ARTIFICIAL AND AUGMENTED INTELLIGENCE IN LOGISTICS


Although Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Intelligence in Logistics are technically not different, the perspective on technological advancement makes them different. Artificial Intelligence design automated system that replace human function but on the other hand Augmented Intelligence uses technology to support and complement human function.

 

Artificial Intelligence – AI is used in prediction of demand, modification in orders, and re-route in-transit goods to warehouses where needed in a faster and efficient manner. The Advantages of Artificial Intelligence are Reduction of Human Error, Available 24×7, Digital Assistance, Faster Decisions, etc., At the same time, the disadvantages are Unemployment, High Cost, Lack of Abstract Thinking.

 

Augmented Intelligence – This pattern work as a co-partnership of people and artificial intelligence working together to enrich performance. When coming to high skilled positions Artificial Intelligence alone will not work. This is when Augmented Intelligence becomes effective as it uses human skills too. It reduces time, cost and humans can effectively use this time for analytical and complex duties. The advantage is that it reduces operational costs, prevents manual errors and executes more complex activities in simple way.


 Women in Logistics  


In today’s international logistics environment, labour force ready to adapt to accelerated changes, new demands and unanticipated challenges, are required. Innovation is the key to succeed in any environment.

There has been a vast change in the definition of Career Development over the past few decades. A career plan is derived as per the interests, passions, and abilities followed by a person to shape their future. Skills and knowledge should be accessible to people to maintain and understand the present fast- paced environment.

Why should women work in logistics?

Various scientific studies have demonstrated that gender diversification in factory floor encourages collaboration, understanding and tolerance along with improving competitiveness, productivity and corporate social responsibility.

The discrimination against women in the labour force is still an open topic for debate, affecting economic sectors and levels of responsibility. Logistics sector which is affiliated to physical work was considered a masculine sector, has seen a large gender depiction indicating a drift in progress/ improvement.

Physical works related to machine operators and storage technicians are still male dominated but in areas such as service and administrative positions are basically dominated by women.

Modern technologies like automation and robotics have enabled the entry of women seeking this industry. Logistics and transport is gaining popularity as main source of employment as online sales market has developed at an amazing pace.

Should women take the chance and add themselves into Logistics for a shot at professional development?  Without any apprehension.  It is easy to provide gender equality in this industry while accessing jobs to both men and women with the advancement of modern technologies and rapid developments

Role of women in the logistics and transportation sector

The latest figure shows that Logistics and transportation are playing major role in economic restoration. The boom in ecommerce and international transactions over internet, mainly the parcel service, has shown a growing rate of over 20%.  In spite of all these there is a vast gap of difference to the number of women to men. In 2015 around 46.8% women were in the US labour force, but on the US Transportation & Utilities sector only 22.6% were women.

As per the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, Logistics and Transportation is one of the industry after manufacturing to employ largest number of women. An increase of 3.6% was registered in the year 2016 from 2006.

Companies have introduced flexible working hours, professional counselling and measures to avoid seniority, constituting adequate solutions to deal with complications originating due to the imbalance in work- life, thus conveying the prospect  of permanence and professional advancement of women in this sector.

Training sessions are offered to women related to logistics sectors and also to technology and R&D, thus help opportunities for women. Commencing such a revolution will lead to equal employment between men and women.

Why the future of logistics needs more women?

Women are performing better in the industries which were once monopolized by men, from finance to retails, construction of logistics- lot more to be done.

The business case for gender equality

‘De-genderised’ businesses always performs better as varied perspectives leading to revised decision making is brought in.

Along with gender equality being a fundamental human right, it also shows a country’s total economic performance. The prestige of an organisation improves when there is a gender equality and this attracts talent and maintain employees.

The time has come for the logistics and supply chain industry to take measures to bring in more women to this profession.

More than moving and lifting

The obstinate perception about logistic profession that it’s about moving and lifting, or physical work done by men is changing, thus showing that this is the best time for women to enter the field.

The rise of ecommerce like Amazon, Flipkart etc., have put Logistics into limelight and the focus on trade. Emergence of technologies like robotics and artificial intelligence have transformed logistics into a cutting edge and competitive sector.

Supply chain and logistics has penetrated deep into every business and industry in the world, be it retail, fashion, transport, and technology and so on. The pure significance of this industry has created jobs in branches like Business Development, Customer Services, information technology and sales; jobs like forklift drivers and warehouse workers too have joined the list.

