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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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

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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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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4 Smart City initiatives that drive sustainable mobility

Ilustración vectorial del concepto de mensajero autónomo. movilidad sostenible Smart City

Currently, one of the issues we are most aware of and concerned about is global warming and measures to reduce its impact. Whether it is minimizing carbon emissions, eliminating plastic and opting for renewable energies, and among them is to achieve sustainable mobility.

One of the most important initiatives is to promote smart cities in cities. It consists of managing all the usual things that are taken into account in a city but adding the plus of sustainability.

Here are some examples of how to promote sustainable mobility applied to logistics:

Electric vehicles

Given the increasing traffic restrictions on distribution vehicles in terms of number allowed, length, capacity, vehicle model, level of congestion and other aspects, it is becoming increasingly common for companies to renew their vehicle fleet to pursue an ideal level of sustainable mobility.

Among the most notable changes are electric or hybrid trucks that significantly reduce CO₂ emissions and minimize noise pollution.

Some last mile companies have also opted for more unusual vehicles such as scooters and electric bicycles because of their ability to access difficult urban areas that even a van could not enter, thus considerably reducing the impact of the carbon footprint.

DUM monitoring and optimization

Given the increasing difficulties faced by last-mile distribution (LMP) due to the growth of large cities, the increase in traffic restrictions and the great momentum of e-commerce, solutions to these problems are becoming increasingly complex.

Among the initiatives to reduce these inconveniences, deliveries are made during off-peak hours to avoid congestion.

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Optimizing Delivery Routes: 6 Strategies for Successful Delivery

Last mile distribution

One of the most important and costly processes for companies is optimizing product delivery during the last mile

With an increasingly demanding customer and the constant advancement of technology, a simple mistake in delivery can have serious consequences for the company.

The focus of organizations is now on the end customer. A satisfied customer is a sure value. 

If we want to provide a last-mile service in line with demanding customers, we must consider the following strategies:

  • Implement the use of artificial intelligence. Both AI and machine learning son dos herramientas fundamentales en la gestión de las plataformas de logística. Con ellas la mejora de precisión en el pronóstico de envíos es de hasta un 90%. En temporada alta, ya sea Navidad o fechas señaladas como el Black Friday, las ventas pueden aumentar hasta un 300% y tanto los procesos como los equipos deben agilizarse más que nunca. Gracias a las previsiones inteligentes se puede mejorar la organización de las rutas, la optimización de los vehículos y qué repartidores hay disponibles. Invertir en Inteligencia Artificial merece la pena, ya que también su uso conlleva una reducción de los costes.

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