The rising trend of e-commerce and retail online shopping has directly led to the improvement of distribution performance. In addition to the continuous expansion of the operating territory of local distribution companies, offline retail and mass stores have begun to carry out a series of measures to shorten delivery time and improve service quality.
What is Smart Logistics?
In the era of rapid development of online e-commerce, along with the maturity of big data, AI artificial intelligence, IoT, and other technologies, the digital transformation of the logistics industry is also more and more mentioned and concerned by the industry. Traditional logistics are gradually unable to keep up with market demand, and smart logistics has become the key to the upgrading of major industries. Whether it is retail, manufacturing, or online e-commerce, a strong logistics system is needed for support. The logistics industry, which originally quietly supported the basic operations of people's daily lives, has been forced to reinvent itself to cope with people's higher and higher standards. requirements. Under the integration of various new technologies, smart logistics came into being.
Smart logistics will apply IT technology to the entire closed logistics loop, including the information operation of procurement, transportation, warehousing, packaging, distribution, loading and unloading, and integrate the logistics, cash flow, and information flow of the supply chain, to realize the upstream to the downstream supply chain. Real-time information sharing in the whole process, and through various sensors, GPS systems, automated logistics equipment, etc., to realize the automation, visualization, and intelligence of logistics. By connecting adjacent production bases, we provide low-cost and high-efficiency logistics services, thereby increasing the smoothness and added value of products. Under the control of the IT information system, smart logistics connects all aspects of the logistics system, so that the system can fully perceive the entire logistics process, which is convenient for the timely handling of various emergencies and necessary independent adjustments.
What is the New Trend of Smart Logistics?
- Trend 1: Fast logistics
In line with the trend of the home economy such as ordering meals, delivery, and purchasing daily necessities after the epidemic, people's patience in waiting for delivery time has continued to decline, which is also due to the rise of fast logistics. Due to the continuous shortening of delivery time, it is difficult for upstream manufacturers such as e-commerce platforms, retail, and mass merchandisers to cooperate with a single logistics provider for delivery at this stage. They usually turn to strategic alliances to relay delivery by different fleets to speed up delivery efficiency. Furthermore, fast logistics brings challenges for logistics providers to process and exchange information flow, which is the main reason why the trend of fast logistics drives the development of smart logistics. Finding the shortest delivery route and permutation and combination is an overwhelming and necessary move.
- Trend 2: Decentralized Logistics
Distributed delivery consists of multiple stores, multiple warehouses, multiple pickup points, and multiple receiving points for distribution. Compared with the past, the logistics industry mostly collects and distributes after delivery. It can help operators to digest more distribution needs in a shorter time and with less fuel consumption. Distributed delivery will make more effective use of the value of logistics data. For example, in the future, 7-11 and the whole family plan to provide consumers with a 0.5-1-hour delivery service. The core of the shorter delivery time is the distance between the item and the picker. Whether it is the closest, not the speed of delivery itself, and to shorten the actual distance between goods and people, it is imperative to estimate the demand and supply of a specific store through an algorithm. In the future, through logistics data, it is necessary to be able to predict the sales volume of each warehouse and store to allocate warehouses. In retail online shopping, we use data to understand consumer inertia and help stores prepare required resources in advance. In e-commerce, we use algorithms to obtain the data of hundreds of thousands of daily shipments of receipts, pickups, the best arrangement, and the combination of pickup time and pickup location can achieve the most and fastest delivery results with the least resources.
- Trend 3: Unmanned
The unmanned trend is accompanied by two major problems in the logistics industry, which are the lack of labor and the huge volume of picking to be overcome. The unmanned demand comes from the shortage of distribution manpower. Due to the shortage of drivers, it is impossible to implement decentralized transportation. It can only be distributed through centralized transportation management processes. Therefore, on the technical side, policy side, and legal side, we can strive for some business offices to be replaced by unmanned transportation for distribution, which can effectively improve the problem of manpower shortage and realize the vision of decentralized distribution. On the other hand, the application of unmanned vehicles in smart warehousing, through the introduction of smart sorting and picking mechanisms, not only solves the problem of labor shortages in warehousing but also responds to the ever-increasing demand for transportation and collection and delivery after the epidemic.
Basic Functions of Smart Logistics:
- Perception function: Using various advanced technologies, it can obtain a large amount of information in various links such as transportation, warehousing, packaging, loading and unloading, distribution processing, distribution, and information services. Real-time data collection enables all parties to accurately grasp information such as goods, vehicles, and warehouses. Preliminary realization of perceptual intelligence.
- Regularization function: After sensing, the collected information is transmitted to the data center through the network for data archiving. After establishing a powerful database, add new data into categories, so that all kinds of data can be organized according to requirements, and the connection, openness, and dynamics of data can be realized. And through the standardization of data and processes, it promotes the integration of systems across the network and realizes regular intelligence.
- Intelligent analysis function: Use an intelligent simulator model and other means to analyze logistics problems. Make assumptions based on the problem. And in the process of practice, problems are constantly verified and new problems are discovered. To combine theory with practice. During the operation, the system will call the original experience data by itself, and find the loopholes or weak links in the logistics operation activities at any time. To realize the wisdom of discovery.
