According to a recent Deloitte report, three important pillars support the next generation supply chain, from seaports to freight forwarders and air freight. This is a networked community, holistic decision making and intelligent automation.
As the global population continues to grow, urbanize, gain purchasing power and switch to e-commerce, the logistics industry is at a turning point. At the beginning of a revolutionary change, the industry begins to introduce technologies and new business models that meet the demand for packaging volumes and meet customer and consumer expectations.
According to Deloitte, the first of the three pillars in the next generation supply chain is the “connected community” or the ability to connect with partners to see across the network. Intelligent ports in Hamburg and Rotterdam, for example, already have integrated data platforms that exchange information about arrival and departure times with participating ports, shipping lines and ship terminals. Thanks to the real-time data exchange, the ship unloading could be optimized and the dwell time reduced by 20%.
Some platforms even handle all of the digital freight. Cainiao, a company that connects e-retailers with end-to-end logistics, has assembled more than 90 truck and air freight companies, six digital fulfillment hubs and 266 warehouses connected to the Internet of Things. The company uses AI-based applications to connect carriers with the cheapest and fastest routes and already processes 42 million parcels a day.
The second pillar that Deloitte identifies is holistic decision making or the ability to use and harmonize data to continuously learn and optimize. Although most logistics companies are already data-driven, the time between data collection and action is getting shorter.
A mix of new data sources from connected assets (such as IoT warehouses and trucks) can be used to harmonize transportation and inventory management, allowing more flexibility and throughput.
For example, Maersk already has a fleet of 270,000 IoT-compatible refrigerated containers that transmit data on temperature and location. DHL meanwhile announced the goal of 10,000 Internet of Things trucks in India by 2028 to ensure 95 percent reliability in inventory and temperature monitoring.
Retail uses sensor data to solve inventory management problems, including overstocking and shortage, which are estimated to cost the U.S. retail sector $ 2.1 trillion.
The last pillar is network automation, whereby the outlines of a global, contactless supply chain are already forming. Autonomous cargo ships are under development, and some ports already have a fully automated unloading process. Storage robots that can lift, move and sort also gain skill and dedication.
Numerous companies are driving autonomous vehicle technology, with many concentrating on truck applications. Last mile automation, including drones and droids, is also turning from concept to pilot projects.
"Over time, a global population of consumers demanding higher delivery volumes, faster speeds, more flexibility, transparency and convenience will force actors to make adjustments. Initially, organizations should define their future ambitions and determine where they will be in the future The movement of the commodity ecosystem. " said Michael Therefore, principal at Deloitte Consulting and director of transportation in the United States.
"Based on a strategic vision, companies can explore how the pillars, connected community, holistic decision-making, and intelligent automation help them win in select segments and markets – and what basic and emerging skills are required to activate those pillars . "