The industry needs people who have leadership quality, excellent knowledge of business management and high aptitude in mathematics, regardless of gender. The industry needs more of problem- solvers and people who can bring innovative ideas to propel it forward.

Contest the trend

The industry has to accept that diversity in a workplace is very noteworthy.

By promoting women to senior roles and posts once adorned by or considered to be for men should be the first step in accepting diversity.

As second step, talented women must be encouraged and cultivate a culture where accomplished people incline. Few companies are bringing in change to encourage women by creating working hour flexibility, day care centres and initiatives to balance work- life. Professional development of women already in the profession should also be focused on, by providing access to education, training and mentoring opportunities.

As for women, it’s essential that they come out of their comfort zone and have the will to strive in men dominated environment. A woman should not be limited to their gender but should focus on the qualities that can be brought on and take pride on the role played. By working together a woman can support and empower each other. It is better to work together with men as collective partnership.

Gender diversity in the workforce cannot be ignored as it could pose a business risk. India along with other countries is on the verge of logistics revolution thus ensuring that women are equally represented in the workforce.

 


TOP FIVE SHIPPING COMPANIES IN THE WORLD ON THE BASIS OF CARGO CARRYING CAPACITY


  1. APM MAERSKBased out of Denmark, Maersk Started its debut in the year 1904. The company at present has a fleet of 711 container ships and capacity of around 40, 87,480 TEU. The employee strength is about 80,000.

 

  1. MSC–MEDITERRANEAN SHIPPING COMPANY-A Swiss based international company started in the year 1970, has grown to have 560 fleet at present with a TEU capacity of around 33,08,955. More than 70,000 employees are working across the world.

 

  1. COSCO- CHINA OCEAN SHIPPING COMPANY- It’s a fully fully-owned subsidiary of COSCO Shipping Holding Co., Ltd, registered in China which was up for business since 2016. With a fleet of 461 container ships and carrying capacity of 27,92,448 TEU operates 401 international and domestic shipping routes

 

  1. CMA CGM- France based Shipping Company was established in the year 1978. With 1,10,000 employees has a fleet over 505 containers and carrying capacity of 26,43,745 TEU

 

  1. HAPAG-LLOYD- A German Shipping Company was established in the year 1970 with the merger of Hamburg-American Line and the North German company Lloyd. With more than 13000 employees and 248 containers has got the capacity of around 17,00,000 TEU

JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN LOGISTICS – Packing Materials


Packing Material- Purchase and Development

To analyze and check all standards for packaging lines and establish consent to all schedule for processes and develop and maintain all packing orders completely.

 

Responsibilities:

To deal with the existing vendors and develop new reliable vendors or suppliers who would supply with better quality goods and negotiable prices.

Identification of materials to be stored and preserved, its material handling, packaging issue and dispatched.

Should keep a track of incoming goods/ stock records, store accounting/ inventory control.

Manually handling material movement and handling to sending goods to stores, to send documents to respective departments.

Ensuring storage facilities are in convenient working order as in to check if the racks are properly fixed, damaged pallets etc.

Proper housekeeping of goods, as in spillage of oil if any, dirty wall etc., the goods handled are in good conditions.

Ensuring all the goods before issuing by checking and counting entries, receipts and issues are correctly recorded

Assure all rules and regulations pertaining to physical custody and preservation of stores are followed and correct accounting of stores.

 

Skills

Interpersonal skill should be good

Language and communication skill

Ms Office basic knowledge

Basic knowledge in Maths

 

 

Qualifications

 

Minimum a Graduate/B Com

Diploma in Logistics

 

 

 


JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN LOGISTICS – Part 2


Logistics Executive

Scheduling shipping and delivery of new and existing product has to be ensured.

Responsibilities

Planning, organizing, directing along with managing and evaluation of the supply chain in an organization are the responsibilities of Logistics executive. To assure authentic shipping and delivery schedule for the new and existing products they have to work with internal and external teams.

Should take the responsibilities arising to any troubleshooting related to international freight transportation, failure of material shipping and delivery schedule. Monitoring and harmonizing of supply chain operations are also one of the responsibilities.

Planning and tracking the shipment of final products as per a customer requirements. Also monitor deliveries and customer satisfaction.

Optimum utilization of IT system/ software procedures. Maintaining proper logs on all transportation and goods.

 

Qualifications

Minimum of Bachelor’s Degree in Business,

Degree in Economics or even in Supply Chain

Diploma Course on Logistics and Supply Chain management.

