Hamburg, 23.11.2020- Barely any other area has to struggle as hard with narrow margins as logistics. This is true for logistics service providers and freight carriers, but logistics departments within companies are also used to high cost pressure, because intralogistics, for example, is not always seen as part of value creation, but merely as a cost factor. The right timing and meeting deadlines are therefore essential. While it used to be considered punctual if deliveries were made on the agreed day, the demands have now changed considerably: In many cases, calculations are no longer made on an hourly basis, but on a minute-by-minute basis. As a result, the complexity of calculations for a wide range of influencing factors continues to increase: In the future, nothing will work without real-time networking. These challenges can only be met with the help of digitalization. In a white paper, leogistics GmbH, a leading global partner in the design and implementation of digital software solutions for logistics and supply chain management, highlights how innovative technologies, including cloud, IoT (Internet-of-Things) and AI (artificial intelligence), can optimize time slot planning. For example, it highlights what makes modern slot management systems tick, the benefits of cloud solutions compared to on-premise models, and the use of AI algorithms in assessing real-world situations. It takes a look at the different perspectives and needs of shippers, carriers and customers, and highlights the key role of intelligently linking all partners using IoT and mobile apps for real-time tracking & tracing using GPS and sensor data. The white paper is available free of charge on the website www.myleodsc.com.
Intralogistics benefits from digitalization
According to a report by Logistics IQ, which takes a close look at more than 400 providers, the global warehouse automation market could more than double from $13 billion to $27 billion by 2025. The market researchers assume an annual growth rate of 11.7 percent. Contributing factors include the rapid rise in e-commerce and expectations of shorter delivery times. The research anticipates reductions of 65 percent in operational costs and 85 percent in warehouse space, as well as an increase in the use of IoT technologies for real-time data management.
Paint Points of the companies
Challenges on the company side include, for example, loading and unloading control, where information about delays in a truck’s approach is regularly missing or not passed on to drivers on the yard. Especially at peak times, there is a crush at the loading points. In addition, loading times are often dynamic and unplanned situations mean that booked time slots cannot be kept and suppliers have to live with long delays, which in turn causes backups on the site.
Question old concepts - consider use of modern technologies
At the latest, where several hundred or thousand transport transactions take place every day, the requirements go far beyond human planning capabilities and the manpower to do so would be far too expensive. Some carriers already check the status of thousands of trucks every minute so that they can reschedule at any time in the event of changes. Simulations can even be used to plan several days into the future, for example, to know where a truck might be needed in four or five days’ time for tours that don’t just go from A to B. In practice, many companies in their site logistics and just as many partners in the logistics chain are still at the very beginning as far as this degree of automation and networking is concerned. Especially a central tool, like time slot management, is in most cases not designed for new tasks and optimizations. For example, the majority of time slot systems cannot prevent long waiting times because they do not take into account the real situation, where delays are always caused by traffic disruptions or problems in internal logistics processes. In addition, often not all trucks are booked into the time slot system – the resource situation is therefore not mapped holistically.
The limitations of both traditional and many modern solutions contribute to maintaining the unsatisfactory status quo. At this point, companies should question their concepts and consider using modern technologies:
“Logistics expenses can account for up to 30 percent of manufacturing costs. More effective processes in site logistics are therefore increasingly decisive for competitive success. An important starting point here is above all the optimization of time slot management for loading and unloading. The key technologies for this lie in the use of AI algorithms, the integration of telematics data in IoT platforms that provide all partners with the necessary information, and in intelligent smartphone apps for those involved in the process. On this basis, loading and unloading processes are dynamically adapted to seamlessly digitally reflect real-world conditions. The technology is there – what is needed now is rethinking and organizational change,” expresses André Käber, CEO of leogistics GmbH.