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.


EFFECTS OF BIG DATA IN LOGISTICS INDUSTRY


The impact of big data has revolutionized the logistics industry along with other sphere like finance, retail, telecommunication etc. Most of merchants are also adopting big data for smooth operations and manage data traffic. It benefits everyone from shippers to third- party, the logistics companies expecting a consistent growth on operational activities.

Benefits of Big Data in Logistics Industry

  1. In Transportation of Goods: It servers companies to track the delivery of goods and supplies. RFID tags, GPS devices, bar code are few technologies of big data, aiding the logistics companies to track the vehicles in real- time. Optimizing routes, planning and scheduling deliveries gets smoother for the logistic mangers as the system captures real- time traffic data, on road network data and fleet data.

 

  1. Inventory Management: To keep track of inventory and avert sudden stock outs RF tags and computer chips are of good help, also enhances the inventory management to storing and forecasting. The retailers and supply chain managers are able to accumulate data and information about customer attitude, product performance, store conduct/ achievement, relation with supplier, renovation plan etc.

 

  1. For Warehouse Management: Smart warehouses use it to improve the performance, efficiency and promptness mostly for companies like Amazon, Flipkart etc. The big data technology equip efficient warehouse management. This makes customers to shop from anywhere in the world. Warehouse managers can plan the routes and schedule the deliveries in a way that it increases safety but controls petrol expenses.

 

  1. Improve Customer Service: In order to make logistics business successful it is very important to understand the customer’s need and how to fulfil it. With the help of big data analytics the companies are able to get customer insight, diminish customer attrition, but learn about their demand. By which it’s easy to bring in new customers and also retain the existing ones.

 

The adoption of big data will change the logistics service and supply chain management operations into an effective impact. It is good for the companies to install this technology and improve their investment and also better customer satisfaction.

 


Cold Chain Management


The label cold chain or cool chain implies the array of actions and equipment devoted to maintaining a product within a defined low-temperature range from harvest/production to consumption. It is temperature-controlled mainly for the products notably susceptible to temperature fluctuation, thus playing an vital role.

Cold chain is a kind of supply chain that specializes in the storage, transport and preservation of cargo that need specific temperature maintenance. Primarily  for goods like food and pharmaceutical industries and for some chemical shipments, as they are perishable and quality controlled (vaccines, insulin and Blood).

In maximum cases, cold chain breaches must be noted to the department at the earliest  using the Cold Chain Breach Report form. This form is additionally wont to report light exposure breaches for light-sensitive vaccines.

 Cold Chain involves a combination of science, technology and a process. The science that is required here is a perceptive of the chemical and biological procedure  involved with perishability. Ensuring proper temperature conditions throughout the chain is the technology involved. Processing involves a series of tasks performed to prepare, store, transport and monitor temperature sensitive products.

There is a Global, Local and Regional impact on Cold chains from a geographical perspective.

 The cold chain structure is placed on two options;

  1. Fast cold chain (active cold chain) – The systems used here are mechanical or electric systems powered by an energy source, combined with thermostatic control to maintain proper product temperatures.
  2. Slow cold chain (passive cold chain) – They include passive thermal systems that generally use phase change materials (PCM) such as water/ice or dry ice. These shipping arrangements are the most basic and cost effective.

Few of the logistics actions  related to cold chain management are:

  • Shipping/customs clearance/storage;
  • Vaccine management;
  • Insulated shipping containers;
  • Shipping/storage material (see passive cold chain paragraph).

 

It is to be borne in mind that trained and experienced logisticians are critical to the effective management of cold chains. Due to the short -lived  nature of the product, sound knowledge of cold chain, close monitoring, timely movement and appropriate storage is highly suggested to minimise risk exposure, avoid wastage and thus  be cost effective and reach the aim of properly vaccinating the target population.


Logistics Management


The success of logistic operations consists in ensuring the synchronization of material flows thanks to the coordination of processes and the use of resources in the company and the supply chain, and as a consequence ensure the availability of goods in the place and time expected by the customer. An extremely important dimension of logistics management success is also the cost level, both logistic and manufacturing costs as well as transaction costs. The impact of material flow organization on transaction and production costs is a consequence of the nature of logistics processes the task of which is to support both production processes as well as transactions and customer service. Sometimes there is a difference between Managing logistics and logistics management.

Logistics management is the information and decision influence of the machinery managing the logistics sphere on the organizational units of the real sphere (positions implementing logistic processes and activities), transmitted through information channels shaped by organizational rules. These impacts cause that the tasks carried out by these units in the scope of shaping material and information flow ensure achievement of the organization’s goals. Managing logistics, however, means in this context shaping the machinery managing the logistics sphere in the organization, including activities aimed at determining the scope of logistics activities and the location of logistics in the organizational structure of the entity as well as the creation of organisational rules and setting the rules of organisational units, including the selection of competencies of employees of logistics departments.

