Every single person that works in logistics knows that the job keeps changing, with new technology being developed on a constant basis. It is very interesting to notice that the freight industry is becoming faster and faster. Thanks to advancements made in technology, we can now get what we buy from another country in days instead of weeks. Something like this was just a dream a few decades ago.
Most of what is driving technology innovation in logistics is connected to client satisfaction, finances, and customer management. This is because really good planning and organization are critical in importing and exporting.
So, what new technology is changing freight and imports?
IoT – Internet Of Things
IoT is still quite fragmented but it does have an impact on the shipping industry, especially when referring to freight used for exports and imports. IoT practically take advantage of a chip, a reader, a database and GPS technology. All of these communicate with each other, leading to a drastic input in operations.
We are seeing an increase in the use of radio frequency identification that makes it easy for operators to track shipments, together with shipment conditions. Barcodes and confirmation receipts do not need to be scanned. With the use of IoT, the company can easily check shipments and goods in seconds.
This has a very practical advantage. For instance, when you import to NZ, you want to know exactly when the ship arrives. By simply using a mobile device or a computer connected to the internet you can see where the ship is and whether or not your packages are in proper condition. With some systems, you can even check real-time room temperature.
Advanced Machine Learning
This relatively new technology gives the industry a very competitive edge. We are looking at technology that easily analyzes data and makes it easy for the business to take decisions based on patterns. Computers utilize dashboards and reports in order to conduct highly sophisticated analysis. Basically, market insight allows the shipping companies to create efficient operations.
Analyzing data is no longer needed with human intervention because of the algorithms used by machine learning. We see this used in a combination with different supply chain management systems in order to turn the passive data into business intelligence that is highly targeted. As a result, forecasting is more accurate, just like predictability and general performance.
As a very simple example, when you analyze the data related to numerous trucking runs, automated machine learning allows you to recommend the routes that are the most productive. You also learn about conditions that create problems, together with other possible inefficiencies. Even in the maritime industry we see companies using machine learning to choose ports, routes, and increase the bottom line.
In the near future, we will see many major advancements because private fleets are much more available than in the past. Companies can immediately reposition and all the empty containers can be filled with the use of IT infrastructure. Basically, this means that pay-per-use becomes popular with the use of the cloud. Mobile services and applications enable the freight companies to work with both the small and the large businesses in the industry.
In the freight industry, we need access to an efficient and reliable way to transmit data. This is vital in logistics. The technological advances that exist right now makes it easy for many applications to easily communicate with each other through inter- and intra-business scenarios in B2B and B2C.
EDI has been very popular for years, with real-time data transmission being compromised because of hoe strict formats and standards were. We now have access to services that can replace EDI and are better at transmitting data, like RESTful and JSON. The mobile apps used these days can capture data while moving. They digitally transform and communicate with systems inside the freight industry.
Logistics and Warehouse Management Solutions now use cloud computing and the internet in order to transmit data. This is a system that is useful and corresponding software can actually prevent cyber attacks in a very efficient way. The freight industry needs security and this security changes. All individual components are nowadays monitored in order to see vulnerabilities.
We have cyber threats that exist. Businesses invest a lot of money into recognizing them, monitoring them and stopping them. This is done through regular testing and advanced security audits. Even if this is not the case at the moment in all aspects of the freight industry, things will surely change in the future.
Everyone in the industry knows about the driverless trucks that were created by Uber and Budweiser. This can always influence everything and change the way freight works. However, this does not mean that other less-complex systems are not used right now.