It is beyond doubt that this system will be scaled further following this deployment.
As AI continues to pervade nearly all business operations, the same also holds true for the logistics and shipping industry. It is currently being leveraged by logistics aggregators to make freight transports cost-effective and time-efficient for big and small businesses in India. For instance, CORE is a courier recommendation engine that gives a rating to different courier partners on the basis of first pickup turnaround time, all pickups average turnaround time, all deliveries average turnaround time, and RTO (Return to Origin) rate for any given PIN code.
Choosing the right courier partner helps the seller increase efficiency in shipping their orders to the buyers, with lesser chances of RTO. Also, the overall shipping experience of the buyer is also taken into account. The technology is further being used in ‘Support Bots’ to improve the efficiency of the customer support department and assist in quick resolution of queries and grievances. This approach leads to superior seller satisfaction and hence, higher retention.
Data has now become the new oil and gold for global economy. Shipping aggregators are also using the same to get into a person’s shopping cart. They are empowering buyers with increased visibility and alternatives (in terms of delivery) based on individual preferences, purchase patterns, and geographical locations. This enables buyers to make informed decisions in terms of delivery, thereby preventing the chances of delayed delivery or overpriced logistics.
Certain forward-looking tech-driven solutions such as Non-Delivery Report are also surfacing within the interface. They envision to address the challenge of high RTO rates by digitizing the last-mile deliveries. It enables a seller to get promptly informed about a non-delivery and make re-attempts by updating the delivery details. The end-customer, on the other hand, can also choose to pick another delivery time, which helps in preventing RTO scenarios. Ultimately, the approach bridges the void of technology for offline courier partners and adds to market efficiency.
These were some of the leading technological breakthroughs that the logistics and shipping industry is experiencing in India and the world over. It will surely be a spectacle to see them operating on the full-fledged scale. Well, all we have to do is wait and watch!