5 Technologies to Transform Logistics

Digital technologies are set to have an increasing influence on the logistics sector, which accounts for 14% of GDP in the EU and also accounts for approximately 25% of greenhouse gas emissions. The influence will bring improvements in the efficiency of logistics operations, with potential for 100 billion Euro’s worth of benefits to the EU economy.

Here is a list of five digital technologies that will transform logistics:

1. Drones: Drone technology is making a lot of heads turn in the logistics sector. A survey by MHI points to the fact that 20% of logistics companies will use drones for searching, monitoring and event management by 2017. DHL are currently using drones in their operation, as a means to reach remote locations.

2. IoT and Sensors: Internet of Things is already widely used by logistics companies, and it is estimated that there will be as many as 50 billion devices connected globally by 2015. This development will bring a raft of opportunities across industry, and logistics is no exception. The value of smart and interconnected microchips is in the fact that they can host and communicate a range of data, including customer specifications, technical requirements and intended destinations.

3. Big Data: Big data brings power and control to logistics by improving the management of traffic, by helping providers to understand and manage the deluge of data created by the millions of shipments being tracked on a daily basis. When it is properly structured and analyzed accurately, data will present new opportunities to logistics companies. For example, analytics can reveal previously unseen routes to distributers, which will be particularly useful to those whose distribution chains are complex, by helping them to utilize extra capacity.

4. Wearables: Wearables will play a major role in the supply chain and logistics operations. They can help in managing deliveries, and in assisting warehouse operatives to find items more efficiently. They can be used to monitor, track, analyze and even incentivize the supply chain and logistics, and this is a huge development for all industries.

5. 3D Printing: The promise of 3D printing is to deliver the production of bespoke and individual items on-demand in a local setting. This means that some items will no longer need to be produced en-masse at remote locations. Software is the most important factor in this mode, and production is moved on down the chain to the customers premises or a 3D printing shop.