The Indian logistics industry is making giant strides, especially after the e-commerce boom. As per a study by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), the Indian logistics market is expected to touch USD 307 billion by 2020.
The sector is expected to grow and develop further and one of the major factors that will fuel the growth is technology.
Like any other sector, even the logistics industry is bound to grow and solve major challenges just by adopting new technologies. By doing this, businesses will be able to meet customer expectations with greater care, get goods faster, improve efficiency and even lower costs.
Moreover, in the near future, the industry will be based on the sensor technology. Thus, the companies that are transforming themselves have embraced technology, giving tough competition to their competitors.
"Technology has a very important and specific role to perform in logistic sector. Only through updated technology can logistics sector meet the customers' need and aspiration. New technology equipment can also take care of the safety and fast movement of the materials," said NECC Director Utkarsh Jain.
In this backdrop, companies will have to take full advantage of technology and streamline their businesses, expand areas of business, offer more than required and explore new collaborations.
Companies such as North Eastern Carrying Corporation (NECC) are using latest and updated technology to meet customer requirements and improve operational efficiency.
"We have latest ERP automation application in place, which helps us to improves our operation efficiency and also meet our customers' requirements in transfer of information in fields of tracking, warehouse management etc. We also have fitted GPS in our fleet to track consignments in real time. We also use an application-based system to capture marketing reports and customer information and also use it to digitally transfer and capture proof of delivery or POD, which is very critical in logistics," added Jain.
Technologies that are shaping the industry also include data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), predictive analysis and artificial intelligence.
As per a PwC report, adding machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to data analytics can deliver truly dynamic routing. Through these technologies, companies can get real-time data and ensure last mile connectivity.
For instance, automation is helping in reshaping the workforce. Some of the logistics companies are labour- intensive but they are becoming partially automated, removing obstacles in loading, unloading and adjusting routes.
Meanwhile, IoT is improving supply chain transparency, safety and efficiency. Adoption of data analytics, on the other hand, will improve customer experience and operational efficiency. The companies will be able to have better control on inventory and improve predictive maintenance.
Some companies are also adopting blockchain method, which enhances supply chain security and hiccups. However, it is to see how many companies will adopt robotics and reduce human workforce in warehousing.
The culture of logistics industry is set to change as startups have already been disrupting various models. Through drones and automation, they are changing the way industry functions.
"NECC has always been open to adopt new technologies and automation as per the market requirement. We in NECC are looking for new technologies which can reduce our operational costs and can improve our efficiency and productivity," said Jain.
Now, it is to see whether the logistics companies will transform, adopt technology and evolve to serve better like NECC. – Business Standard