Digital technology has reshaped the logistics industry. Businesses can now be strengthened by going digital in their operational processes. They could adapt to unique cultures by incorporating new initiatives and even redesigning customer experiences to respond to market demands and dynamic business scenarios. Nowadays, many companies are focusing on digitalization by using the latest digital technology to boost efficiency. For instance, many companies turn to a digital platform from providers to digitize their supply chain and centralize their operations. They invest in launching a unified technology platform to ensure the automation of information flow. Eventually, they can provide customers with quality and consistent services at lower human labor costs. This article discusses how logistics industries use digital technologies efficiently to improve the process.
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Cloud Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
Logistics is complex, involving many daily handling activities, making data sharing difficult with all parties involved at the same time. APIs are a technology that aids in the digital transformation of global logistics. APIs allow one computer program to make its data and functionality available to other programs by linking with it. IBM Watson Text to Speech service provides APIs that use speech-recognition capabilities to synthesize text into natural-sounding speech in a variety of languages, dialects, and voices. Therefore, users save time on manual typing or online searching. Well-designed APIs are critical for logistics service providers to provide shipment tracking, fully landed cost calculations, rate sourcing, and other logistics services via web and mobile apps. Improved logistics operations are enabled by allowing for real-time data collection, information sharing, and widespread internet connectivity. APIs help maintain a high level of accuracy, making it extremely quick, easy, and flexible to implement. APIs improve partner relationships while also reducing costs. The customer benefits from faster delivery and price transparency in the long run.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the network of physical objects “Things” using sensors, software, and other technologies to connect and exchange data. It helps connect virtually anything to the Internet and accelerates data-driven logistics. IoT plays an important role in solving bottlenecks at lower cost with better quality and providing efficiencies to logistics activities. IoT can save energy or avoid waiting times. The IoT connects more devices, transforming businesses into digital structures with greater intelligence and efficiencies, with stronger enhanced security. IoT is efficient in logistics, which provides continuous information sharing, goods tracking, reducing downtime, real-time error detection, reaction, anti-theft protection, and optimization of transportation. Using this connected technology, logistics companies can reduce costs, improve service levels, optimize fleet management, and reduce manual work, costly damage, or delays. During the COVID pandemic in 2020, DHL Smart Sensor, which leverages this technology, can be easily activated via smartphone and a DHL app. This device allowed DHL to safely and securely deliver billions of highly temperature-sensitive vaccines around the world in 2020. Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly aware that they have a variety of logistics options available to them.
Blockchain can help increase visibility across global supply chains by using advanced computing to resolve the immutable ledger. Businesses can use blockchain to track the history of a product from its inception to its current location. As a result, if the product is traded, the transaction is securely recorded, creating a permanent history from manufacture to sale. Blockchain improves global supply chains by allowing users to complete transactions directly and without the involvement of third parties. It supports lowering the risk of fraud. In the event of fraud, comprehensive records make organizations visible to the source. Companies can use shared blockchain to synchronize logistics data, track shipments, and even automate payment transactions without significantly altering their legacy systems. Walmart used blockchain to solve a common logistical problem: payment disputes with its 70 third-party freight carriers. With this powerful technology, parties on a shared platform could dramatically reduce transaction time delays and avoid human error. It is also allowing for greater integration of financial and logistics services and greater data collaboration among stakeholders. Therefore, product delivery is more cost-effective, product traceability is improved, partner coordination is improved, and access to financing is facilitated.