The Logistics Industry: Technology Trends

09th August 2017 12:00

The global logistics market is an ever-evolving space. In the next ten years, it is predicted that nearly every business is going to be virtual. The web and what it creates is leading the future, and that includes logistics. Artificial Intelligence is predicted to overtake routine jobs, which means a big shake up for this industry. So how much will technology factor in? Truth is, it’s already working its way into many aspects of our lifestyles…

Drone / droid delivery

Amazon and Walmart began experimenting with drones to assist with deliveries, and it was a big deal. What is even more indicative of technology’s rapid growth is that the response to drone delivery was “but tiny robots that travel on the pavement would be much cheaper than drones, and they wouldn’t require FAA certification!”

Drone / droid delivery is the predicted pièce de résistance for businesses, estimated to reduce delivery fees (which accounts for 30-40% of the total delivery cost) to as little as 8p (10 cents) per mile.

Self-driving vehicles

Uber made its first driver-free commercial delivery in August 2016, shortly after acquiring tech start-up company Otto. Its co-founder, Lior Ron, predicts that “self-driving vehicles will enable logistics operators to lower freight costs by 40% per kilometre and reduce the number of traffic accidents involving trucks”.

Warehouse robots

Amazon ‘employs’ 45 robots which are capable of picking orders and restocking shelves. The robots, named the Next Gen workforce, are reported to save $22million per fulfilment centre. We’ve previously discussed Amazon’s warehouse robots before here, and artificial intelligence here.

RightHand Robotics has built on this, creating a robot that can differentiate between items, adjust its grip according to what items it's carrying. These robots can pick up to 600 items per hour, which is on par with a human warehouse worker.

140 hospitals across the US have also started implementing TUG robots which can deliver meals, supplies and medication. 

With the cost of automated labour decreasing since 1990, robots are becoming a familiar feature in warehouses.

The transition into the digital age is well under way, is your company up to speed or being left behind?

 

Sources:

http://www.business2community.com/product-management/technology-trends-logistics-industry-01880736#YCotfq1QbwXYdH2G.97

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