Logistics innovation

Logistics innovation

What is logistics innovation?

For the last 20 years, a Transport & Week has been organized to introduce the most significant innovations. These innovations mostly concern the digital transition and the fight against air pollution and packaging disposal. The world of transport and logistics is constantly evolving, to meet the requirements of broken-up and globalized markets. Competition has sky-rocketed, and last mile delivery has become more and more complex and thus expensive.

therefore works on such things as the development of autonomous vehicles both on the road and via drones, as well as robots to carry goods around warehouses. Digital innovations will never cease to revolutionize the , thanks to Radio Frequency IDentification. RFID is an identification solution used for parcels or pallets, used for remote monitoring throughout its journey thanks to a label emitting radio waves. Software innovations meet the needs of companies, when it comes to reducing energy, financial and human costs, and diminishing their environmental impact.

Mostly dedicated to transporters, the blockchain is the most recent innovation. Its goal is to develop traceability applications than can be viewed by each and every partner within the . As such, producers can follow up on their produce whilst it is being transported to the transformer’s site, then on to the distributors and lastly to the consumers.

Specificities of logistics innovation: 5 areas for improvement

  • is a cornerstone for growth and long-lasting activity in companies throughout the .

  • It must meet the requirements of a competitive and globalized market, as well as its constant changes resulting from business environments or from State-enacted laws (hence an agile approach to ensure success for innovative operations).

  • Logisticians are confronted with consumers’ demands to purchase products of known origin (traceability).

  • New distribution channels have also appeared over the last few years, stemming from the development of e-commerce and .

  • Companies are required to permanently invest in innovations, to boost their productivity and curtail their expenses.

Examples and practical applications

Robotics and logistics innovation in warehouses

The most remarkable recent innovation concerns the simultaneous operation of several AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles) in warehouses. This guiding system is a solution that helps guarantee supply deadlines whilst complying with safety rules in units. The solution relies on a control center, whose purpose is also to manage priority tasks.

Pallet exchange through websites

One of the most awaited innovations, currently being developed in the field of transport and logistics, concerns a recurring problem specific to the world of transport: the exchange of returnable pallets. One of the leaders in logistics has optimized productivity for this form of packaging, thanks to an online pallet exchange platform. This online assistance service makes pallet stock management much more flexible for partners, and avoid disputes between loaders and transporters. This dedicated website also makes it possible to purchase and sell pallets thanks to its marketplace.

Innovations stemming from RFID and dock-side cameras

Security during truck loading is ensured by data provided by beacons located on dock curtains, as well as by high-definition embedded cameras in loading machines. This method improves productivity for this time-consuming service, which often used to lead to disputes. The latter are now avoided thanks to video surveillance cameras and the data their beacons provide.

Innovative trucks with on-board cooling systems

One of the innovations appearing as an economic revolution for transporters is the use of natural gas. It produces cold in new PIEK-certified refrigeration units (60 dBA sound level). Refrigerated trucks are fitted with an engine that runs on the same fuel as the one that supplies the refrigeration unit. Natural gas does not produce fine particles, and its price is lower than fossil fuels.