3 Notable Tech Innovations in the Freight Shipping Industry
Maybe you’re looking to start a career in the industry as a freight handler, or maybe you’re looking to ship some essential goods in your immediate future. Whatever your reasons, you should be pleased to know that the freight shipping industry has not stagnated. On the contrary, there have been plenty of notable advancements in the industry, including with tech.
Here are 3 top ones explained.
Blockchain for Supply Chain Management
Blockchain technology works by creating a decentralized and immutable digital ledger of transactions so that instead of relying on a central authority (like a bank or government), a network of computers (nodes) is distributed across the world and each node has a copy of the entire blockchain.
What does this mean for supply chain management? Say you’re a retailer that sells organic coffee beans sourced from different regions around the world. Here are some benefits:
- Every step in the coffee bean supply chain, from the farm to the store, can be recorded as a transaction on the blockchain and traced
- Each participant in the supply chain, including coffee growers, processors, distributors, and retailers, can digitally sign and authenticate their transactions
- With real-time access to a shared ledger, all stakeholders can see the status of shipments, inventory levels, and payment transactions
Autonomous Vehicles and Drones
Chances are you’re aware of the existence of autonomous vehicles and drones. In the freight shipping industry, this technology is greatly utilized, even if not yet widespread.
For example, autonomous delivery vehicles and drones are increasingly being used for last-mile delivery – the final step in getting packages from a distribution center to the recipient’s doorstep. Drones, in particular, are handy for delivering goods to remote or hard-to-reach locations where traditional transportation methods are not a viable option.
At the very least, electric autonomous vehicles and drones can contribute to reducing the environmental impact of freight shipping as they ultimately lower emissions and optimize energy usage.
Data Analytics and Predictive Maintenance
Simply put, the industry has evolved to collect and analyze data from various sources in the freight shipping process – including information about shipments, routes, fuel consumption, and vehicle performance – to identify trends, optimize routes, and reduce overall costs.
Similarly, predictive maintenance uses data and algorithms to predict when maintenance or repairs are needed for freight vehicles, such as trucks and cargo ships so that instead of performing maintenance on a fixed schedule or waiting for a breakdown, data from sensors and historical maintenance records forecast when a vehicle is likely to develop a problem that is then solved.
Both proactive methods combined mean significantly increased efficiency that saves the industry chunks of money.
The freight shipping industry is evolving with the integration of innovative technologies like blockchain, autonomous vehicles, drones, data analytics, and predictive maintenance; prioritizing transparency, efficiency, and cost-saving.