The scope of managing logistics is included in logistics management – as a function of the organisation. In this article, logistics management means planning, organizing material flows, the purpose of which is to ensure the availability of products and services in accordance with the needs of customers while taking into account costs as the economic result of decisions made. Thus, the assumptions of the interpretation of logistics management given by the Council of Logistics Management in 1998 are considered. Nowadays, the focus is more strongly on the interpretation of supply chain management than on logistics management. However, it should be remembered that supply chain management is a much broader concept and includes integrated management of key organisational processes (including manufacturing, trade, logistics, marketing, product design, etc.) starting from the distribution and manufacturing companies to the suppliers. Logistics management is a part of the concept of the supply chain but it is its specification in the area of logistics processes.


Implementation of GPS in Logistics Industry


Since the Indian logistics industry accounts for 14% of India’s GDP, involves countless government and quasi-government agencies and councils and employs millions of people, it is only right that the government focuses on modernizing operational processes with a view to reducing costs while enhancing transparency, speed and other efficiencies. One such initiative, enshrined in the Automotive Industry Standard (AIS) 140 circular, mandates the use of global positioning system (GPS) equipment in both original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and after-market commercial and public utility vehicles, with a view to enhancing operational control that could result in plugging loopholes related to delays, deviations, pilferage and adulteration.

 

The government of India is finally trying hard to play catch-up, and it is imperative that this endeavour is successful. Ensuring success, however, is very challenging. And a change in perspective could make all the difference. This change begins with both suppliers and users admitting that GPS is not a product, but a service. Too often, GPS traders, in their bid to clear inventory, succeed in selling GPS devices to corporations who want an economical, technical alternative to existing labour-intensive monitoring solutions. When these devices fail because they are neither configured to provide actionable inputs nor customized to meet specific needs, they are abandoned as yet another failed technology project. The first issue arises from the lack of control over firmware (device-level software) that often still resides with foreign manufacturers. The second because the simplest solution is often the cause for vested interests. And though the government has somewhat taken care of the former issue by mandating that all devices be made in India for the purpose of AIS 140 compliance, the second issue has now reached a point where it may seriously impact project credibility.

 

 As a reminder, a GPS device is dependent on a GPS chip, which produces locational data, and a general packet radio service (GPRS) SIM card, which transfers this data. Normally, this M2M (machine-to-machine, as opposed to consumer-to-consumer) SIM cards are procured from mobile network operators (MNOs) — BSNL, Airtel, Vodafone, etc. — on whom GPS service providers and end-users rely for network availability. A user profile with a unique mobile number is burned on to this SIM for the purpose of tracking however, two mobile numbers are pre-burned on to the embedded chip so that if one MNO’s network falls below the specified strength, the unit will switch to the other MNO’s network to transfer data. MNO management and data transfer are dependent on a third-party integrator, who is neither an MNO nor a GPS device manufacturer. The current initiative could create chaos in the marketplace. A similar mandate in an eastern state in 2017 failed miserably. Today, both end-users and vehicle owners are up in arms, as they are often penalized for the performance of a device they do not control.


Digitalization


The digitalization initiatives of the union government have brought a huge positive change in the handling of cargo at airports and seaports across India. It has also reduced the human intervention up to some extent. The dwell time of cargo at airports has been reduced by 1/3rd of the time taken in the earlier regime. Further initiatives in this direction will help in ease of doing business, reducing transaction cost, multiplying infrastructure; and India will be able to have a bigger share in the international trade which the government wishes to triple in the upcoming times. Distribution is a way of life and Indian cargo sector cannot remain far away from this phenomenon. Digitalization has already started in some pockets of the air cargo sector in India. And I believe, in the next few years, we will witness the Indian air cargo sector embracing cargo digitalization in a big way. In the current situation, countries are proactively engaging themselves in protectionist measures and building boundaries to protect their businesses. The global trade is being impacted by the growing protectionism tendency and anti-trade measures such as imposing tariffs, restricting imports and strict regulations. It is believed that the prevailing global, political and economic situation will get stabilized soon and countries will put the perspective of international trade in the right manner. Revival will happen through various routes including forming a consortium of countries to tackle the present situation. In the transportation sector, no single mode of transport can see growth unless the multimodal system of transportation is developed in the country. Union government has to create a conducive environment for growth multimodal between air and road transport and create the path and corridors both in the virtual and physical sense to bring growth in the air cargo sector. India is a huge consumption market and we have a large population of youth in our country. So, it’s obvious that consumption will always remain on the higher side and it demands new innovative, disruptive and digitalized logistics processes. To evolve these processes, the government will have to act as a catalyst by making enabling policies for the betterment of the sector. Complex situations always erupt in any growing economy or an organization. I believe, the key to surviving in such a situation is by keeping clarity on the path one is ought to take and the benefit it will bring to the trade at large and the country. If one keeps such clarity, then in a country like India, any complex situation can be handled with ease. And, one comes in a position to evolve new sets of businesses and opportunities.


