The new generation of innovative solutions is altering the current logistics sector. As many businesses strive toward logistic optimization, the logistics industry is ready for new solutions and systems. New technologies will streamline fulfillment processes and enable a faster logistic chain – one that will change into a more advanced, more efficient process that utilizes digital technology, GPS solutions and augmented reality. In the following lines, we will discover what the most important innovations are that will likely have the biggest influence on the logistics industry in the following years.
Truck platooning is an emerging innovation that is on the road to becoming mainstream (pun intended). It includes a group of trucks equipped with high-tech driving support systems. The vehicles use smart technology to travel in a platoon or group and to communicate with each other.
This method of grouping trucks into platoons increases the road’s potentials, as platooning lowers the distance between vehicles with electronic and mechanic couplings. Such capability enables multiple trucks to decelerate or accelerate simultaneously. Trucks are able to follow one another much more closely than human drivers, as less reaction distance is required.
Vehicles brake immediately, have near-zero reaction time, and thus improve traffic safety. Truck platooning also lower costs since vehicles travel close to one another at a constant speed. In turn, this means fewer carbon dioxide emissions, reduced tail-backs and lower gas consumption.
Innovative software platforms use GPS tracking to help transport companies to link their teams and fleets to the cloud and provide valuable live data that is used to streamline the business. GPS tracking solutions improve productivity, lower costs and increase driver safety while the company has complete control over its assets.
Companies like Linxio offer GPS fleet management systems that aren’t only simple GPS tracking systems that place a dot on the map. Instead, such software links the company’s team and assets to the cloud and entwines with existing third-party software to unify information and give clear visibility.
Besides monitoring the whereabouts of a vehicle, this software offers the ability to track onboard diagnostics like engine issues, current speed, fuel usage, geo-fencing and rough acceleration or braking. Thus, fleet managers can monitor driver performance in terms of acceleration, speeding, braking and cornering.
We, humans, experience this reality through our senses. In other words, through our perception. Augmented reality offers an enhanced perception of the world. Augmented reality is a direct or indirect, live view of a real-world environment with parts becoming augmented through computer-generated sensory input like video, sound, graphics or GPS data. In other words, a reality which is interactive and digitally optimized.
AR is utilized for order picking process, warehouse management and delivery. Scene recognition and AR enable a camera operating system to search for a product in the warehouse and then move it to the right vehicle for faster delivery. An AR device is able to show us all this information.
The same process applies for delivery boys to find the right product in the vehicle to deliver, all in the service for faster logistics and better anticipation or response to any deviation from the plan. In the near future, employees will use AR to identify damaged goods in the warehouse, or even to identify what exact part of the product is wrecked.
Big companies like Intel, Google, and many others are collaborating with automobile giants in developing autonomous cars. Amazon recently announced that they will use drones to deliver products within an hour. Although it seems like a distant dream, it will become a reality soon.
As autonomous vehicles become the center of logistics, the quickness of delivery will improve rapidly. While current machines cannot match human brains, these technical innovations can be mixed with human intelligence to bring better results.
Autonomous delivery systems will minimize delivery time and the chances of damaged goods while simultaneously maximizing space for the shipment, ultimately lowering the costs of delivery.
All of this gives us something to look out for. The improvements in logistics speed and efficiency, lower levels of environmental impact and a logistic system that concentrates on value generation instead of labor and gas costs will build long-term sustainability for the industry as a whole.