How can carriers and delivery drivers be helped with a voice assistant?

Mujer usando el teléfono mientras conduce en el coche. Ayudar a los transportistas con un asistente virtual foto

En uno de nuestros webinars se ha hablado sobre cómo facilitar la vida de los transportistas con un asistente virtual. En él, Gandolapp y Washa Logistics han debatido sobre las condiciones que viven los transportistas y repartidores actualmente y cómo, con un asistente virtual, se vería beneficiado su desempeño laboral. Dicho tema nos resultó muy … Read more

What are the logistics trends for 2023?

Sistema de transporte global concepto abstracto ilustración vectorial. tendencias de logística para el 2023

Cuando se está finalizando el año, es hora de dar un repaso a las tendencias de logística para el 2023 y observar qué le depara a este sector tan desafiante pero imprescindible. Entre ellas se suele incluir desde nuevos avances tecnológicos que optimizan las operaciones logísticas hasta nuevas prácticas que buscan una mejor concienciación por … Read more

Why reverse logistics is key to Black Friday

Mujer angustiada hablando por teléfono mientras prepara paquetes - Logística inversa en el Black Friday

It's getting earlier and earlier when you start hearing offers weeks and even months in advance of Black Friday, a key date for Christmas pre-shopping. And that's because more and more large retail companies are deciding to extend these dates of consumption, launching offers before Black Friday and after Cyber Monday.

This translates into a supply chain that is less pressured by the bottleneck generated by a peak demand originally focused on a single day. However, there is a key element in peak demand strategies: reverse logistics due to the nature of the purchases and their expected high volume of sales, of which another large number of returns are expected after the holidays.

If you want to know the important points of reverse logistics on Black Friday and other demand peaks, take a look!

Packaging damage

According to this DS Smithstudy, it was estimated in 2021 that e-commerce shoppers would receive more than 14 million damaged and spoiled products and 64% of online shoppers had already claimed to receive their purchase in poor condition before. This results in a high volume of merchandise returns, especially if the price is more than 25 euros, and high consumer dissatisfaction.

This problem can be avoided without much mystery by applying the right packaging for each product or order. Either choosing the right package size without being unnecessarily bulky, applying suitable protectors for them and closing the box properly avoiding spaces that can be opened. Besides it is necessary to avoid overpacking because, sometimes, it turns out to be more counterproductive for the protection of the article and generate more waste of materials.

It should be noted that staff must follow instructions on how to handle packages, as quick but careless handling could cause knocks and damage the item. In addition, not all products are eligible for return because, if the shipping costs turn out to be higher than the price, it is decided not to take the package back to the warehouse and, instead, alternatives and compensation are offered to the affected customer.

Servicio de entrega urgente ilustración vectorial plana - Logística inversa en el Black Friday

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Why is the cold chain so challenging?

Página de aterrizaje isométrica de transporte refrigerado- retos de la cadena de frío vector

Cada tipo de producto acorde con el sector y las necesidades que posee tiene sus desafíos específicos en el momento de planificar sus rutas y transportarlos.  Uno de los más prominentes son los retos de la cadena de frío, de la cual es necesaria para abastecer y distribuir productos que suelen ser imprescindibles como alimentos … Read more

3 questions most frequently asked by customers about the supply chain

Gente de negocios usando una tablet digital. Preguntas frecuentes sobre los modulos logisticos

More and more companies are betting on the digitization of their logistics processes in order to optimize costs, obtain visibility of the movement of goods, improve communication between staff, among others. The different logistics solutions on the market can focus on a single function or can come with several modules.

However, there are a number of questions that customers interested in Hedyla software often ask about lesser-known integrated modules that complement more complete solutions such as a TMS or route optimizer. What in particular do these modules consist of and how are they helpful?

If you want to learn more about the logistics software modules less known by the market, read on.

Digital Twin

As its name suggests, the Digital Twin is a physical representation of any object or process to be replicated. In this case, it is used to create simulations of delivery routes, either in route optimizer or in the TMS.

In order to create the digital twin, it is necessary to collect data from the company's historical routes. It is useful to contrast them with the optimized routes based on the applied operational and business constraints. In this way, you can see the changes that will be applied to the new delivery routes and the time and resources that will be required to implement them.

The scenario simulator is also used for consulting projects for scenario analysis. In this way, changes in the supply chain and production lines can be better evaluated, such as analyzing the location of new logistics centers, among others. Its main function is to make better decisions based on productivity, efficiency and costs.

Ilustración vectorial del concepto de asociación. Preguntas frercuentes sobre los modulos logisticos.

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4 advantages of Click and Collect in logistics operations

vehículo de transporte furgoneta de reparto dibujos animados. Ventajas del Click and Collect

The importance of implementing sustainability in supply chain processes is often discussed from the point of view of the logistics and transportation industry. In this case, in terms of sustainability, users demand both commitment and convenience in the delivery of their orders. However, these desires are not compatible with a genuine commitment to the environment, at least not with the technology currently employed.

One of the rising trends in the retail sector is Click & Collect, an option that has gained prominence in recent years and offers several advantages for both the store and the consumer, including reducing carbon emissions.

If you want to know the advantages of Click and Collect in logistics operations, take a look!

Accorciare l'ultimo miglio

The last mile often has a number of challenges that have arisen in recent times, which are difficult to circumvent and employ good capillarity in delivery. For example, restrictions on the entry of large vehicles into urban centers and difficult access to certain addresses with very narrow streets along with the common challenge of facing the usual traffic congestion of large cities.

