Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data, Blockchain…, it is clear to all of us that these are the concepts that are changing our lives, at least those related to supply chains. I am surprised every morning when I see fresh, ripe tropical fruits in the small fruit shop in the neighbourhood, twenty mangoes, just enough to sell that day, how much Logistics 4.0 is behind this?
We live in a digitalised society in which consumers have everything at the click of a button, and this is not only for the end consumer, upstream, the value chain increasingly demands an industry that must not only satisfy new needs in a global market, but must also meet the demand for immediacy in deliveries, personalisation of products and a demonstrable commitment to caring for the planet.
This calls for a new type of logistics, digitalised logistics, logistics 4.0, a new concept that guarantees the flexibility and anticipation demanded by the new industry.
The pillars of this new paradigm are total and transparent traceability, not only to locate in real time where each product is, but also to associate all the conditions that these products endure during the logistics process (temperatures, degrees of humidity, impacts, etc.).
Flexibility, the capacity to adapt to changes in demand. Logistics systems must be connected to stakeholders’ information sources, so that they can anticipate their real needs and, in order to respond effectively to these requests, it is essential to make an effort to automate handling and transport processes.
Logistics 4.0 must be Sustainable, it must take into account all those details that in one way or another favour the environment, from the optimisation of the movement of packages to the decarbonisation of means of transport, it all adds up.
Today’s technologies allow us to analyse huge volumes of data, perform multiple combinatorics within multiple combinatorics and, from all of this, extract the optimal solution in each circumstance, which is what they call the Artificial Intelligence; But there is more, these technologies learn from the effectiveness of previous decisions and change the priorities of the rules to make the whole process effective (Machine Learning).
Manufacturing processes are increasingly monitored, the challenge for factories is no longer the automation of these processes, that has already been solved, today we are looking for automation in decision making.
Logistics has to respond to an increasingly intelligent production environment, it has to be able to serve customised products with a “random” delivery plan, the sector is bound to use the same technological tools as its customers if it wants to remain a link in the value chain, if its customers transform towards Industry 4.0, then they have to become Logistics 4.0.