Built to suit Warehousing


Businesses have three options when it comes to expanding into a new facility: they can invest in land and then can construct on their own; lease or purchase and make necessary renovations and build a new facility for lease. New developments can be speculative wherein the developer first constructs with standard features and then give it on lease. This type of development may have tenancy issues later on. In other instance, we have a built to suit agreement wherein occupier is committed to taking the space on lease and the box is customized as per his requirements. The tenant specifies its needs to the developer, then drawing is shared by the tenant and once agreed then the construction is started. The need for built-to-suit warehousing arises as the current lot is small, dilapidated and not in sync with the technology available. In built-to-suit warehousing, the developer is assured of tenancy even before the construction and this gives him confidence and financial security. Also, since the requirements of the tenants may vary be it the Size or Height, a BTS comes in handy in such situations. Across the warehousing industry, we are seeing a consolidation wave wherein the average space is taken up has been increased substantially. The asset is developed as per the occupier’s requirements and specifications. While implementing a build-to-suit strategy, it becomes necessary to forecast long-term growth goals and needs. In such a development, there is a pre-leased agreement with the occupier. Costs saved therein can be invested in the core area of operation. In such developments there is no requirement of development expertise and the capital required is minimum. The Occupier prepares the specifications for the development and the investor develops the property as per the occupier’s specifications. Occupier enters into a long-term lease on the property and the investor receives rental payments from the occupier. The lead-up time taken by in this process is 9-12 months. The tenant can choose his desired location keeping in mind the support infrastructure in the catchment. Using a single developer to coordinate the land acquisition, design, construction, and funding, eases off the everyday operational issues. Companies can reduce up-front costs by agreeing to lease rates at 30 to 40% of design, saving time and money, and expediting the project¹s time frame. BTS projects help companies to match their distribution and warehousing requirements with market demands. A smart warehouse is one where all gadgets and devices are connected via the Internet (Internet of Things). There is widespread use of automation and robotics in such facilities. Amazon is known for pioneering the smart warehouse model; therefore, this concept is at times referred to as the Amazon Effect. The average size for warehouse development in metros is increasing from 1-1.5 lakh sq ft. to 3-5 lakh sq ft. in comparison to non-metro markets. The ease with which it allows the option of flexibility and customization as per the business needs results into value for money. Compared to other assets the turnaround time here is fast (9-12 Months). Tenants are increasingly looking for expansion options within these parks. The development cost may vary from 1500 to 2200 per sq ft. depending upon the specifications.


Prohibition of plastic products on ships


India handled 20-ft standard containers at Port of Hamburg in the first half of 2019 and saw a growth of 17% in the India-Hamburg sea trade. India has conquered the 10th position in Hamburg’s ranking of its trading partners for container transport as a result of this growth. Furthermore, the weekly sailing offered by Hapag Lloyd and its partnership owners ONE, YML and COSCO from Hamburg on the IEX – South-East India–Europe Express service starting from November onwards have made the prospect for further growth better. The ten liner services which include container, general cargo, heavy cargo, and RO-RO-services connect the port with India several times a week. The two ports transport goods such as machinery and equipment, metals and metal products, chemical products, textiles and clothing. The Directorate General of Shipping ordered to prohibit on board a large number of single-use plastic products including ice cream containers, hot dish cups, microwave dishes and potato chips bags, on ships that are in Indian waters from January 1, 2020. The decision has been taken by Directorate General of Shipping following an appeal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15 to take an initiative towards freeing India of single-use plastics. The decision is supposed to be in the larger interest of the public and to protect the marine ecosystem. Items like bags, trays, containers, food packaging film, milk bottles, freezer bags, shampoo bottles, ice cream containers, bottles for water and other drinks, dispensing containers for cleaning fluid and biscuits trays are prohibited, including hot drink cups, insulated food packaging, protective packaging for fragile items, microwave dishes, ice cream tubs, potato chips bags and bottle caps. Apart from this, the Directorate has also banned the use of single-use plastic cutlery, plates and cups, up to 10 litres of bottles for water and other drinks, garbage and shopping bags and dispensing containers for cleaning fluids which are less than 10 litres volume with immediate impact. The Directorate has directed the authorities to ensure during surveys, inspection and audits of Indian ships that no single-use plastic is found or stored onboard any Indian ships. And, in case of repeated offence, it will be a case for detention. Further, the foreign ships intending to enter Indian waterways will have to declare single-use plastic items on board and no such item will be permitted to discharge at India ports.


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CILTianSarath Vishnu K.S