With Click & Collect , the final destination is shortened, being its ultimate transport objective that it arrives at the establishment meeting the established objectives. However, it still depends on the location of the premises, which will be easier if it is located in a shopping center on the outskirts with a good platform for unloading goods or just as difficult if it is in a pedestrian area in the heart of the city. Nevertheless, it is still a very economical option for both the logistics operator and the company.

Avoid missed deliveries

One of the biggest inconveniences faced by deliveries to the end customer is that they are not completed successfully. Among its main causes are the absence of the end customer at the home or office, generating more inconvenience for redelivery, which results in more reverse logistics costs. In addition, not all logistics operators can guarantee that the order will arrive in a very specific time slot requested by the customer.

El Click & Collect gives the guarantee of successful delivery of the package and the freedom to pick it up at the store or post office when the customer is available. This is as long as it does not exceed the order booking period (usually about 15 days) and within the business hours of that establishment. Although time restrictions can be eliminated with the option to store them in automatic lockers accessible 24 hours a day.

Empresaria preparando el envío de paquetes. Ventajas del Click & Collect

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3 sectors that need to optimize their logistics in e-commerce

Do you know the sectors with e-commerce potential that need to consolidate their logistics operations? Discover them in this list.

We are already familiar with one of the key events that has affected the economy and most of the known sectors on a large scale: the confinement and restrictions due to the pandemic. With the impossibility of opening dispensable physical stores and offering face-to-face services, both large and small companies have had to reinvent their models against the clock to circumvent and adapt to this scenario.

As a result, the e-commerce sector is one of the sectors that is gaining more and more relevance due to the changes that consumers have made in the face of this abrupt change in their habits and are now accustomed to this way of consuming. However, there are important sectors that are not progressing as much in the e-commerce section as expected despite the demand to offer this type of business.

If you want to know some of the sectors with e-commerce potential that need to mature their services, take a look!

Pharmacy

According to this study, more than 75% of patients prefer to use the services of a telepharmacy or receive their medicines at home instead of going to the pharmacy in person, with 9%. However, pharmaceutical e-commerce in Spain has only experienced a growth of 2% compared to other countries such as Italy and Germany, which have had a growth in turnover of 34% and 10% respectively.

This is because infrastructures still need to be improved to ensure data protection on the part of patients and to enable them to use these services at home. Despite this, the pharmaceutical sector has had very good communication in the supply chain to cope with the health crisis and ensure the supply of several drugs.

It is worth noting that one of the solutions that has potential in the face of occasional drug shortages is FarmaHelp, a digital platform that allows a pharmacy to notify and contact other nearby pharmacies when a drug is out of stock and there are supply problems so that the patient can receive it in time. 

ilustración del concepto de dropshipping amplio. sectores con potencial en el e-commerce

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4 challenges your company must take into account when installing a TMS

Edificio isométrico de almacén con camión de reparto. retos al instalar un TMS

As new logistics software solutions are being created to improve part of the supply chain processes, there are also challenges or mistakes that are often made in the use and installation of a TMS system. While it is true that more and more companies are taking the step to digitize and optimize transportation management, it is possible that operations are not performing as well as expected.

Se queste irregolarità non vengono affrontate, si perde la fiducia nel sistema di soluzioni logistiche, con conseguente insoddisfazione dei clienti e dell'azienda. Quindi, quali sono gli errori o le sfide più comuni quando si implementa e si applica efficacemente un TMS? Va notato che si stima che tra il 20% and 30% of the companies actively use a TMS.

If you want to know the most common challenges when installing a TMS and using it effectively, take a look!

Data collection

One of the challenges in installing a TMS that are also important and notable in the supply chain is that logistics operators and carriers are not yet able to reconcile their data. Such a challenge poses a problem in case there are service failures that have not yet been detected.

It is evident that every company in every part of the supply chain collects separate KPIs or SLAs from those that are stored on their own servers and systems. By the time dashboards are made for analysts or errors are reported via e-mails or spreadsheets, the information received is usually not accurate and the process is very tedious.

Therefore, it is important that the TMS or other similar software such as an ERP be able to collect and share data from both operators and carriers, avoiding irrelevant or erroneous information. However, it is recommended that such sharing can be done as smoothly and efficiently as possible, avoiding delays that cause misinformation about the status of transport.

Revisione della strategia

Before considering installing a TMS, as with any project, it is essential to establish a solid and realistic strategy in order to assign coherent objectives related to this action. In addition, all documents on departments, carriers, among others, must be updated and in order to start implementing them in the TMS.

However, it is possible that the TMS may begin to show unsatisfactory results or detect more frequent and more serious errors. In the event that the TMS does not have many problems collecting accurate information, one of the most likely cases is that the current strategy has become obsolete due to internal company or external changes affecting a large part of the industry.

In such a case, the established strategies and objectives should be revisited to see if they fit with the current landscape. If inconsistencies are detected, the strategies and objectives need to be redirected. An example would be if there have been very large changes in fleet volume, either a reduction or expansion of vehicles and carriers.

gestión de la flota. Retos al instalar un TMS

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Is sustainable packaging suitable for industrial sectors?

Mujer joven trabajando en un almacén y encintando una caja de cartón para su envío. packaging sostenible

One of the rising trends in recent years is the use of sustainable packaging in consumer sectors such as e-commerce and the Horeca channel. This is because new generations of consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of packaging and are willing to support brands and companies that show such commitment to the planet.

However, how is this trend affected in the B2B and industrial sectors? Is it necessary to make many changes in operations to adapt to a different packaging than the traditional one?