International Business or Business Administration

 

 

Skill

Analytical- experience with data analytics and planning

Organizational- should adapt quickly to changing policies and procedures especially under pressure.

Communication- should be exceptional in written, verbal and interpersonal communication.

Computer- Microsoft Office especially in Excel, System Application and Products (SAP) and Freight Management System (FMS) software.

 

 


JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN LOGISTICS – Work Assistant


We would like to discuss the Entry Level Opportunity in Logistics

Warehouse Assistant:

A Warehouse Assistant checks the flow of stock in warehouse, oversee goods in and out, safely and efficiently moving and handling items and keeping stock records. Warehouse plays a key element in logistics chain. To get goods from the manufacturer then to the distributor and later to the customer is the job of the logistics industry, an assistants are to check this process runs smoothly.

 

A warehouse Assistants can be employed in different industries and the role will vary as per the sector and the type of facility they work for example distribution centre, manufacturing plant etc. The role mostly depends on the types of operations in any sector.  At some places the warehouse assistant have to work as an all-rounder, as in pitching in with all aspects of goods control and distribution. Though it is said that warehouse is a male- dominated industry gender barriers are breaking away. Warehouse staff work together directed by their leader or supervisor.

Responsibilities

Goods In

Goods out

General Responsibility

 

Qualifications

 

Diploma in Logistics

Driving License

Fork Lift Driving License

 

Skills

Excellent skills to handle people and verbal communication, along with patience are very much needed. They should be responsible and reliable along with commitment to safe working with regard to correct operation of mechanical handling of equipment as a warehouse assistant might have to work in a potentially hazardous environment.

Career Progression

From a warehouse assistant one can grow to Warehouse Supervisor, Warehouse Team Leader and Warehouse Manager too.


COVID-19- Its effect on Indian Shipping and Logistics


COVID- 1 lingers to devastate the economics, acutely hitting businesses and services, worldwide. The ripple effects are rocking the logistic industry, due to the absolute lockdown observed by many countries and cities too. Along with other countries business in India too has come to a virtual halt, as n supply chain.

The domestic ports and logistics companies are finding business tougher due to the Covid- 19

A business which was already confronted by collapsing revenues amongst the global economic stagnation the Covid- 19 pandemic has made the business of Indian domestic ports and logistics companies tougher. Due to the disruption from both supply and demand side the Terminals, ICDs, warehouses and CFSs are feeling the heat. The main challenge faced by different sections of the business is the labour shortage, mainly in warehousing, trucking and last-mile delivery. Many factories have shut down due to lack of manpower to de-stuff cargo and truck drivers to evacuate cargo, thus derailing the smooth functioning of the logistic industry. A decline of 32% has been witnessed by the world trade and a loss of $ 9 trillion cumulative loss has been estimated. 35% plunge in exports and 29% in imports, has been India’s market. A fall of 50 to 60 percent in the traffic was witnessed in the ports and was operating on a 30- 40 percent capacity. From March 2019 – March 2020 there has been a decline of 5.25 % in cargo volume.  From 3 days turnaround time at ports to 12.2 days are taken at the present COVID-19 condition, and there has been a drastic downfall in the containers to 12.51%.

Nearly 1.5 million truck drivers have gone back to their natives and along with restrictions in movement between inter- state and inter- district, has spiked freight rates to nearly 80% high. Neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have containers piling up.  Approximately 80,000 containers are stuck at CFS and JNPT, and around 50,000 at Chennai Port. So is the case in other private terminals.

The shipping industry has also been hit in a very bad way, since the countries have sealed their boundaries to prevent the spread of the virus. As per the Indian Logistics players, it is very challenging to conduct the business lines operational.

A dip of more than 25% has been seen in the bookings, as per Shipsy, a Gurugram- based company. They are into connecting exporters and importers with shipping companies and helps in managing the logistics through a digital platform.  The export could take a considerable hit, with most of the major cities locked down. According to Co-founder Mr Soham Choksi,” 8%  of the overall trading volume happens through our platform, we used to get around 80,000 to 90,000 container bookings every month that has fallen by a good 25%”.

Freightwalla, another professionals in the shipping field, who is into managing cargo movement for exports feels the whole industry is facing multiple challenges and the situation is changing dynamically. Industrial production has taken hit the export sector, as most of the labourers being asked to stay at home and many moving out to their hometowns. A significant fall in demand can be expected in Europe and North America as the spread of the virus is not contained fast, thus directly impacting all businesses in India in the coming weeks or months, according to Mr Sanjay Bhatia co- founder of Freightwalla.

