The world of logistics and transportation has seen constant change for many years. In the years to follow, we can expect many more path-breaking models and technological advancements. This is one such industry where the past was glorious, the present is driven, and the future is eventful.
Modern tech has taken over the logistics business and transformed it into something bigger and better. The spine of any business is excellent logistics, and the only way to make it fast and efficient in this day and age is by adding value to the existing technology. Before we dive into how far ahead we have come in this world, let’s take a few steps back.
Back In The Day…
There was a time when logistics was an unorganized and rugged sector. There was no particular industry in place, and the lines between transportation and logistics were very blurred. The logistics business we see today was born as a result of mass-market-globalization and the end of society-driven culture.
After the boom of industries, the only system that could keep this new industry sustain was trucking and cargo. Production could be at its highest, but there was no point in hoarding goods in a warehouse if there was no technology to ship them around the world. What started small is today one of the biggest shape changers of the economic market.
Shipping goods from one country to another was a privilege that only the mega industries and the wealthy could enjoy. Today effective logistics has made the whole world one giant marketplace.
There are large companies in the USA that are entirely dependent on Asian countries for production. All of this would have never been possible if not for the logistical boom.
The World We Live In..
Logistics today is a billion-dollar industry. Some organizations are dedicated to just this. And how has all of this become possible? Thanks to the constant innovation we see around.
Even something as elementary as truck technology. A modern truck today can carry six times more cargo in them as compared one from ten or twelve years ago. With superior engines and top quality support systems.
Automation has played a considerable role in the way we function today. For example, the use of ELD has made trucking a much safer business.
Electronic Logging devices are simple tools that are used to track the hours of operation of a vehicle automatically. Hours Of Service (HOS) is a mandatory need from the government and is only possible, so flawlessly, with these innovations.
The whole fleet today can be tracked from a single mobile device using GPS tracking. These devices and management systems keep track of every minor aspect of these larger-than-life machines. They can be used to keep a check on the hours driven, the load they carry, the routes they take, and much more.
All of these management systems give insights to the organization to help manage the truckload and keep a check on the driver and their safety. Through smart IoT integrations, companies can also set up triggers and notifications for upcoming services, rule changes, route alterations, weather warnings, and much more.
The safety of the driver has exponentially improved with these new additions. On the first level, trucks from the manufacturing-line come with more advanced features like cruise control, self-drive, airbags, line mapping, obstacle detection, and blind-spot camera. Additionally, one can add more valuable gear to it to help assist the driver.
The most modern installation of this list is a sophisticated truck dashcam. These come in both front-facing and dual-facing versions. They keep a check on the behavior of the driver and also shoot warnings in case they notice obstacles on the path or fatigue in the driver. These help the company further with insurance claims in case of any unforeseen situations.
All of these improvements have re-shaped the way we perceive logistics. They have helped cut costs, reduce turn-around time, and provide a better life to the fleet. An industry that has a reputation of being notorious and mismanaged is now one of the leaders in organization-management.
What Does The Future Hold…
The future is automation and towards much crisper and efficient ways. We can always see a small bubbling of newer and smarter innovations.
The wave of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cognitive learning will revolutionize the way we look at logistics. Some of these integrations, like AI-assistance for self-driving, are already in play.
While we can see self-driving cars are a common phenomenon today, they are not the most affordable when it comes to such large scale applications. But that is the beauty of new technology.
It must be placed at a premium price before it can be tailored down to a more practical and user-friendly stage. And that is the future of transportation and logistics.
Another genius innovation is the use of drone technology in supply and delivery networks. While this is still a work in progress and costs a lot of money to operate, it could be the next biggest thing in logistics. This will reduce delivery time by leaps and bounds.
While we have been flooded with innovation from all ends, and most of us see it as positive progress. There is also a small group that considers this change to be a curse. Extreme changes in automation technology and digitization could, at some point, displace the people who depend on these jobs for daily income.
For instance, the more we replace human resources with technology in the name of efficiency, we are further reducing employment opportunities. But innovation always opens the doors to more opportunities. The end goal is still to find the best way to do a task, and not do it any other way.
As much as the logistics industry has changed in the last two decades, there is no denying that it is the ever-growing industry that will only prosper in the years to come. They are an essential part of any business, and the demand for faster and error-free logistics will bring many new and unheard-of innovations.