If you want to know the key points of sustainable packaging within the B2B industry, take a look!

Overpacking or underpacking of products

When product or e-commerce distribution routes are not well defined, there is a risk of over-packing or under-packing orders. On the one hand, you are not promoting sustainability, wasting more material than necessary and, on the other hand, you would be leaving items too unprotected with the risk of being damaged.

However, there are products that must comply with current regulations that require overpacking, such as dangerous goods. For this reason, in operations involving packaging, picking and route planning, it is advisable to apply new measures to use the required amount of material, paying attention to the routes planned by a route optimizer.

One example that helps to avoid overpacking is cardboard boxes of various heights with adjustable volume to optimize space and material used.

Sustainable materials

It is already known that cardboard boxes are one of the most popular options for packaging orders, especially in e-commerce, in addition to the fact that this type of material is recyclable. But, within the more industrial sectors, what options are there to replace, for example, the plastic boxes in which food is loaded?

To this end, recyclable plastics made from recycled plastic or vegetable biomass have been developed with efficient designs that are resistant, light and space efficient. In addition, the Waste and Contaminated Soil Law has been updated to promote the circularity of materials.

póster isométrico de la línea de producción de la fábrica automatizada. packaging sostenible

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Differences between Push and Pull distribution

Ilustración isométrica de un almacén. diferencias entre distribución push y pull vector

It is known that inventory management is based on the structure and objectives of the company's distribution network according to the sector in which it operates. This is done by deciding on the distribution channels through which to deliver products to customers and seeing which are the most optimal in terms of customer service and cost and resource savings.

To this end, there are two ways to fill inventory in a distribution channel: Push and Pull. Knowing their definitions and their advantages and disadvantages is crucial to choose the right strategy according to the industry you work in and your needs.

If you want to know the differences between Push and Pull distribution, their benefits and drawbacks and for which cases one strategy or the other is intended, read on.

Push Distribution

In a Push distribution system, it is the manufacturer or supplier that decides how many units of product are manufactured and distributed. First, they aggregate all the lower level storage points to historical demand and then perform demand forecasting to determine quantities. Next, replenishment inventory is shipped through the warehouses from the originating supply facilities.

This method makes the first nodes of the supply chain responsible for replenishing the stock, manufacturing the efficient amount of goods to be able to ship them to their distributors and avoid excess inventory.

Push Advantages

One of the advantages of this method is that high inventory levels can be maintained by predicting demand to generate a safe stock level. This is a producer-centric strategy. Therefore, for products that have peaks in demand at specific times of the year or are in high demand throughout the year, such as the food sector, such an approach is effective.

Push Disadvantages

However, one of the most notable drawbacks of Push distribution is that, as this decision is made by the lowest nodes in the supply chain, it is far removed from the actual demand being demanded by current customers. For this reason, it suffers from a notable lack of transparency and visibility into the needs of those customers.

That is why it is difficult to adjust to peaks in demand that are difficult to predict and provide good service, usually causing stock-outs. In addition, it requires good management to maintain a good product flow.

foto-media-hombre-usando-auriculares. diferencias entre distribución Push y Pull foto

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Logistics KPIs and the importance of analyzing them

Cerrar la mano del hombre de negocios ocupado en el escritorio de oficina en el cuaderno y documentos de trabajo - KPIs de logística foto

In many professional fields, especially in business, it is of utmost importance to collect data and organize it into performance measures, better known as KPIs. Because you can analyze performance with numbers, either a quantitative or qualitative value, you have clearer information about the progress of your objectives.

It is very important to establish logistics KPIs because they have one of the highest costs along with manufacturing and marketing expenses. This would result in huge losses if they are not properly monitored. This is when we ask ourselves, what are the essential KPIs to accurately measure your logistics objectives?

If you want to learn more about the different areas of logistics where the logistics KPIs cannot be missing in the dashboard, take a look!

Storage

It should be noted that warehousing should not be confused with inventory or stock because these indicators do not indicate the stock itself. KPIs are about analyzing the internal processes that take place in warehouses, such as picking and order preparation.

An example of logistics KPIs used in warehousing is the unit cost of warehousing which calculates their respective expenses. Apart from that, to analyze warehouse performance and productivity there are the KPIs of on-time complete delivery rate and internal cycle time that serve to calculate the time elapsed between the order request and the dispatch of the order itself.

Inventory

This is, of course, one of the most important sections of logistics because it deals with the products themselves and the stock that circulates through the supply chain. In addition to the fact that classifying and sorting the different types of stock is paramount to its proper functioning, so is assigning objectives and their respective logistics KPIs.

For that, the KPIs to be commonly taken into account are the following: Stock Breakage to analyze how many times the inventory has been emptied and what can be improved, Stock Turnover to estimate how many times the inventory needs to be renewed and, of course, inventory costs. It is worth mentioning that a high Inventory Turnover means that profits are being made on sales.

Ilustración de concepto abstracto de kpi - KPIs de logística vector

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How has AI been successfully applied in the supply chain?

examples of artificial intelligence in vector logistics

Artificial Intelligence is known to be a growing trend in many industries around the world. And it is no mystery when logistics and transportation are looking for ways to apply such technology for the improvement of all their operations within the supply chain. From back office solutions to IoT control solutions, there are several examples of artificial intelligence in logistics.

However, for people who are not deeply involved in the industry, it is not very clear to them what specific operations AI is involved in. What are the current supply chain issues for the supply chain to be optimized with AI? And what advantages does this technology confer over the competition?