Across the globe the shipping industry runs on container movement.

The bizarre shutdown all over the world has greatly hampered the movement. At the beginning there was no container movements out of China, due to the unavailability of people to unload at the docks, by which demand for containers from Indian exporters piled up. Indian ports are now facing lockdown when China is exhibiting signs of recovery.

After-effects

Once the business operations resumes after the epidemic there will be a significant complex issues as new orders will add to the already pending orders, thus further stressing the logistic network. The need of the hour will see crucial and mass hiring of delivery personnel. To brave the impending storm and handle the scenario skilfully a stronger network will be an absolute requisite, by calling for higher manpower.

The limited infrastructure and finite resources available at the time might not approve a surge in production which is necessary to atone for the slowdown. Ths could lead to exhaustion of resources, as companies have to deal with the hike in the cost of logistics, mainly in terms of lower- valued goods.

A disturbance across the country were visible in the supply- chain management, even before India underwent the mandatory lockdown to combat enduring effects of COVID- 19. Work from home policies had a great impact on delivery percentage, also a lot of gated societies in several cities had banned access for delivery agents.

Roadmap to recovery

The outbreak and the untoward turn of events would be a wakeup call to many companies to strategies their future policies and actions to survive an unforeseen events hereafter. It would be advisable for all businesses to devise short- term plans that would take off some burden from their enterprises, basically the production and logistics kick- starts.

 


GPS and Logistics Industry


 

The Global Positioning System (GPS) a grid of 30 satellites revolving the Earth at an altitude of 20,000 km. The signals travel at a speed of light, and are intercepted by GPS receivers, that calculates the distance of each satellite based on how long it took for the message to arrive. GPS technology supports the company and the customers to track items, people, and even shipments, and also in transportation and logistics business by assisting the drivers to navigate from locations. GPS technology has completely transformed this industry, due to the emergence and advancement of mobile apps, smart gadgets and other technologies offer great logistics solutions to the consumers.

GPS systems can be accessed from a conventional desktop computer and also from a work based terminal, but the best option being Mobile phones. Along with everything mobile support has revolutionized supply chain operations. Decisions have to be made on a dime, but has to be complete accuracy and reliability.

Benefits of GPS

  1. Fleet Management: GPS app simplifies business by assisting in scheduling a delivery or cancelling, or updating different delivery locations.
  2. Boosting of Resources: There is a clarity among the drivers and the owners. GPS monitoring can determine the actual cause of delay and also built a trust with the drivers.
  3. Increase in Drivers safety and performance: The safety and wellbeing of the divers must always be a priority as they are the back bone of this industry. An eye on the drivers will keep them away from brash and speed driving, thus the drivers too will become responsible.
  4. Cost analysis/assessment: Fuel consumption can be checked, the bad habits of the drivers can be checked.
  5. Better Customer Service: With GPS tech in hand it’s easy to give the client an approximated details on the arrival and delivery of a consignment. Helps in identify an incorrectly shipped or stowed baggage and make a fast decision on that.

 

Conclusion

GPS technology is a must they help in making the industry run smooth, by locating or tracking the consignment. It helps us to know where exactly the fleet or shipment is at any time.

 

 


CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS EFFECTS ON LOGISTIC INDUSTRY


A weather or natural disasters are unpredictable to certain extend, but prediction of timing and severity of any event has become more difficult due to climate change, thus it is very challenging to manage supply chain in several other fronts.

Climate change can overturn supply chains in evident ways, like sudden floods, flash fires, and migration of labors or need for the modification of infrastructure. These situations along with others directly or indirectly like disruptions to logistics, input supplies and customers will affect a company’s bottom line.

Logistics operators are the ones directly aware of the deterioration taking place, affected sea routes, change in weather systems, freak storms and environmental transformation make a big impression on their activities, by which the established business patterns and trading routes are forced to be changed, altered or even dropped.

Impact of Land Transportation

Heat waves, high humidity, heavy rainfalls leading to flooding and storms, harsh snowfalls etc. are the few examples caused due to climate changes, leading to landslide, flooding of roads, slippery of the snow, reducing visibility, the infrastructure of the roads are threatened. All these causes the movement of goods from one place to another.

Impact on Air Transportation

The climate changes has its impact on Air transportation too by affecting air travel and infrastructure. Due to high heat /temperature there is a restriction on the weight of cargo, due to heavy snow, rainfall, and even thunderstorm can make the airports to be closed. High heat causes the tiers of the planes to burst. All these and few other reasons decreases the time and movement of the goods.

