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December 8, 2020 | 22:12

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The COVID-19 Pandemic has caused enormous issues in the logistic industry thus disrupting the international shipping and logistics industry. From the global survey we can see that in 2020 the logistics and supply chain industry was one of the worst due to COVID-19. 73 percent of the logistic and supply sphere service users were impacted.

Concurring to The Organisation For Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) the effects of COVID-19 could reduce the global growth in half. With a majority of industries across the board confronting a huge fall off.

China, the world’s second largest economy and a huge internal supply and delivery chain plunged into COVID-19 spread to other countries in the world, causing a reaction from the application of many restrictive measures by governments of different countries. These restrictions were adopted by countries in the world to reduce the progression of the virus, such measures included traveling restrictions and total quarantine. This has caused the disruption of global food, medical supply chains, retails, halting critical business operations thus causing a freeze in revenue. 

During a period of uncertainty such as these, logistics and supply chain operators must be able to adapt to these unpredicted challenges. These situations may also be a test to strengthen the logistics  industry to face any other difficulties. So the question is – How can logistics companies develop to meet the enormous demands and how to improve logistics for 2021? This article shall clarify you on how automation may reshape the industry of logistics.

Global lock downs  imposed by the government to reduce the spread of COVID-19 has led to the skyrocketing increase in demand for supply chain and technology. From the prediction of Researchandmarkets.com the sphere may skyrocket from $2,734 billion in 2020 to $3,215 Billion  by 2021 and  the double for spring 2021 in global logistics. But it is important to notice the fact that during these difficult moments companies have had to operate resiliently.

  • Quarantine and lockdown measures of countries and borders have caused the disruption of shipping and the confusion around the live status at various locations has meant that many logistic companies have worked in the blind.
  • The struggling of supply chains caused by the restricted flow of goods placed new importance on transportation while at the same time had negative effects on freight capacity.
  • The limitation in labour supply force at the warehouse and distribution centres as well as logistic service providers has resulted in a delay at pickup and delivery points.
  • So as a resilient measure and to cope with the ever-growing  number of logistics and parcel companies. This industry has had to turn to Automation.

    Automation in the logistic and shipping industry is referred to as the use of software or control systems to run part of the supply chain, all this with minimum human interaction. Automation has got multiple advantages to logistics such as: 

  • Improvement of the customer service, automated logistic system provide a distinct price as well as real-time tracking information on shipping status, delivery time and location.
  • Customers would always be pleased with the transparent service provided during the delivery experience. This creates a strong relationship of reliability and loyalty  between the customer and  the service. 

  • Automation has helped in minimising manual errors, mistakes and also reducing the cost. There is a saying that error is human, so some humans manually input mistakes like recording items numbers, recording inventory data , qualities or locations etc. The introduction of automation has reduced to the largest scale the number of manually handled operations causing a reduction in the error margin and a reduction in the expenses as well.
  • There are, however, some specialists who estimate automation as being a threat to human labour. Yet with the widely spread concern , automation will always need human involvement in logistics processes. Many technologies on the other hand require human assistance in order to work effectively . 

    Listed below are  some top innovative and autonomous  methods to improve the logistic processing. These methods are designed  to develop resilience, design, overcome and anticipate post – pandemic challenges.

    Internet of Things (IoT) 

    The logistic industry and it’s tough management needs a tool which can monitor  multiple activities at  once  ie. Supply chain, warehouse  and etc. There are multiple factors that can influence the proper flow of the goods causing delays. So the Internet of Things is a major tool used to manage logistics by increasing the streamline processes thus leading to the satisfaction of the client. Among other technologies The Internet of Things provides the necessary tools to businesses  like planning , heightening, monitoring and planning  the security of all the operations. Concurring with Statistica, by next year  worldwide businesses are previewed to  spend over $50 billion on  connected products to increase the productivity in deliveries. Here are some benefits of  IoT: 

  • Increased security and reduced theft
  • Proper Tracking of the goods
  • Employee safety
  • Providing Business manager with advanced analytics
  • Improving delivery
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)