If you want to learn how AI is being applied in supply chain management with these examples of artificial intelligence in logistics, take a look!

Warehouse automation

Sectors such as e-commerce have gained much relevance in recent years, so the increase in demand and the need for a more efficient storage management call for a solution. For this reason, there has been a notable trend in warehouse automation as one of the notable examples of artificial intelligence in logistics.

Warehouse automation encompasses various operations, from the application of automated storage systems with stacker cranes to warehouse management software. Within it, they use data analysis and demand forecasting to coordinate various processes in the warehouse.

And not only do they perform this step, but they synchronize the tasks of both the operators and the automated systems. In this way, personnel can focus on other tasks.

Inventory control

This operation usually goes hand in hand with warehouse automation and, it seems, is going to be an essential element for companies. Currently, it is known that the volume of shipments is dropping considerably due to inflation, as a result of which stock is accumulating and will take longer than desired to accumulate in the warehouse.

First, the warehouse is stocked with the right amount of inventory according to demand prediction based on previous sales, market analysis, among others. Then, automation systems would be unified with catalog control to improve stock visibility by alerting on low stock levels and detecting defective products and packaging before they are shipped via AI cameras or sensors.

Thanks to one of the examples of artificial intelligence in logistics, it is possible to reduce error margins and time spent on tasks, obtaining high customer satisfaction and competitive advantage over other companies where logistics plays a crucial role.

Primer plano de un ordenador portátil que ejecuta un algoritmo que analiza el código en el escritorio frente a los programadores que trabajan en equipo - ejemplos de inteligencia artificial en la logística foto

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Which route will get you to your customer first?

Tiro medio hombre hablando por teléfono. cómo llegar antes a tu cliente foto

One of the most important and, at the same time, tedious tasks to perform in a company with logistics and transportation is the calculation and planning of routes for a specific day or week. With the increasing number of challenges in the industry such as low-emission zones, high fuel prices and higher demands for satisfactory customer service, it is necessary to re-manage routes to adapt and become more efficient.

Para encontrar la ruta definitiva que hará llegar antes a tus clientes se deben de tener en cuenta varias características de las paradas, vehículos y restricciones, entre otras. Además de mantener una comunicación sólida ante cualquier incidente que pueda ocurrir, ya sea un factor interno o externo.

If you want to know the key factors for optimizing delivery routes and how to reach your customer faster, take a look!

Distances between delivery points

Entre los principales factores que se piensan primero cuando se habla de optimizar rutas de reparto son las distancias entre el centro logístico y los puntos de entrega. Además de que es más sencillo calcular una ruta concreta en cuanto echamos un vistazo a la proximidad entre varios puntos de entrega.

Generally, if other factors and constraints are not taken into account, one of the best routes is the one that starts with the stop closest to the warehouse. And then follows the second stop close to the first, and so on until you have finished with all orders and return to the logistics center.

However, a simple glance at delivery points can hide narrow and difficult to navigate last-mile streets that can significantly delay deliveries. Consequently, this factor is one of the first to be considered when creating a "sketch" route and then assigning drivers, vehicles and other constraints.

Delivery and staffing schedules

It is known that, with a number of batches or individual orders for a specific day, a delivery time zone is agreed with the users when calculating routes. However, these customers are increasingly requesting more precise time zones, according to their needs. Therefore, such orders must be assigned to the carrier with shifts and agreements that are compatible with the assigned time slot.

It should be noted that special attention must be paid to labor restrictions for carriers. For example, drivers are not allowed to work more than 6 hours at a time without a break in a day, so they must rest for a minimum of 30 minutes. If it is a very long route, the appropriate time slot would be assigned in accordance with the regulations and, if necessary, another carrier would be assigned to cover the shift. Not to be forgotten are the hours when loading and unloading is allowed in the cities or at the logistics center receiving the delivery.

Punto de entrega concepto abstracto ilustración vectorial. cómo llegar antes a tu cliente vector

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Do you know how to manage your fleet and get the most out of it with a TMS?

Mujer joven preparando paquetes para su entrega y escaneando el código de barras - administrar tu flota con un TMS foto

Fleet management is an arduous and tedious task in which it is easier than we would like to admit to make mistakes and pay for it with poor performance and loss of time and money. For this, there is the option of managing your fleet with a TMS to assist, optimize and automate operations.

However, TMSs are thought to be a product exclusively for large companies with huge fleets because of their sophistication and complexity. But, nothing could be further from the truth, any company that manages its supply chain and operates with a transportation fleet has the need to install a digital control tower for cargo operations.

If you want to know the advantages of managing your fleet with a TMS, take note!

Allows you to organize the company and grow with it

Thanks to the ability of a TMS to collect all the necessary information about your fleet, your customers and your orders, it is now possible to unify all the data in one place. This eliminates the need to go through calls, messages, e-mails and paper documents to check the accuracy of accounts, which wastes too much time and resources.

Therefore, apart from the ease of successful operations, it is also much easier to collect the KPIs applied to your monthly, quarterly and even annual targets and act on them. In addition, thanks to better communication and customer satisfaction, it allows the company to grow and adapt to the volume of demand, because it takes just a few steps to add new vehicles and new hires to the TMS database.

Avoid unnecessary calls

Usually, to carry out the transportation of an order, either to get it to the distribution center or to the end customer, a team member is needed to make the calls to the shipper and the broker to check the availability of the freight and agree on a rate. With this action, too many time and financial resources have already been invested that may result in the freight not being available or not being dealt with by the people involved.

