The logistics industry is one of the largest sectors affecting many businesses ranging from manufacturing to ecommerce to fashion and high-tech industries. Increasing technology innovations are beginning to transform the logistics industry. These technologies have also evolved the startups to adopt new solutions and innovations to continue at a rapid rate. With these technological innovations, new expectations and standards have been set up for startup companies, forcing these startup companies to either adapt or fall behind.
When we speak of logistics, everything is time-bound and there are minor unpredictable issues. Each process depends on the one preceding it and a minor delay on one stage causes a magnified ripple effect on all the other stages. By the time we reach the stage of delivery, there ends up being a delay of days because of a few hours of down-time. From big to startup companies, every logistics organisation wants to achieve the same target: reducing the time for a supply cycle by streamlining processes efficiently.
Artificial And Augmented Intelligence
Artificial and augmented intelligence is already making a huge difference in the startup logistics sector with last-mile delivery robots and sustainability solutions, to warehouse automated picking systems and predictive optimization software. Augmented intelligence merges with AI automated processes. In startup companies, logistics planning is always done with augmented Intelligence, since it combines inputs from human planners in the form of experience, responsibility, customer service, flexibility, common sense, etc. with AI technology. Since the last few years, the logistics industry, especially startup companies, have started to integrate artificial intelligence solutions in their operations including intelligent transportation, route planning, and demand planning.
In the recent few years, blockchain has grown to become one of the most usable technologies in any industry and so in the logistics segment. Blockchain is a technology used for any kind of transaction distributed among computers in a given network. In the logistics sector, where operations involve a lot of documentation, startup companies have started using this technology on a large scale. Blockchain plays a key role in achieving the continuous growth of logistics businesses. In the logistics sector, numerous parties and stakeholders are involved to perform the tasks of transporting raw materials or products to customers.
All transactions are carried out on multiple documents to ensure the trustworthiness of the transactions. These transactions are only dependent on documents in global trade; the risk is often high, as you are not sure if the other party will send you the products, or if the importer will make a payment. Especially for a startup logistics player, it is very risky for any transaction. Blockchain technology creates an environment to make sure that transaction information on blocks is resistant to forgery or modification.
In the coming years also, blockchain is expected to bring about a paradigm shift in logistics sectors, especially for startups. Blockchain technologies make the transaction and its verification process more efficient, eliminate unnecessary steps in the delivery process and help to achieve a quick delivery of goods and services through mutual trust among participants.
Internet Of Things (IoT)
Many logistics operators, startups, businesses as well as end consumers have seen the bright side of IoT when implemented to complement logistics operations. Scrutinizing the processes involved in the entire logistics value chain, with the help of an integrated IoT system and technology, many startup logistics companies have found the solution to manage warehouse operations, automation of warehouse, freight transportation and final delivery.
IoT helps the companies to get real-time updates on each operation of logistics and its movement. It helps to check the status of assets or parcels and get accurate information about the same, which is the main concern of any logistics company. IoT made it easier to monitor and analyse how the assets are performing to improve their overall speed and cut the time to delivery of goods. It helps in the automation of several operations by programming devices to work as per a set of predefined rules to reduce human intervention, eliminate human error, improve quality and lower the costs.
Cloud Computing refers to shared software or information that users access via the web. Pricing elements within transportation and warehousing of the company can differentiate on many factors such as weather, market conditions, or demand. Cloud computing can help the companies to detect the real-time pricing associated with every logistics element of the supply chain which allows the startups to control their costs with finesse. Cloud computing also helps to access real-time inventory. The inventory is the most direct way to control risks and optimize costs.
For the start-ups, the real-time inventory information allows maximizing its ability to respond to the demand fluctuations while holding onto their buffer against emergencies. Cloud computing helps to improve equipment and utilization patterns that are essential to optimization. Cloud integration allows the startups to set metrics, and analyse results against those goals to identify trends and utilize that equipment to improve shipping and procurement efficiencies.
The supply chain industry has been driven by an increase in the demand of consumers and the ability to meet these demands. Wearables technologies refer to devices that are connected to an internet source and allow workers to perform their tasks without any additional space or resources.
Wearable technologies are driving efficiency and productivity in the supply chain by pairing advanced computing capabilities in the cloud with a small, miniaturized way of automatically capturing data and logging this data. As a result, many startup logistics players are using wearable technology that allows the workers to focus on the high-level processes, not data entry, reducing the opportunities for error, creating a better supply chain network, and increasing the vitality of the supply chain.
These technological innovations in the logistics industry help the startups to improve efficiencies in operations, enhance business decisions through futuristic systems. These technologies also help the startup logistics players to provide an opportunity for different levels of optimization in manufacturing, logistics, warehousing and last-mile delivery with the high set-up costs deterring early adoption in logistics.