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Top 5 Transportation Technologies That Transformed The Supply Chain Industry

Updated on August 13, 2021 | by Alex Smith

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It is safe to say that the effectiveness of the supply chain industry is closely linked to the transportation technologies it utilizes. With the rapid rise of globalization, manufacturers need to adopt robust technologies that can establish fluid and interconnected trade networks.

Fortunately, the transportation business is on par with the industry demands. With the sudden boom in e-commerce, consumers expect brands to deliver fast and secure – leaving no other choice for logistics, but to find new means. One such means is digital marketing services that promote the online range of your business. 

To be more precise, the technologies adopted by the transportation industry defines how smooth the supply chain industry performs. Here are five technologies in transportation that recently transformed the supply chain industry for the better.

1. IoT

IoT, the acronym for the Internet of Things, can be considered the heartbeat of every other technological innovation the transportation industry adopted in the 21st century. More precisely, IoT has transformed the way we live and interact with our surroundings.

IoT makes it possible for individuals to control their home temperature settings, even if they are thousands of miles away. Similarly, in the supply chain industry, stakeholders can monitor every aspect of their company.

Out of all this, one of the most significant applications of IoT is in fleet management – the process by which commercial vehicles are monitored and maintained. Before IoT, fleet managers had to rely on updates offered by drivers to know the location and status of consignments.

But with fleet management software for trucking companies, managers can track every vehicle, real-time, and pinpoint their exact locations – empowering them to provide precise answers to clients and oversee any forms of mishaps. 

2. Drones

From manufacturing to product delivery, drones can wear many hats in the supply chain industry. It is already being utilized by e-commerce giants such as Amazon for product delivery.

In warehouse management, drones offer a new way to track inventory. They can cut down the time taken for inventory counting, perform monotonous tasks, and significantly reduce workplace injuries.

Surveillance is another advantage of using drones in warehouses. They can help stakeholders to remotely perform warehouse safety inspections and identify infrastructural damages caused by corrosion or mismanagement.

The current regulations placed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) may force organizations to restrict the use of drones for delivery and other purposes within controllable environments.

3. Self-Driving vehicles

Due to the government’s current regulations, self-driving trucks with zero human assistance aren’t widely available or adopted yet. It will undoubtedly be made standard within less than a few years, considering the massive amount of expenses it can cut down.

Truck drivers no more have to suffer those long tiring miles. Although we are a few years away from fully implementing self-driving fleet vehicles, logistic companies are already utilizing its potentialities in controllable environments such as in shipping yards and warehouses.

With the industry facing a notable shortage of qualified truck drivers, autonomous trucks can be the most convenient answer. Self-driving trucks are also less prone to accidents as they entirely eradicate any forms of human errors and also save the time taken to make impulsive life-saving decisions.

Autonomous vehicles also ensure that your consignments are delivered at the right timings, as they have to be stopped for only repairs or fuel refilling. These vehicles will also enhance your brand’s reputation as they will always stick to the safety norms, unlike humans, who may adopt aggressive driving habits.

4. AI Dash Cams

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are extensively used throughout the supply chain industry. And one of their most useful applications is AI dash cams. Along with securing the consignments and the fleet vehicles, AI dash cams significantly reduces the chances of collisions.

With real-time detection, AI dash cams alert drivers if they are involved in any forms of high-risk behaviors. With tailgating being one of the biggest causes of accidents, these driver cams can proactively monitor and notify truck drivers if they are too close to a vehicle.

AI dash cameras also make it possible to see the routes taken by drivers to reach the destination. In case a driver is involved in any malpractice, managers can quickly alert the driver and stakeholders to minimize further losses.

AI dash cams can also help fleet managers to instantly review collisions and view footage of near-misses. Since there will be video evidence for any accidents, companies can protect their drivers against false claims. 

5. Electric Trucks

On a global scale, the carbon footprint of the transportation industry is a pressing issue. But thanks to electric trucks, such a concern is soon going to become a thing of the past. Not surprisingly, electric vehicles are capable of reducing CO2 emissions by a whopping 94%.

And for the supply chain industry, electric trucks are excellent means to cut down their expenses in fuels, which accounts for nearly one-third of the total costs of running fleet vehicles. Additionally, these trucks are capable of traveling at speeds higher than what trucks relying on fossil fuels can attain.

Electric trucks are superior in terms of fuel efficiency as well. They possess nearly 90% energy efficiency, whereas internal combustion engines have an average efficiency of 20% or lesser. Another reason why electric vehicles are beneficial for the supply chain industry is that they have fewer moving parts, which reduces maintenance costs.

The collision rates associated with electric trucks are significantly lower as these vehicles use steer-by-wire and brake-by-wire technologies. And in most cases, electric vehicles will have advanced safety features such as adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and automated lane guidance.

In Conclusion

With speed and quality being the critical demands of the stakeholders in the supply chain industry, transportation and logistics are undergoing a notable digital transformation. Within a few years, we are likely to witness unbelievable levels of optimization and cost-saving methods throughout the supply chain industry – from production to delivery.

In these times, it is imperative that companies keep up with technology to continue to retain customers and also to operate in a more efficient manner.

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