However, the TMS automates this entire process, as the system collects information about the available fleet and sends this data to customers in very few steps and time invested. In this way, time is spent on other tasks and relationships with shippers and intermediaries are improved, and they are eager to return to your services because of their effectiveness.

It is worth noting that shippers are looking for their automated processes to adapt to the automated processes of third parties, as they want to leverage their investment in a TMS and would be burdened by doing business with a logistics operator that does not have one.

Ilustración vectorial del concepto de solicitud de presupuesto de flete - administrar tu flota con un TMS vector

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How vacations affect logistics and distribution

Worker loading a box onto a truck-vacation in the logistics vector

El verano ya está aquí y sin duda, es la época del año en la que la mayoría de la gente tiene y/o decide coger sus vacaciones. Se conocía que tiempo atrás gran parte de las empresas, incluidas con logística, cerraba por descanso del personal durante el mes de agosto, con la excepción de sectores … Read more

How to plan the management of light electric vehicles?

Hombre de entrega montando bicicleta con paquete - gestión de vehículos ligeros eléctricos foto

When people often talk about a fleet of vehicles, their most familiar image is usually that of trucks, trailers and even vans, given their relevance in the logistics industry. However, we should not forget the latest protagonists in terms of alternative vehicles to the usual ones: motorcycles and bicycles.

More and more companies have already implemented electric light vehicle management, promoting sustainability and last mile capillarity. However, how can you have control over a fleet of motorcycles and bicycles? Does it differ much from a conventional fleet of trucks and vans?

If you are curious about the following points to keep in mind when controlling a fleet of light vehicles, take a look!

Define a fleet management strategy

Like any logistics fleet, such a fleet requires a good strategy in its respective document in order to be in line with the needs and other business strategies. In particular, if one takes into account objectives such as the sustainability of the activities for which an electric light vehicle management can grant.

It should be noted that a fleet strategy must be connected to the fleet policy, which establishes everything that can be covered by the strategy, both its objectives and the rules to be followed by both the personnel involved and the drivers. Consequently, it is essential that all the organization involved in the fleet participates in the realization of the strategy so that the strategy is defined in a realistic and well realized way.

Automate routine tasks

Fleet management (and, for that matter, electric light vehicle management) is known to have very tedious tasks and optimizing time and cost savings is paramount to improving the efficiency of the process. These include paperwork, MOT, fines, regulatory compliance and supplier cost invoices, and so on.

Therefore, the automation of manual processes is an almost essential step because of the numerous benefits it provides. Among its advantages are reducing the number of unnecessary tasks, going paperless, creating the possibility of analyzing data collected from operations and improving the use of human resources.

Mensajero profesional que entrega el pedido en la ilustración plana de scooter - gestión de vehículos ligeros eléctricos vector

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4 warehouse location strategies

Foto de parque industrial creado por 4045 - ubicación de los almacenes foto

Since the onset of the pandemic, it is clear that there has been considerable growth in the e-commerce sector. As a result, both online retailers and logistics operators have been working to improve and implement all the necessary changes in both warehouse management and last mile distribution. However, large retailers and distribution centers have gone a step further in the location of warehouses.

It is known that 82 logistics parks have been opened in Spain in the last 2 years, which is a remarkable number considering the impact of the e-commerce boom. However, what strategies are companies taking into account to locate their activities in certain logistics centers? If you want to know them, take a look!

Product features

This is one of the most important factors in warehouse location, as the product to be sold or distributed is at the heart of the business model, whether B2B or B2C. However, several components of the goods such as durability, intrinsic stability and manageability must also be taken into account.

Durability is a fundamental aspect when it comes to fresh goods where they are to be consumed soon after purchase such as foodstuffs. While intrinsic stability is a relevant factor for chemical products where mishandling can cause health problems, so they are safer, being stored only at their production plant and points of use. Handling is also an important point for bulk liquids and aggregates because it is not convenient to store them in many places and transfer them until they are already packaged. 

Production capacity

Another aspect to be taken into account in the location of warehouses is the storage capacity, which is in proportion to the amount of manufacturing and/or imports by suppliers. But it is not only a question of focusing on volume, but also of paying attention to other factors such as the degrees of transformation.

The degrees of transformation classify goods on the amount of processing required to become the manufactured product they distribute (which may not necessarily be destined to the final consumer depending on the business model). A product with a low degree of conversion is usually one that needs only to be packaged and/or processed such as fresh goods. While an item with a medium or high degree of modification are those that go through many or many developments and changes to make them suitable for sale such as industrial materials, so it might need several warehouses for the raw materials involved in manufacturing.

Finally, it is known that a distribution network is mainly composed of the following three characteristics of the warehouses: the number, location and types of warehouses. Keeping these aspects in balance in order to be as profitable as possible is not at all simple because of the tedious planning involved, apart from the fact that there are two important factors to take into account: the composition and the distribution in the marketing network.

Vector de cadena de suministro - ubicación de los almacenes vector

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Crisis in maritime transport

Cargo barge moored at port dock loading with colorful cargo containers isometric composition isometric vector illustration-vector shipping crisis vector

Usually, the focus of attention is usually placed on land freight transport, on issues that are up to date such as the lack of carriers, traffic restrictions in cities, the digitization of the sector, among other aspects. However, a crisis is occurring in maritime transport and it is currently in the spotlight because of the great collapse of one of the key pieces of the most important supply chain worldwide, since 80% of international trade depends on this means.

