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Shifting Patterns: The Future of Logistics Industry in India Technical innovations so far have the potential to remove most of the frictions in logistics world

By Prabhakar Chaudhary

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The sweeping wave of digitization has been transforming the world as we know it. With the advent of new and innovative technologies, the world stands poised to not just be disrupted, but greatly transformed, being ushered into an age of high-performance, visibility and efficiency. The emergence and mainstreaming of advanced technology has created strong ripples across the country, and the logistics sector has not remained isolated from the same.

Technical innovations so far have the potential to remove most of the frictions in logistics world, however the adaptation of technology in the logistics sector has been a long overdue. Lately with the increasing penetration of technology right into our everyday lives, the logistics sector is also experiencing a metamorphosis. The transformation is focused at equipping the sector to resolve a number of challenges and bottle-necks, whilst attaining new-found efficiency and agility.

In times to come, technology is set to act as strong bedrock for logistics industry, helping it shift redundant patterns, whilst scaling newer heights. Standing at the precipice of such immense growth, let us take a keen look at the tech-driven future of logistics.

IoT to spell the future of Logistics

Internet of Things has been touted to be one of the most ground-breaking and definitive technologies of the present era. While the technology has been vividly utilized in the wearable tech, the same holds the potential of bringing about significant overhauls in the logistics sector. The prime benefit of IoT is real-time alerts and notifications, automated data collections from different machines, without requiring human intervention or interaction of any kind.

The same can define the future of logistics, by automating critical functions like automatic inventory management and asset tracking. For instance, with the help of IoT, companies can easily track what orders need to be fulfilled, how certain items are performing, or what other items needs to be replenished. By its extension, IoT can help companies gain better visibility in cargo shipments, if the same has been delivered carefully as desired, has it been opened etc. Furthermore, with IoT, logistics companies can also provide safer delivering, regulating the temperature, other environmental factors, etc. Thus, from fleet and warehouse management to shipment and delivery, IoT is going to have a positive impact on the overall logistics sector.

Warehousing operations to get a robotics makeover

Warehouse automation is often touted to be one of the most significant overhauls to look forward to. With the rise of online shopping across the globe, there has been a massive stress on logistics and especially, warehouse operations to be fastidious and quick. To the same end, several e-commerce giants are revamping the warehousing operations with robotics. In fact, back in 2016 that marked the onset of this trend, the market for logistics robotics had only accrued revenues worth USD 1.9 billion. However, as per the recent reports, the same is expected to rise to a whopping USD 22.4 billion.

Currently, several advancements are being made in getting robots to automate and fast-track a wide gamut of warehousing functions. This includes programming the robots to pick and pack, load and unload, perhaps also deliver the same. The use of robotics not only fast-tracks the processes, data collection, record keeping and inventory management, but also eradicates the scope for human error in the equation.

Blockchain tech in logistics management

Blockchain technology piqued to mainstream prominence with the growth of crypto-currencies like Bitcoin etc. As a distributed ledger, blockchain tech offers secured record keeping, traceability and transparency in transactions. In times to come, different industries will adopt the blockchain wave, and the logistics sector is no different. With blockchain, logistics firms will be able to provide their customers with better transparency and visibility into shipment, while avoiding any data counterfeiting, leaks or breaches.

In essence, logistics has been regarded as the backbone of the economy. In order for India to thrive and emerge as a global superpower, we need to develop this sector, equip it with innovative technologies, as mentioned above. A private and public sector partnership, along with favourable policies would definitely help usher India in an age of fast-tracked, efficient, and cost-effective operations.

Prabhakar Chaudhary

MD, HAL Robotics

Though he is from the engineering background, he has spend most of his time working for the team that builds great products @HALRobotics. He is focused on working with enterprises to make use of IoT to solve their specific problems.

He has 15 years of professional career working in the technology world. During this time, he has built dozens of products, enterprise applications and led many business units. He believes that in order for companies to stay relevant in today’s world, they have to push product innovation faster and harder.
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