With the known benefits of Big Data and Cloud technology, many industries have started using this technology to reap the benefits for business. The Big Data and Cloud technology have made business easier for organizations in every field and improve the ways they serve their clients and customers.
The industries that make use of these technologies include telecommunications, healthcare, healthcare, and many more. Logistics, despite being using the Big Data and Cloud technology is not among the top industries, but enjoying the benefits of these technologies. Let us explore the top reasons and major advantages of these technologies for the logistics industry.
Transportation of goods
Logistics companies use Big Data to trace the delivery of goods and packages. They can track their consignments anytime with the technology irrespective of the location. Big Data offers solutions for the problems in the tracking of consignments for these organizations.
For example, sometimes the vehicles carrying goods are stuck in traffic jams, and it is difficult to deliver the products on time. Moreover, it is difficult to get the exact location of the vehicles using traditional methods. Big Data makes it easy for both the supplier and recipient to track the goods and get real-time updates of the delivery.
As logistics companies handle the transportation of products from one place to another, there is a possibility of the creation of bottlenecks. Big Data helps them to find the cause of these bottlenecks and make changes in their routes accordingly.
With the installation of sensors in the delivery vehicles and the use of Big Data technology, suppliers can get real-time reports of weather and traffic updates. Knowing the weather and traffic in advance, suppliers can decide or change the routes of their vehicles to make the consignments reach their destination within the set time frame.
Sometimes customers want to order a product, but it is out of stock on a company’s website. Now the customer has two options: he or she can wait till the product becomes available or order it from another website. In case he or she chooses the second option, the former company loses the customer and suffers the loss.
Big Data technology helps companies to maintain their stock and supplies. E-commerce giants like Amazon, Alibaba are making use of Big Data technology to maintain their warehouses with goods. The technology provides them real-time insights to monitor and track the stock and available supplies.
The final mile issue
The final mile of the journey of a product is the most challenging step to cover for the logistics companies. It is also the most expensive and accounts for more than half of the total shipping costs. The major challenges while covering the last mile are delays due to traffic jams, bad weather, parking difficulties, and apartments without elevators, etc.
All these difficulties impact the customer’s experience in negative ways. Such obstacles in the delivery are difficult to predict. However, the GPS systems in vehicles and smartphones along with the help of IoT (Internet of Things), it is possible to monitor the journey. These services will even intervene to inform the logistics company if a route is congested or inaccessible so that their vehicles can take an alternative route.
Crowdsourcing and Robots
The crowdsourcing is highly useful in optimizing the last-mile supply of products for logistics companies. It means getting the last mile deliveries done by local services instead of professional carriers. For example, a local courier service can help with food delivery.
At the same time, services like Uber Freight and Amazon Flex are taking logistics in a new direction. Amazon Flex covers the last mile by locals helping them to make upto $25 per hour while offering customers faster deliveries.
Artificial Intelligence and data-driven systems can direct robots and autonomous vehicles to perform deliveries to customers. The scheduling, optimization of routes, cargo localization, warehouse, and inventory management can be automated with the help of AI-enabled robots and data-driven systems. However, there will still be a need for human interference to maintain the systems.
Time for shift
To optimize the process of delivery for logistics services, a significant shift is required in the industry. Logistic companies have not completely adopted Cloud-based technologies in the past. However, it is essential for them to make use of Cloud technology to optimize and digitize the last-mile deliveries. The dock management and automated scheduling are important, and autonomous vehicles need to be scheduled more accurately than standard vehicles with human drivers.
Therefore, there is a requirement of acceleration in the use or a Cloud-based system. The precise collection and filtering of data help in accurate forecasting of events and reduction in uncertainty.
Also, cross-platform integrations are important in creating seamless info chains, and it is easy to achieve with cloud-based open API (application programming interface) systems. The e-air waybill by the International Air Transport Association is an example of an open API.
With the adoption of Big Data and Cloud technologies, logistics businesses can significantly reduce their operating costs. These technologies also help them integrate their weighing indicators with control rooms to track the weight and supply of every single package they deal with.
As the technologies help them to optimize the transportation process and take the right routes to deliver the products at the right time, they also reduce the consumption of fuel. With less fuel consumption, there is also a reduction in CO2 emissions.
There is no doubt that Big Data and Cloud-based technologies can bring consolidation in the supply chain delivery management. The main purpose of logistics companies to use these technologies is to interpret the collected data in the best ways.
Any firm offering logistics services need to be aware of the advantages of adopting these technologies and take further steps to enhance delivery management. With precise deliveries to customers, logistics companies can take a step further to do business with existing clients and attract new clients.
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