DHL, in its latest, 2016 Trend Radar report, is predicting that artificial intelligence will have a transformational effect on the logistics industry in the years to come.
The report predicts that AI, along with personalisation, will help to evolve autonomy and optimisation in supply chain processes. This would impact manufacturing, logistics, warehousing, and last mile delivery from hub to home, which is traditionally the least efficient leg of the journey.
One example of innovation the report mentions is “batch size one” delivery, referring to single, highly customised items that will require huge developments in automated production (such as 3D printing). Another is “on-demand delivery”, equivalent to the way that Uber works for taxis.
Other trends include “digital identifiers” like sensor tags and biometrics for ease of identification during processing; self-driving vehicles; self-learning computer systems; and even “bionic enhancement” to improve the health and safety of workers by expanding their physical abilities.
According to DHL, we will start to see some of these changes within the next five years.
(Source: Logistics Manager)