However, how did it come to this point of crisis in the ports? How is it going to affect the supply chain? If you want to learn more about the crisis in shipping, you have to take a look at the following points that make it up:

Shanghai port collapse

One of the world's most important ports, the port of Shanghai, has suffered a considerable hold-up of cargo ships, which is already greatly affecting certain supply chains such as the technological ones that focus on tablets and screens. Its main cause is the resurgence of covid-19 which has led to strict confinements in several residential apartments and limited the work of millions of inhabitants, including factories.

In this situation of the shipping crisis, if raw materials are increasing in price due to inflation because of the pandemic stoppage, the cost of these same materials along with their transportation could increase much more. It should be noted that prices may increase particularly in the technology and appliance sector, in addition to the fact that these products will run out and take longer to be replenished due to delays. 

Sustainability rate

Cargo ships are known to be one of the main culprits of the greenhouse effect that is already threatening climate change. Several entities are already thinking about how to tackle this problem in the face of the decarbonization of maritime transport and one of the solutions proposed is the application of the "emissions market".

Undoubtedly, such a decision may cause a misuse of the same tax because companies would choose to "flee" European ports and resort to other international ports without this type of restrictions. If this is the case, the main objective of reducing emissions would end up being in vain and other ways of applying sustainable taxes should be considered. In addition, the current crisis in maritime transport would delay the implementation of this type of measures.

Fotografía aérea de la terminal de contenedores-crisis en el transporte marítimo foto

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Hedyla en el e-Show de 2022

stand de Hedyla e-Show 2022

La semana pasada parte del equipo de Hedyla ha estado presente una vez más en el e-Show de 2022 que tuvo lugar en la Fira de Barcelona, en particular en el recinto de Montjuic. Este año se ha notado más afluencia que el año pasado gracias a la relajación de las restricciones de la pandemia. … Read more

4 Logistical decisions to be made by Artificial Intelligence

Ilustración del concepto de cara de robot. decisiones logísticas que tomará la inteligencia artificial vector

Whether in the digitization of processes or digital transformation, artificial intelligence is increasingly present among companies in any sector. But logistics stands out, as companies today seek to streamline their digital operations and/or change their strategy to meet current industry demands, looking for the best logistics decisions that Artificial Intelligence will make.

There are currently many options and tools with AI on the market that, rather than offering a magic solution to all problems, help in the management of the most complicated processes and assist in making decisions in the face of difficult challenges to solve. Some of them have already been heard a lot about due to their recent use in large companies, but others are not so well known.

The following are the types of logistics decisions that Artificial Intelligence will make in both operations and strategy.

Demand forecasting

It is no mystery to know the most popular peak demand times such as Christmas or Black Friday, when most industries are affected. However, each sector and, in particular, each company knows its own order increases in more or less detail depending on the times and data from previous years, among other aspects.

Despite this, the optimal number of stock is not always right in order not to suffer losses due to excess or broken stock due to its incredible complexity determined by both external and internal factors. That is where AI comes in to plan demand based on algorithms that calculate previous years, marketing campaigns and even taking into account some external circumstances such as changes in laws.

Reverse logistics costs

Reverse logistics is known to be one of the biggest challenges for a company running a supply chain. This is because the cost of a return is much higher than that of a shipment because it is not only a matter of bringing the product back to the warehouse. It is not only a matter of bringing the product back to the warehouse, but also a rigorous administrative management to reintroduce it to the active stock, repair it if necessary, or destroy it if the previous steps cannot be applied.

At this point is when Artificial Intelligence comes in to make decisions based on several criteria, but whose main objective is to assess whether to process the return of the order or not. To do this, the AI takes into account such obvious factors as the cost of the refund, but also other not so obvious ones such as the condition of the product to consider its resale and even the buyer's history to analyze his behavior with the brand.

Once these facts have been analyzed, the AI can make two decisions: either not to process the return, but to pay the customer if the costs are not profitable, or to process it when the losses are not so serious for the company's economy. Not forgetting that the dissatisfied consumer is also analyzed in terms of his brand loyalty and whether he will be penalized for processing too many returns.

Hombre usando un asistente digital en su tableta. decisiones logísticas que tomará la inteligencia artificial

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3 logistics solutions for the wine sector

Manos de personas recibiendo una botella de vino tinto. soluciones logisticas para el sector vitivinícola foto

Two years after the beginning of the pandemic, we can confirm that the wine sector is gradually recovering. That is because its consumption is growing to pre-pandemic levels after the presence of really important stock problems derived from the lack of sales and reduction of production due to the pandemic.

On the other hand, we should not overlook the current threats to post-pandemic recovery that also affect the other sectors. From the increase in the price of supplies and their shortage to the political and economic tension caused by the invasion of Ukraine, which have left a difficult panorama for the restoration.

One solution for logistics in the wine sector to cope with the growing demand and cost savings has been digitization and with it, the use of digital tools to improve internal processes. In this case, the planning of e-commerce and in-store distribution routes and the tracking of deliveries through a mobile application have improved the quality of service. The customer is the most important thing and a mistake in delivery can be catastrophic for their confidence and satisfaction.

But let's go a step further and discover the ways in which logistics solutions for the wine industry can help in the supply chain. Here are some of them:

Transportation Management

An essential part of logistics in the wine sector is transportation. We are talking about a product that is sensitive not only to sudden temperature changes but also to the duration of the journey. To this must be added the weight of glass, which in some cases can exceed the maximum authorized weight and the consequent penalty that this entails.

With a transport management system we will be able to optimize not only the specific loads needed but also the routes. All this taking into account the necessary conditions to load wines safely without losing quality. This is undoubtedly one of the most important logistics solutions for the wine industry.