- Optimizing decision-making functions: Combine specific needs, evaluate cost, time, quality, service, carbon emissions, and other criteria according to different situations, evaluate probability-based risks, conduct predictive analysis, and make collaborative decisions. Propose the most reasonable and effective solution to make the decision more accurate and scientific. To achieve innovative wisdom.
- System support function: The concentrated expression of system intelligence in smart logistics is not an independent and unrelated logistics system for each link, but each link can be interconnected. A system that communicates what is available, shares data, and optimizes resource allocation, to provide the most powerful system support for each link of logistics, so that each link cooperates, coordinates, and collaborates.
- Automatic correction function: Based on the previous functions, according to the most effective solution, the system automatically follows the most efficient and effective route. And after the problem is found, it will be automatically corrected, and the backup will be on file. It is convenient for future inquiries.
- Timely feedback function: The logistics system is a real-time update system. Feedback is an indispensable link to achieving system correction and system improvement. Feedback runs through every link of the smart logistics system, providing a strong guarantee for logistics-related operators to understand the logistics operation and solve system problems promptly.
Common Implementation Modes of Smart Logistics:
- Operation mode of third-party logistics enterprises: Third-party smart logistics is different from traditional third-party logistics systems. Customers can place orders directly online, and then the system will standardize the orders. And pass it to the third-party logistics company through EDI. Third-party companies utilize sensors, RFID, and smart devices to automatically process cargo information, enabling real-time data collection and transparency. Accurately grasp information such as goods, weather, vehicles, and warehouses; use intelligent simulator models and other means to evaluate cost, time, carbon emissions, and other criteria, and deliver goods to customers safely, timely, and accurately.
- Logistics Park mode: In the construction of smart logistics parks, the advanced nature of the information platform and the integrity of supply chain management should be considered. E-commerce security. To ensure the fast and safe operation of business flow, information flow, and capital flow in the logistics park. Smart parks should have good communication infrastructure and a shared information platform system. Providing industry management information support means improving the industry management level. The establishment of a smart distribution center enables users to order timely and accurately, and tries not to make the orders required by users out of stock. Ensure the smooth flow of orders, shipping and distribution information.
- Large-scale manufacturing enterprise mode: The large-scale manufacturing enterprise mode requires that each object in the manufacturing enterprise can provide data about itself or objects associated with it, and can communicate these data. In this way, each object has data acquisition, data processing, and data communication capabilities, thereby building a network composed of a large number of smart objects. Based on the smart object network, all item information can be connected to form the Internet of Things. Enterprises have perceptual intelligence. All relevant information on inventory, production, market, etc. can be obtained in a timely, accurate and detailed manner. Then, through regular wisdom, the discovery wisdom finds out the problems, opportunities, and risks, and then the innovative wisdom makes timely and correct decisions and produces products that meet the market demand as soon as possible, to achieve the maximum benefit for the enterprise.
The Specific Role of Smart Logistics:
- Reduce logistics costs and improve corporate profits: Smart logistics can greatly reduce the cost of various industries, especially the manufacturing and logistics industries, thereby increasing the profits of enterprises, because the upstream and downstream of the supply chain cooperate through smart logistics to achieve information flow and enable logistics companies to save costs. Its key technology lies in the application of new technologies such as RFID and wireless positioning, which can effectively realize the intelligent management of logistics, strengthen the rationalization of logistics management, reduce logistics consumption, and improve the scale, connotation, and function of the logistics industry, and promote the upgrading and transformation of the logistics industry.
- Accelerate the development of the logistics industry and become the pillar of information technology in the logistics industry: Smart logistics will accelerate the development of the logistics industry, integrating warehousing, transportation, distribution, information services, and other functions, breaking industry restrictions, and optimizing the allocation of social logistics resources. At the same time, the logistics enterprises should be integrated, and the logistics resources that were scattered in many places in the past should be centrally processed, and the overall advantages and scale advantages will be brought into play to realize the modernization, specialization, and complementarity of traditional logistics enterprises. In addition, logistics operators can also share smart logistics infrastructure, supporting services, and self-training to reduce operating costs and cost expenditures and achieve economies of scale.
- Build the foundation for the intelligent integration of enterprise production, procurement, and sales systems: The popularization of RFID technology and sensing technology, as well as the vigorous development of the Internet of Things, will lay the foundation for the intelligent integration of the enterprise's logistics system, production system, procurement system, and sales system. The development of the Internet will inevitably produce intelligent production, the combination of the intelligent supply chain. And enterprise logistics is fully integrated into enterprise operation, breaking the boundaries of work procedures and processes, and building an intelligent enterprise.
- Allow consumers to save costs and shop easily and with confidence: By providing a variety of services such as goods inquiry and tracking, especially the source inquiry of food goods, smart logistics can make consumers feel at ease in buying and eating, increase consumers' purchasing confidence and promote consumption, and ultimately have a positive impact on the overall market.