Technology and mobile applications affect business and logistics cannot escape it either, even though the revolution in logistics has not fully been implemented yet.
According to Zdeněk Kašpar, the Associate Director of Industrial & Logistics at CBRE, Warehouse automation, for instance, has only been involved the largest players in the market so far. This is not because companies lack an interest in new trends; implementing these trends does not always pay off due to the nature of their business.
Parcels on your mobile
However, what has fundamentally changed is the fact that storage and transport are much more frequently connected these days to delivering goods to the customer. This affects how e-shops work and how they communicate with their customers. “Shopping today is more like an experience and thanks to smart applications, customers can track their goods from the warehouse to them on their computers or mobile phones. They can also change some order parameters on-line and in real time as they would like, such as the place or time of delivery,” explained Zdeněk Kašpar.
In terms of using new technologies, E-shops are considered to be the most progressive, as not only are they trying to increase customer comfort but also deliver the order as soon as possible. In many regards, other business people in logistics learn from e-shops.
How to track goods in real time
Mobile applications that allow real-time tracking are mentioned by Pavlína Čurdová in the article Do Mobile Applications Play a Role in Logistics? on Elogistika.info. As an example, she uses the CEVA application for air and sea transport.
She also mentions applications that serve drivers by helping them track instructions and fleet management information etc. An example is the application developed by the start-up Keep Truckin. Inventory monitoring is another area where mobile logistics applications can be applied as well as logistics markets that connect carriers with customers.
According to Radko Novotný from Logistika.cz, digital forwarding platforms could result in fewer empty trucks and thus prevent unnecessary fumes. They interconnect shipments with carriers and reduce their unused capacities when trucks carry an “empty load”.
Warehouses are using autonomous systems
Companies are introducing technology not only for their customers but also into their warehouses, although it may be slower in general and are more complicated. Zdeněk Kašpar points to the expanding autonomous storage systems, which work without human intervention. Examples of this are autonomous trolleys in warehouses that operate via GPS. Manufacturing companies are also using trains to transport goods around halls. Their advantage is that they also collect data that companies can continue to work with by monitoring their performance or energy consumption, improve safety and reduce costs.
Still, according to Zdeněk Kaspar, logistics 4.0 is an idea rather than a fully developed reality. “Logistics companies in the Czech Republic haven’t yet fully reached the 4.0 revolution. However, it’s based on the situation in the local companies, as they don’t have as many orders as elsewhere in Europe and work under short-term contracts and under the pressure of flexibility that customers require. Since these technologies have a return on investment of around seven years, investing in automation isn’t worth it yet,” he explained. Nevertheless, he believes that automation in logistics has a promising future over the coming years, as the prices of the technology are falling and the lack of people in the labour market is deepening while it simultaneously improves safety and lowers costs.