The logistics industry is changing rapidly, and businesses that don’t adapt will be left behind. One of the most significant changes that we are seeing is the rise of logistics automation.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been a little over a decade since logistics automation started making waves throughout the business world. At the time, many companies were hesitant to make the switch, unsure of whether or not robots could take on the tasks of human employees.
Fast forward to 2022, and it’s safe to say that robotics have more than proved themselves in the world of logistics. Automation technologies like robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are helping to streamline the process of getting goods from Point A to Point B.
In this blog post, we’ll explore five ways that automation will drive your business forward in the coming years. So without further ado, let’s get right into it!
What is Logistics Automation?
Logistics automation is the use of technology to streamline the process of getting goods from Point A to Point B. This can include anything from robots that pick and pack orders to algorithms that route trucks based on real-time traffic data.
AI can handle distribution orders and optimize supply chain processes such as logistics planning, order processing, warehousing management, and inventory control. A fully-automated logistics system can monitor orders to ensure product safety and quality control at every step of production and distribution.
Logistics automation is made possible by various technologies, including robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
For example, logistics automation can be used to track inventory levels, process orders more quickly, and route trucks more efficiently. As a result, businesses can save time and money while also reducing their environmental impact.
Businesses can operate more efficiently and effectively by automating various tasks throughout the supply chain. As a result, they can improve their bottom line and better compete in the marketplace.
Who Uses Logistics Automation?
Logistics automation is used by various businesses, including manufacturers, retailers, and logistics providers. In addition, anyone who ships products or materials can benefit from using automation technologies.
According to a survey from Deloitte, companies across all industries are increasingly looking to technology to support their supply chain and logistics operations. In addition, 55% of respondents already use more or less advanced or fully automated technologies and expect that number to grow.
Online retailers were the leading pioneers in using predictive analytics to optimize their inventory, procurement, and replenishment processes. As a result, they realized that many customers are ready to pay premium prices for premium delivery services. In contrast, more price-sensitive customers can accept longer delivery times.
Such insights that technology provides are an excellent tool for business to optimize their logistics and supply chains while increasing customer loyalty and satisfaction.
While companies have been digitizing their supply chains for some time, recent global disruption and post-pandemic supply chain reality provided fresh urgency for change. In the face of these challenges, businesses are dedicated to further investing in automation and other digital technologies to improve their logistics operations.
Automation Types You Can Implement for Logistics?
Many different types of automation can be used in logistics, including:
Robotics: Robotics can be used for picking and packing orders. Robots can be used to reduce the workload of warehouse staff. They are particularly useful in e-commerce and warehouses for consumer goods.
Artificial intelligence (AI): AI can be used for tasks such as route planning and inventory management, as well as optimization of quality control during the manufacturing process.
Machine learning: Machine learning can predict customer demand and optimize shipping routes. It’s also beneficial in regards to forecasting customer demand and inventory optimization.
Automated storage and retrieval systems: These systems can help streamline the process of storing and retrieving products. They are often used in warehouses and distribution centers.
Transportation management systems: These systems can help plan and execute shipping routes more efficiently. They are mainly used by logistics providers and large businesses with complex supply chains. Still, they are also a perfect solution for smaller businesses bringing increased efficiency and operational cost reduction.
Warehouse automation technologies: Warehouse automation can assist in helping reduce the need for personnel and improve upon efficiencies within all your warehouse management systems. A logistics company will leverage warehouse automation for the automated storage of supplies and finished product inventory.
Automated guided vehicles: Autonomous vehicles are one of the more intriguing technical advances that are now being put in place to help logistics companies automate delivery and aid in route planning.
Robots and drones: Robots can be used to load and unload trucks and to sort and palletize products. Drones can be used for tasks such as last-mile delivery.
Ultimately, all forms of automation aim to make your business run smoother, better, and more efficiently. Most companies will begin by automating low-risk processes or areas that need a boost and not their entire operation.
From there, they can move on to automating more complex tasks or processes that have a more significant potential impact on their business.
As you begin to automate your logistics operation, you must keep your business goals in mind and choose automation solutions to help you meet those goals.
Reducing Costs Using Logistics Automation
There are many ways that companies can reduce costs using logistics automation.
For example, businesses can save time and money by automating tasks such as order processing and inventory control. In addition, automated systems can help improve the accuracy of orders and reduce the number of errors that occur, reducing the operational cost.
Another way that businesses can reduce costs using automation is by routing trucks more efficiently. Automated systems can use real-time traffic data to plan the most efficient shipping routes. As a result, businesses can save time and money on transportation costs.
Dedicated logistics software like Warehouse Management System or Transportation Management system can help streamline operations and increase operations efficiency, significantly reducing the operational cost.
What are the Benefits of Logistics Automation?
Companies of all sizes are looking for ways to lower their costs. The logistics robot process automation is one way. The AI-enabled technologies can transform businesses by eliminating human error, speeding up delivery, and reducing labor costs.
There are many benefits of using automation in logistics, including:
- Increased efficiency
- Cost reduction
- Scale and speed
- Improved customer sSatisfaction
- Environmental sustainability
Automation can help streamline various tasks throughout the supply chain, resulting in increased efficiency. For example, robotic arms can be used for picking and packing orders and in improving automation systems within warehouses. In addition, automated systems can help plan and execute shipping routes more efficiently. As a result, businesses can save time and money on transportation costs.
Automation can help to reduce labor costs and improve resource utilization. For example, businesses can save time and money by automating repetitive tasks within order processing and inventory control. In addition, automated systems can help improve the accuracy of orders and reduce the number of errors that occur. As a result, businesses can save money on business operations.
Scale and speed
Automation can help businesses to scale quickly and efficiently. For example, robotics can be used to load and unload trucks and to sort and palletize products. Drones can be used for tasks such as last-mile delivery. As a result, businesses can quickly and easily scale their operations to meet customer demand.
Improved customer satisfaction
Automation can help to improve delivery times and order accuracy, leading to improved customer satisfaction. Logistics automation provides better control of the shipments. It allows real-time tracking of the goods and gives customers real-time delivery status. Real-time notifications create credibility in the eyes of the customer and improve their overall satisfaction.
Automation can help reduce emissions and wasted resources, making logistics operations more sustainable. Optimal route planning lowers the fuel needs resulting in reduced pollution emissions. Efficient inventory planning enabled by technology can lower the level of non-performing and obsolete inventory, which reduces the write-offs and waste of resources.
Digital transformation in logistics, like in other aspects of our lives, is a new reality, and this trend will grow to be the norm within the world of logistics.
Many innovations have already been introduced, and new technologies will be further developed, thus simplifying processes and increasing the stability of the supply chain worldwide.
There are many benefits of using automation in logistics, including increased efficiency, cost reduction, increased accuracy, improved customer satisfaction, and environmental sustainability. As automation technologies grow, businesses will be able to improve their bottom line and better compete in the marketplace.