Traceability

Another problem faced by logistics in the wine sector is fraud caused by the lack of traceability of the origin of the products. To validate the quality of the wine, especially if it is a high-priced product distributed in bulk, it is very important to have the location of the components in hand. In this way, apart from fraud, we can avoid excessive costs for the recall of products in the market that are out of our control.

Among the logistics solutions for the wine sector, it is important to implement a warehouse management system or WMS, which has a good identification and coding system. That is because its correct labeling can unequivocally guarantee the origin of the products, particularly if they are high quality wines. Besides that a blockchain system is perfect in traceability. That is because such processes become more transparent for the consumer and more secure for producers thanks to its encrypted blockchain system.

Ilustración isométrica de la fabricación de vino. soluciones logísticas para el sector vitivinícola vector. soluciones logísticas para el sector vitivinícola

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What are the most sought-after professional profiles in logistics?

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Currently, the logistics and transportation sector is becoming quite relevant due to the growth of e-commerce. In addition to the fact that in Spain it is one of the most important sectors of the economy for having a GDP of 10% and managing more than 500 thousand shipments per year.

Looking at this panorama, it can be stated that it is an industry that employs more than 950,000 people, a very attractive figure for people who wish to start or change their professional career. But, specifically, what are the professional profiles in logistics, and is any specific training required to be able to exercise these professions?

If you are interested in knowing the details of the most in-demand logistics professional profiles, take a look!

Warehouse handler

Undoubtedly, this is the most sought-after profile in the logistics sector. Their tasks are based on assisting in the loading and unloading of trucks, checking and ordering merchandise, controlling the stock of products, preparing them and keeping the warehouse register up to date.

These professional logistics profiles require a minimum of compulsory secondary education. However, there are specialized training courses such as forklift or warehouse handler that help to have a solid foundation for the job performance and improve the curriculum. Not to mention the physical ability to move heavy objects from one place to another. cursos de formación especializados como la de carretillero o la de mozo de almacén que ayuda a tener una base sólida para el desempeño del trabajo y mejoran el currículum. Sin olvidar que se debe poseer la capacidad física para mover objetos pesados de un lugar a otro.

Forklift operator

The second most sought-after profile in the sector is the warehouse foreman. These are people who handle forklifts and are responsible for receiving, placing heavy packages on pallets and preparing orders and packaging.

Despite what the name suggests, the professional is not only focused on a specific task. In the case of forklift operators, they perform other complementary tasks such as reviewing delivery notes. In order to access this position, it is required to have passed the ESO and to undergo forklift training to be able to handle the machinery.

Delivery person

This is probably one of the professional logistics profiles that has gained much relevance in recent years due to the considerable growth of e-commerce. The delivery driver is in charge of getting the goods to their destination, as well as planning the most efficient schedules and routes. This task can be much easier if a route optimizer is used.

In addition to that, he also organizes the merchandise in his van and communicates directly with customers, having a certain profile of a salesman. To be able to work as such, you need a type B driver's license, own your own van and have all the documentation in order to be self-employed.

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Are urban hubs the solution to last mile challenges?

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With the increasing number of constraints within large cities and greater commitment to the environment, ways are being sought to circumvent these difficult challenges. Among several proposals to remain efficient in the last mile, urban hubs stand out.

Urban hubs are not much of a mystery, as they are small warehouses located in the centers of large cities. With this, they are expected to reduce route distances and also increase the capillarity of the last mile. If you want to know more about their other advantages, take a look!

Taking advantage of underutilized premises

One of the most prevalent problems in cities with respect to urban distribution is the increase in underutilized space that is unlikely to be re-let. Given the innovative nature of being an urban hub, re-using such spaces has many advantages.

However, for urban hubs to perform their function properly, they have to be located in strategic points of the city. Moreover, this may not be easy, as they require the rental of space in the center, which is a fairly high cost that not all companies in the sector can afford.

Helping to reduce carbon emissions

Undoubtedly, this is one of the main reasons why this initiative has started to be used in large cities. Reducing the miles needed to meet last-mile demand goes a long way toward reducing CO₂ emissions.

However, there are extra steps that need to be taken for pollution minimization to be effective. For example, the use of zero-emission vehicles such as electric vehicles and the approach of making deliveries at night in order to reduce traffic congestion are being considered. Apart from the use of a route optimizer to save time and money.

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5 aspects to promote Competitive Sustainability

Camiones eléctricos concepto abstracto ilustración vectorial. sostenibilidad-competitiva-1

Many companies in all types of sectors are already committing to more sustainable actions in their activities. However, it is not enough to want to be more environmentally friendly; we must also strive for competitive sustainability. In other words, actions and initiatives must be sufficiently competent and attractive for companies to start applying them.

This issue is very relevant for the logistics and transportation sector due to its relatively high environmental impact and the increase of vehicle restrictions in cities. Here are some competitive sustainability initiatives to make a difference:

Urban warehouses

If transportation costs are higher, the longer the distance to be traveled, the greater the outlay the company will have to make. One of the most effective solutions to this problem is urban warehousing. What is different from a conventional warehouse is that urban warehouses are located in or around large cities in order to be close to demand.

Notably, they have been a growing trend in the e-commerce sector and in any industry that requires last-mile delivery. While it is true that reducing distance reduces emissions, the supply chain would not be efficient if warehouse operations are not efficient either. Therefore, a picking optimizer can help streamline your urban warehouse.