    Machine learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are  changing the face of the logistics and  supply chain industry. Machine learning and artificial intelligence  has driven companies to a wider audience thus  wider visibility  in all aspects of the logistics and supply chain . These technologies help  to deliver  the powerful optimization capacities needed  for  the best accurate capacity planning, high quality, lower costs and improved productivity. While facing the COVID-19 pandemic  some resilient measures were taken by companies to efficiently proceed in the logistics and supply chain. The severity of the COVID-19 has caused the disruption of a thousand supply chains globally  causing a negative impact on the economy. So AI is a resilient method for the effectiveness of  the supply chain and Logistics supply. Here are some advantages of artificial intelligence: 

  • Warehouse efficiency
  • Reduction in expenses
  • Accurate Inventory Management
  • On-time delivery
  • Data Analytics

    Data Analytics is transforming several companies, industries and businesses. Of course Logistics has not been an exception. Of course logistic is a perfect sphere to apply this technology especially for its complexity and dynamic nature as well as the intricate structure of the supply chain. The high complexity of data in the sphere makes it essential to adopt data analytics methods to manage and process the data. It is worth adapting to the data world culture as advanced  data analytics helps in the consolidation of the industry that has been traditionally fragmented.

    The spread of big data usage has dramatically altered the sphere of business and the way it used to function with their analytics. The application of  big data analysis has led to the ability to anticipate slow and busy periods, accordingly  and potential future supply shortage.

    According to a research  93 percent of shippers and 98 percent of third party logistic businesses believe that data analytics is critical at making intelligent decisions. 71 percent of these companies strongly believe that  big data ameliorates the performance and quality.

    Robotics 

    Technology has taken another path,  with the challenge of  finding  qualified labour the development of technology has led to the adoption of robotics in the sphere of logistics. To tackle the supply chain management  challenges of tomorrow the industry will either need to keep on raising the cost or will require to compensate with the automation that can  support workers and increase productivity. Robotic automation  helps companies ease and postpone these challenges but solutions are not flexible to fulfil all needs of the dynamic logistic and supply chain industry .

    The solution to this is robots. Robots can  operate with an enormous degree of accuracy and precision. Using this technology is cost effective and has a little error margin  

    Overview of the current status of the industry and forecasting 2021

    With the outbreak of COVID-19 seating on the coach and ordering on the internet has been a common behaviour, the measures taken by governments in the world have not ease this behaviour. We could see the clear impact of COVID-19 on the sales seasons before Christmas. Black Friday is a clear example for this trend this year it was fairly higher than the previous years. An article of Cnbc reveals that according to the data from adobe analytics, COVID-19 pandemic has pushed more people to shop from their sofa thus avoiding crowded stores and malls. It was estimated a total expenditure by consumers of $9 billion on the web, that is 21.6 percent more than the previous year. This made Black Friday 2020 the second biggest online spending day in history after Cyber Monday  of last year. Cyber Monday in the USA was the largest digital sales of history reaching $12.7 billion i.e. a growth of 15 to 35 percent from last year. The internet business has never been so successful, a direct consequence of this is the improvement of all the supply chains and logistics methods. 

    Currently, logistics automation is the principal path that can help make logistics work successful. It permits company and business owners to save cost and materials, moreover, automation has increased the accuracy in the supply chain management processes.  

    There is a saying that the future dictates the rules, automation is defined as better service and faster delivery to the client. The shipping sphere in 2021 will concentrate on improving its systems. An improvement in the speed, transparency, accuracy and efficiency as a whole will be the main distinctive features of a logistics company that cares about its clients. If you want to improve your logistics for efficiency, it will be better to invest these time around in the automation software. 

    See also: Planning the Startup Strategy for 2021 – Lessons from COVID-19

    The future dictates its rules. Automation means delivering faster and better services to customers. Therefore, the shipping sector should be focused on increasing automation as much as possible. Today, we are witnessing a transformation in the logistics area. It goes without saying that speed, efficiency, and accuracy are the main distinctive features of a logistics company that cares about its customers. If you want to enhance your logistics efficiency, it is time to invest in automation software.

    Tags

    #COVID-19#Logistics#Technologies
    Views: 354

    Written by:

    Artem Ramazanov

    Through the 10 years in marketing, I’m establishing partnerships with the reps of various fields in business and managing the aspects of business administration to achieve more success with my company

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