How technology & automation is changing logistics and supply chain management

It is estimated that the logistics industry will grow at a CAGR of 10-12%, reaching a value of $380 million by 2025. A large driver of this growth will be technology and automation – from robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT) to artificial intelligence (AI), better integration of the various ecosystems involved, digitisation of processes, and more.

Automation in manufacturing and warehousing

The logistics industry has seen extensive automation and robotics implementation in recent years. The 2022 MHI Annual Industry Report states that automation and robotics remain at the forefront of innovations, with the potential to shape the future of the industry and provide businesses with a serious competitive edge. Everything from robotic palletizers and autonomous guided vehicles to automated picking and sorting systems that can be controlled via an app is streamlining warehousing operations and also reducing human errors. This kind of technology can also help workers focus more on strategic efforts and minimise the day-to-day risk involved in hard, laborious work in challenging environments. Amazon has been one of the pioneers in supply chain management automation, employing delivery drones and AI to accurately estimate demand and optimise delivery routes accordingly. Walmart has a blockchain-based system that allows it to track the origin of food products, allowing it to quickly identify any food safety issues and remove damaged or expired products from shelves.

AI and ML in transportation

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms are now capable of analysing real-time big data as well as identifying patterns, trends, and insights to enable businesses to make more accurate forecasts and better-informed decisions, ultimately, improving efficiencies across the board. In fact, early adopters of AI in logistics have managed to reduce costs, optimise inventory levels, and significantly enhance their end-user service quality. UPS is using an in-house system which uses ML at the core to reduce mileage and reroute drivers where necessary. DHL also has a dedicated platform for route optimisation, warehouse automation, and demand forecasting. You can expect these trends in logistics, supply chain, and manufacturing to grow significantly in the coming years, enabling businesses to enjoy cost savings and pave the way for faster deliveries.

Integration of ecosystems for improved collaboration

As the logistics sector becomes more interconnected, companies will be required to collaborate more and seamlessly integrate their ecosystems – which will enable smooth and effortless information-sharing, improved efficiency throughout the entire supply chain, and better end-to-end visibility. By leveraging automation, either through a bespoke app, system or software, logistics and manufacturing companies can quickly connect their systems to everyone from suppliers and retailers to customers and stakeholders, creating a more unified network. Real-time data exchange powered by automation technologies will allow for more accurate demand forecasting, improving production and delivery timelines, while also optimising inventory management. Ultimately, it will reduce lead times, improve efficiency, and boost supply chain performance. HS Manager is a powerful app designed to streamline operations in manufacturing and logistics, helping you carry out audits, H&S inspections, and safety and risk reports more efficiently. Resolve issues on the go, boost productivity, and much more. Try it now absolutely FREE for 30 days. For more information visit; Email Or call 03450 17 99 44

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If you think about, warehouses and everyone working within those walls, are the unsung heroes of supply chain and distribution. Without quality warehouses equipped with the latest technology, we would not be enjoying the super-fast at-home deliveries or products being available on shelves almost on a 24/7 basis.

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