Unify shipments

Tal y como se mencionó en el webinar de movilidad sostenible, no es ecológico comprar de 4 e-commerces distintos y que el envío lo efectúen 3 empresas de transporte diferentes para que lleguen a tu dirección a una hora similar. Por lo tanto, algunas empresas, sobre todo las grandes, han considerado otorgar la posibilidad de unificar los envíos.

That means that several shipping companies would have to agree on who does the shipping or give the consumer the option to choose the company itself. Such actions are currently very difficult for SMEs to carry out, unlike large companies such as Amazon, which already provide this possibility of applying competitive sustainability.

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Keys to understand the rise in fuel prices

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La gran subida del precio del combustible es un hecho, ya que está presente en nuestro día a día, además de preocupante. La mayoría de las personas están comentando por su gran impacto tanto a particulares como a empresas. Pero, ¿cuáles son las causas principales que nos ha llevado a este punto? ¿Qué consecuencias va … Read more

5 ways to optimize your logistics nodes

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Logistics nodes are known to be a fundamental part of all the processes involved in logistics. They range from factories to last mile distribution centers in charge of receiving, storing and managing the entire distribution of goods.

However, these operations are often not optimized. Therefore, the quality of service to customers deteriorates considerably due to delays, reduced shelf life of perishable products, having a product out of stock for a prolonged period of time, among others.

For ways to get the most out of your logistics infrastructure, take a look at the following points:

Design distribution strategies

The company may already have its own distribution strategies for its own network of logistics nodes. However, given the constant changes that can affect all logistics, it may be necessary to update them according to current demands.

Para ello, recopilar la mayor cantidad de datos posibles es esencial para conocer los siguientes pasos que se tienen que dar. De esta manera, se pueden diseñar estrategias eficientes para cubrir las necesidades de la mercancía y la distribución.

Define management indicators

As it is often mentioned, the performance of an activity cannot be evaluated if we do not have key indicators assigned. In the management of a logistics infrastructure, this is no exception and KPIs must also be assigned in all operations to have their monitoring at hand.

It not only serves to measure the performance of merchandise management. It is also very useful for keeping logistics node costs and customer satisfaction in check, especially in the event of complaints and problems with products.

Perform inspection of the infrastructure

The inspection and maintenance of the infrastructure of the logistics nodes is essential both for the safety of the personnel and for the guarantee of the goods. Otherwise it can cause serious accidents in both situations.

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7 benefits of a TMS that will help your business

Ilustración de vector de concepto abstracto de gestión de cadena de suministro - beneficios del tms

You've probably already heard about why it's so important for your company to implement transportation management software because of all the benefits a TMS provides. Thanks to the growth that the TMS industry has experienced, there are now more affordable options for small and medium sized companies along with that of large enterprises.

However, it may seem complicated to install a TMS and that it will take time to understand its interface and manage it. But the opposite is true: it saves time and money in your logistics operations.

If you want to know in detail the benefits of a TMS, take a look at the following tips:

Unify all data in one place

Imagine a TMS as a control tower that also unifies all types of data on a single platform, from the manufacturer to the last mile. In this way, you can visualize it from a single platform and always keep the information up to date.

Thanks to this unification, managers and staff can make changes easily and with all the updated information. From route adjustments to implementing new processes, this is one of the key benefits of a TMS for your company.

Increases warehouse efficiency

Being up to date on the life cycle of orders throughout the supply chain gives a clear view of future needs and anticipates when inventory needs to be replenished.

Having full control over the loads entering and leaving the warehouse helps to better calculate the amount of stock needed to meet demand without delays and also to avoid stock-outs.

Let's not forget either that all the time saved on more automated tasks can be invested in this very important aspect of the entire logistics process.

Save transportation costs

It is known that one of the most costly activities in the entire logistics process is transportation, due to the fact of handling fuel, distances traveled, personnel, among others. It is estimated that it accounts for more than 50% of the total logistic cost of all companies.

However, one of the benefits of a TMS is that it assists in the planning of all loads so that each trip is worthwhile and no more money is wasted than could be saved. In addition, if we optimize our routes for those loads, we will be able to reduce further costs.

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5 solutions for carriers to make their job easier

Ilustración de concepto abstracto de centro logístico vector gratuito - soluciones para transportistas

One of the most critical moments in logistics is the transport of goods in which we try to operate with the least possible inconveniences to achieve the objectives successfully. Also carriers are a key part of this process with many setbacks, therefore, it is important to find solutions for carriers.

The most common problems drivers encounter are often beyond their control and their main causes are overwork and lack of proper management. If you want to know the keys to help carriers in their delivery and driving management, take note!

Optimize routes

Carriers often work against the clock to get deliveries to loading and unloading centers on time, especially those over long distances. It usually takes a lot of work to organize all the destination points to save time. In addition, both freight managers and carriers have strict work schedules and limits on their vehicles, making organization even more difficult.

Therefore, a route optimizer plays an important role in finding the most efficient route possible taking into account the various constraints and characteristics of the load, the vehicle and the driver himself. That is why it is one of the most useful solutions for carriers.

Communicate in real time

On the road and in cities, many types of mishaps can occur despite a well-defined route and optimized loading. All this work would be in vain if good real-time communication is not maintained.

Thanks to the digitization of the industry, more carrier solutions have been developed that keep staff in touch and can instantly send messages about the status of the delivery. From supply chain delays to traffic restrictions and outages, everyone involved in the process must be informed of any unforeseen events and create strategies to avoid them as much as possible.

Upgrade vehicles

Given the increasing restrictions in cities and on highways regarding the circulation of a certain number and type of vehicles, it is time to consider such solutions for carriers as alternatives that meet the requirements of the environmental label.

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