Information Technology - Shaping Up New-Age Logistics

By Manish Datta, Founder CEO, Mandate SystemsManish has extended experience in the logistics sector and wants to bring about a change in the present condition of long distance supply chain management

The Logistics industry has seen a massive leap in the recent years with the advent of Information technology that has upturned the transportation trends for good. The technology formats have been deeply impacted by the new age consumption patterns, sharp increase in demand, global trade pacts, and more importantly the Dot com age of conducting business. The sheer boom in e-commerce has redefined the movements of ‘Last Mile’ connectivity together with the ‘First Mile’ facilities visibly enabling these traits for a revamp to support quicker deliveries to consumers. Transport trend analysts, logistics experts and the new age Dot com enterprises are constantly putting efforts to draw new technologies to the business in order to accord the Wow factor to consumers belonging to various spheres from Businesses to Homes.

Logistics technology companies like are now focusing on minimizing the wastage and maximizing the asset utilization through SaaS oriented platform for transporters to make sure they can systematize several emerging practices of current transportation trends utilizing technology. To gain a discernible competitive edge over their competition, most logistics companies are now trying to get their hands on the newer technologies, and that is what is shaping up the new practices in Logistics industry. Let us see how?

Internet on Computing Devices
Internet of Things is radically changing the way the transportation operations and warehouse management behave. IoT can further integrate these operations’ data to device sensors used in the vehicles that enable containers to get real time sharable data. This data can also be plugged into the Mobile App offerings by the tech companies for real-time availability of commercial transactions and consignment tracking using Beacon technology. This is a jump to a more mature approach from the traditional way of supervising and booking orders.

This is the most alluring feature that can be utilized by businesses to easily monitor their operations, allowing them efficiency towards their cost and service quality. To present a specific example, retailers will be able to easily monitor the excellence of the product with respect to availability, and perishable goods outlets can determine & control the temperature of products that are being transported. IoT can be used more innovatively where providers can easily store real time data to the cloud using the sensors and RFID chip in the vehicles.

Data Analysis that Nurture Learning Patterns
As far as cloud, sensors, computers and internet are concerned, a huge amount of data is defined to be
captured, stored and shared based on specific requirement that can be used by logistics companies to identify patterns based on which business decisions can be arrived at with far more clarity. While the companies willing to follow the traditional ways of running business lag behind in terms of efficiency, technologically advanced companies that depend on pre-programmed consumer trends and marketing insights on devices tend to generate accurate data creating enhanced demand and overall health of their business. No doubt computers are efficient in terms of data extradition, but the computer of the future is expected do a lot more amazing things by the click of a mouse, certainly without much intervention of humans.

Virtual technologies like Beacon will replace manual tracking of empty containers which will ensure that the customers can avail a fleet of vehicle on demand without having to wait for hours

Computer integrated business machines will read suitable supply chain management and will extract actionable business intelligence from the passive data, which can be further used to efficiently improve the accuracy of demand forecast and streamlining incoming orders on a supply chain that will make the performance and trend prediction easier than ever.

Web Applications
Many of us wonder about that one important technology that matters in the logistic business – data transmission. In this ever changing market, computer programs are designed to talk to mobile applications in the scenarios of inter and intrabusiness dealings. EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is the thing of past that we all have known as the major stand of communication in business. However, real time data transmission is not possible with this technology as its formats are strict. To comply with this, web application will be the next technology that companies will depend on for smooth communication. Web integrated mobile apps will interact and help to revolutionize the digital transformation in logistics business.

Virtualization & Mobile Application
Virtual technologies like Beacon technology will take over manual tracking of empty containers which will ensure that the customers can avail a fleet of vehicle on demand without having to wait for hours. Logistics companies will also try and automate the process of emptying containers using machines, thus lessening the expenses on HR infrastructure. Once the virtualization system has been integrated with mobile application using augmented reality as technology source, customers would be able to track consignments on-the-go and only pay for real time use of the vehicles (pay-per-use service).

With all the talk of technology in transportation business, the major threat of the future will be cyber attack. However with the expanding touch points of modern technology, data will be safe in cloud, thereby making the integrated computing more robust and reliable. Programs will be monitoring the components in the cloud continuously and round the clock to track out malicious modules in the system.

Technology to Achieve Environmental Harmony
While the key focus area of Logistics companies remains to be the leveling of supply chain by which they attain maximum benefit with narrowed cost, they tend to ignore the related social and environmental factors like unjustified man hours. However, with the emerging technologies in place, they would be able to automate sustainable supply chain, thus harmonizing ecology, economic and communal objectives and also abiding to the stringent labor laws.

New technology in logistics will also help in contributing to ‘Green and Managed Logistics’ by minimizing waste and optimizing supply chain, thereby lessening carbon foot prints and greenhouse emissions. Not just that, businesses will also be able to monitor the process and plan things ahead of time in to avoid recycling and wastage.

The transportation business of the future will be worth watching given the ever-changing flux of B2B markets for transportation. With technology induced aggregation model on Web, there would be a number of affordable avenues in the offing on mobile devices and on desktop website which would enable businesses to remain competitive.