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BW Businessworld

Dawn Of TechLog To Transform India's Logistics

With its potential to transform the logistics industry, TechLog has the potential to radically improve India's economic performance and global standing. And that's something worth looking forward to

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Two significant trends pertaining to the logistics industry have emerged over the past decade or so. First, businesses have started viewing logistics not as a 'support function' but as a powerful differentiator. This shift has been brought about largely by the e-commerce wave, which has touched almost every business that had a physical product to offer. Second, the ingraining of technology as an integral part of logistics functions. Because one trend drives the other, we are now entering an era that can be described as TechLog, where logistics solutions are being built on the back of new, emerging technologies to improve and enhance traditional logistics. Reaping huge benefits from TechLog will be businesses which are dependent on the reliability of logistics to reach customers and markets in a fast and secure way. TechLog offers businesses faster transit times, greater ease of use, end-to-end consignment visibility, temperature-controlled capabilities and continuous, real-time tracking.

Better speed, reliability, and customer service
In logistics, routing is an understated element that has a huge impact on the customer. The safety of a customer's consignments is enhanced with the use of advanced routing technology. A combination of GPS and RFID technologies can be used to monitor a vehicle's location. RFID smart sensors can report data at short, periodic intervals when the vehicle is in motion, thus providing real-time analytics.[ ] These technologies have enabled dynamic routing capabilities, which factor in variables like road and traffic conditions and the weather and ensure both speed and reliability of customer service and delivery.

Smart routing technologies can thus yield faster transit times, elevated levels of reliability and transparency for consumers. These can even be used to develop apps that can offer end-to-end consignment tracking. This is important, because customers expect transparency in the entire logistics process and easy access to real-time information. Moreover, the use of Big Data and analytics tools to analyze data collected over extended periods can yield invaluable insights of the kind that provide customers with strategic advantage in their business. The ability to provide enhanced customer service of this nature will be a powerful differentiator for logistics providers in future.

Temperature monitoring and control for efficient cold chain logistics
The cold chain systems in developing countries, including India, do not have adequate temperature management systems. Almost 30-40 percent of all perishable goods in India are wasted before consumption because of the broken cold chain infrastructure and the unavailability of vehicles with high-quality cold-storage facility.  This can be corrected with the use of temperature sensors and data loggers that measure the temperature continuously during the journey and provide visibility into the operations of the refrigerating systems. Sensors and data loggers also serve to ensure that the shipment is not tampered with, at any point during transit.  

Industries such as dairy, e-commerce, packaged foods, pharmaceuticals and quick service restaurants are among those that will greatly benefit from improved and efficient cold chain logistics solutions that offer 24x7 real time tracking of temperature, proactive alerts using dedicated mobile apps, and non-editable offline data logger that gives end of trip records to triangulate temperature. Regular coordination between the control tower, drivers, and a pan-India operations team help to de-bottleneck transit delays, temperature deviations, and plan for contingencies. Organizations that can make the most of the value offered by efficient cold chain logistics will find themselves optimally positioned to maximize capacity utilization, enhance customer experience, minimize risk, and develop new business models.

Reduction in carbon footprint
Green logistics is increasingly becoming an important objective for all types of industries and all sizes of companies. A Eurostat study says supply chains can be responsible for up to four times the greenhouse gas emissions of a company's direct operations. The same report also points out transportation as the second-lp companies reduce their carbon footprint. Carbon emissions at the shipment level can be tracked in real time, and action plans can be developed for increasing the carbon efficiency and reducing costs. Something as simple as efficient route planning that lowers the vehicles' fuel consumption can reduce carbon dioxide emissions. A supply chain that's not carbon-efficient is not likely to be cost-efficient either.

An efficient logistics system plays a crucial role in the economic development of a nation and TechLog will have a far-reaching impact for businesses across India. With its potential to transform the logistics industry, TechLog has the potential to radically improve India's economic performance and global standing. And that's something worth looking forward to.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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logistics logistics platform

Neeraj Bansal

The author is CEO, DHL SmarTrucking

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