Android Devices Are Powering the Logistics Revolution In India

A connected Android cloud drives visibility from warehouse to last-mile delivery
Android Devices Are Powering the Logistics Revolution In India
Image credit: Pixabay

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
Co-Founder and COO, Esper
6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Android is the path to mobile modernization in the Indian logistics sector. Handheld barcode scanners, mobile point-of-sale (mPoS), and in-vehicle devices are all built on a common core, Android. However, simply having these mobile devices isn’t enough to help logistics firms in India solve for efficiency and cost control. 

Approximately 14 per cent of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) is spent on logistics, compared to just 8 per cent in the US and western Europe. Analysts connect this gap to inefficiencies, a lack of visibility, and poor integration between logistics technologies. Mobility is now synonymous with logistics, and modernization is the key to compete on customer experience. Logistics technology is now a competitive differentiator and not just a cost center, said Nishith Rastogi, CEO of Locus, in an interview.

Consumer expectations for visibility and communications with logistics providers are higher than ever. Organizations at the forefront of India’s logistics revolution are using integrated Android and cloud to create a better customer experience. Logistics firms who streamline and scale mobile modernization can win customer loyalty.

Android Innovation in India’s Logistics Industry

There’s no shortage of barriers to mobile transformation for Indian logistics companies. The national logistics infrastructure, fragmented warehousing and lack of seamless movement of goods are some of the biggest challenges, according to a report by Deloitte.  

These are steep barriers, but they’re not insurmountable, especially when you consider how far the logistics sector has advanced. India has already innovated on a culture of cash-on-delivery, integrated supply chain technologies, and improved last-mile delivery speed. 

Flipkart

Flipkart is a leading consumer e-commerce brand in India. Their secret involves the heavy adoption of mobile technologies, and more importantly, how these technologies are used. By building Android mobility into every stage of the supply chain, Flipkart is able to achieve visibility and predictive analytics capabilities. They can now route customer deliveries to arrive on time regardless of challenges like regional flooding. 

Udaan

India’s latest unicorn startup, Udaan is a vibrant B2B e-commerce platform designed to address supply chain efficiencies that affect small business owners. Udaan’s logistics platform was built to create transparent pricing and supplier access by facilitating better coordination of supply, demand, and the movement of goods in the cloud. 

Amazon

Amazon’s 2-hour Prime Now deliveries have reset Indian consumer expectations. Soon, Amazon hopes to use its robust logistics infrastructure to expand into new business models.

How Android is Modernizing Logistics in India in 2020

The success of brands like Flipkart, Udaan, and Amazon is driven by the smart adoption of Android for innovation. Logistics firms at the forefront of modernization are using Android to align workers, processes, and technologies. Android maturity creates a capacity to solve challenges such as:  

  • Last-mile delivery 
  • Supply chain predictability
  • Asset optimization

Enterprise-grade Android such as Internet-of-things (IoT) and handheld devices are at the forefront of India’s logistics revolution. 

IoT

Technologies such as RFID, geofencing, and GPS provide real-time location updates on the movement of goods throughout the supply chain. IoT technologies create visibility and can solve industry-wide challenges like theft. According to a Mckinsey report, almost $45 billion is wasted annually in India’s supply chain due to theft, cargo pilfering, and inventory holding. 

Handheld Devices

Ruggedized, handheld devices are creating streamlined processes and better data visibility among logistics workers at suppliers, warehouses, third-party logistics (3PL), and transportation. Android devices can also streamline the visibility of personnel and cargo to last-mile delivery by improving communications and GPS capabilities during shipment processes. 

Data Capture

Barcode scanners, tablets, and kiosks are creating efficient workflows and in-depth visibility into warehouse operations at the individual, facility, and regional levels. However, handheld devices aren’t the only component of data capture that’s transforming logistics. 

3 Android Mobility Trends for the Future of India Logistics

Digital integration is a key theme for Android modernization in the Indian logistics industry. Looking ahead to 2025, mobile transformation initiatives will build on Android devices to increase visibility and real-time decision making.

Devices alone aren’t going to push the industry into the future. Cloud platforms to connect Android devices at every stage of the supply chain are necessary to capture data and turn it into actionable insight. A centralized cloud platform creates an end-to-end stream of data on the supply chain. 

Trend #1: AIS 140 Mandates

India’s ground transportation industry is actively considering AIS 140 regulations, which are similar to the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate passed in the US in 2019. In the next few years, trucks will likely be mandated to carry Android devices on board to send real-time updates to government monitoring authorities.

The time is now to begin preparing for in-vehicle device requirements. Ideally, logistics firms will take AIS 140 as an opportunity for Android-driven visibility and modernization across warehouse, personnel, and transportation. 

Trend #2: Reduce Manual Intervention

Investing in technologies for automation and visibility can significantly reduce costs for Indian logistics firms. Integrating devices with the cloud can reduce manual efforts to track cargo or prevent operating error. 

Trend #3: Smarter Utilization

Poor visibility creates waste and loss at every stage of the supply chain. Vehicle fleets may be underutilized or making return trips without cargo. Deploying Android devices and a common cloud platform can improve efficiency. It can also improve internal and external collaboration.

Are You Prepared for the Next Wave of Android Modernization in Logistics?

Digital transformation isn’t optional for the logistics industry in India. In order for organizations to keep up, there’s a need to scale Android device deployments and integrate for end-to-end visibility. To compete with Flipkart, Udaan, and Amazon, logistics firms need to consider how to use cloud platforms as a launchpad for integrated Android solutions. 

It is important to provide a complete set of solutions for the Android device lifecycle in logistics. This can help increase visibility and also deploying a fleet of automated and handheld devices throughout the supply chain is essential. Some key device types that should be adopted: 

  • Barcode Scanners
  • mPOS device to collect payment or COD 
  • Ruggedized devices with Apps loaded for delivery workers 
  • Logging devices for truck drivers

The future of India logistics is undoubtedly Android, but it’s also not built around consumer-grade Android devices or management approaches. Instead, efficiency is built on top of validated, enterprise-grade hardware that’s locked to the use case and deployed through the cloud. 

Having a centralized cloud platform for deployment can create end-to-end visibility and help logistics shift to a new model of data-driven operations. 

Latest on Entrepreneur