Impact on Sea Transportation

Sea/ marine transportation has also felt the impact of climate change in both positive and negative ways.
The melting of glaciers causes the rise in sea level affecting the sea currents, this change causes change in weather conditions too. But change in sea levels can also be taken as a positive way as new passages or pathway are provided to intrusive species transport and survival. Large ships can be accommodated and even inland waterways can be resumed where the water level has gone down. Weather changes can cause flooding, slit and debris getting accumulated in less accessible and shallow channels, this could cause the channels to be closed and repair on ships. All these can affect the transportation of cargos from one place to another.

Impact on Ports and infrastructure

Most of the coastal infrastructure, like harbor facilities, docks and bridges have to undergo a change as per raise in sea level, tides, tropical storm and hurricanes, causes significant disruptions and damages. Many ports in the world around has been vulnerable and affected very badly due to storms and hurricanes.

Response to the impact:

Response from the Industry- All the governments around the world are signing up to global energy policies addressing to reduce the use of fossil fuels, preserve resources and improve efficiency over less waste and greater recycling, a positive response has been seen from the logistics industry.

Response from the International Shipping- The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has agreed to cut carbon emission and to enforce an improvement in ship efficiency by the coming years. Individual shipping companies too have committed to reduce the carbon footprint of new vessels. Regulations is reduction of Sulphur emissions and research for an alternative to fossil fuels are the new pressures that the shipping industry is going through.

Response from Aviation- Aviation industry is also into an intensive research of developing an
optimized designs and new propulsion systems. Changes do not happen overnight, but through innovation and vision will suppress new energy
policies.


BLOCKCHAIN AND TECHNOLOGY


Blockchain technology means a decentralized, distributed ledger that records the origin of a digital asset. Blockchain, also attributed as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), making history of digital assets unalterable and transparent over the use of decentralization and cryptographic hashing.

A simple comparison to understand blockchain technology is Google Doc. A document created and shared with a group of people, the document is shared rather being copied or transferred, and thus it creates a decentralized distribution chain by which everyone can access the document at the same time. Any modifications done in the doc will be recorded, thus making changes absolutely transparent.

The “Blocks” on blockchain are comprise of digital pieces of information. Mainly of three parts:
1. Transactions like the date, time and the amount of your latest purchase from online sites are all stored in the blocks.
2. Information on the participants are also stored. If there has been a splurge in purchase on the online site, the same will be recorded along with the customer name with the online site’s address. A “digital signature” is used to record a
purchase by a customer instead of an actual name.
3. The information stored in the blocks are separate from other blocks, just as each individual has different name to distinguish us, there is a unique code called “ hash” that reveal it apart from every other block. Special algorithms are used to create Hashes which are cryptographic code.

How does a block chain work?

1. A transaction has to occur: During an impulsive purchase, one goes against their better judgement and makes a purchase, a block will group and compose probable other thousands transactions, so that an online purchase will be grouped in the block along with other user’s transaction information.
2. Verification of transaction is a must: A transaction of a purchase is a must. There’s someone in charge to audit any new data entries along with other public records; and this job is left to a network of computers. When an online purchase is made, that network of computers rushes to check the transaction has happened the way it
was said. In short the details of the purchase is confirmed along with the transaction’s time, Rupee amount, participants.
3. The block stores the transaction: Only after the transaction has been verified does it get a go signal. The block stores the transactions of the amount purchased, one’s digital signature and online company’s digital signature. Thousands of other such transactions also join.

4. A hash must be given to the block: A unique identifying code called a hash will be given to all transactions once the verification has been done. Once block gets hashed it is added to the blockchain.

The Blockchain is publicly available for all to view once the new block is added.

How safe is Block chain?
Issues of security and trust are accountable in blockchain technology. The new blocks are stored linearly and chronologically, by which they are added at the “end” of the blockchain. It is difficult to alter the contents of the block once added, as each block contains a hash along with the hash of the block before it. A math function creates the hash codes by which the digital information turns into string of numbers and letters. The hash code changes if there is editing in the information. Another importance to security; in case a hacker tries to edit somebody’s transaction on an e- purchase the buyer ends up paying double the purchase. The block’s hash will change accordingly, and the hacker will have change the earlier, thus making it difficult to edit and impossible to delete. So in order to address the trust issue, the implementation of tests for computers that wants to join or add blocks to the chain are done in blockchain network.


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