AI in Logistics in India



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The influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on society and technology has been epochal. Machine learning is no longer just a theoretical principle – its application has seen significant growth across different industries over the years in India. We are part of a reality where the usual methods, processes and status quo are constantly disrupted by the accuracy and ever-expanding nature of AI.

This presents a monumental opportunity for the logistics industry in India. Gone are those days when logistics was an afterthought or a secondary consideration in the minds of businesses. Today this industry has become a critical part of the distribution system and the supply chain management. Although the logistics sector was largely undisciplined before, today the amplifying demand for online deliveries from various parts of India including the very remote ones has led industry to grow at a CAGR of 10.7% by 2025. The logistics sector requires to be well-organized, have secured fleet services, synchronized transactions, predictive analytics, autonomous vehicles, and smart roads in order to maintain this tremendous level of growth. As a solution, adoption of Artificial Intelligence in the logistics service sector became imperative.

New age technology has remodeled the Logistics sector by being a key differentiator. Digital transformation of the Logistics sector translates to AI, Automation, Blockchain technology, Big Data Analysis, Cloud Computing and robotics being leveraged by market leaders in this realm to provide smart and end-to-end lean logistic solutions, minimize human intervention, elevate quality and reduce cost.

In order to ameliorate productivity and automate distribution, several established ecommerce companies like Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong, and DTDC have introduced an array of robots at their warehouses pan India. Automation in warehouses helps diminish human error, increase the package sorting capacity, and avoid repetitive stress on employees. This results in quick package delivery, thus delighting consumers who then begin to habitually choose services from the same company.

The Corona Virus pandemic has given way for contactless deliveries and operations. Most companies are sharing and submitting documents and updates online. This makes the operation hassle free and fast. One can check updates in real-time through developed AI and communicate at the same time. AI also helps in optimizing routes and streamlining functions to curtail shipping costs. Location-based services and Geocoding make this feasible by calculating the shortest route for delivery manpower to process well-timed package delivery.

Apart from the established firms, there is an assemblage of Indian start-ups that use numerous technological methods to simplify and automate the logistics industry. These start-ups include Delhivery, Trukky.com, Rivigo, Blowhorn and LogiNext, each of which provides intelligent logistic solutions like truck hiring, real-time tracking and delivery planning, to both B2C and B2B organizations.

Shipsy, a new age start-up based in Gurgaon can be a good example for implementation of AI. It is a platform that uses data-driven decision making to increase predictive supply chain visibility. Their field force task management application helps users make delivery and pickup run sheets that can be scanned and searched. In fact, the application can function even without an internet connection and let clients know if the data has been synced. Clever implementation of machine learning, data analytics and GPS have equipped these start-ups to disrupt traditional operational processes within the logistics sector.

The inclusion of AI has also allowed warehousing firms to become progressively market-oriented and agile. AI has empowered the companies to strengthen last-mile optimization, smart batching and returns handling. AI has integrated itself seamlessly into core supply chain, warehousing and other connected services which helped the industry to work more efficiently as the workforce alignment is sharpened.

Firms are becoming increasingly coherent through the incorporation of Global positioning systems (GPS), Radio-frequency identification (RFID), Internet of Things (IoT), and other advanced warehousing technologies. They also incorporate a tracking mechanism and seamless trace for all assets, along with sanctioning 24/7 automated monitoring systems. Additionally, AI has also been contributing to increasing the dexterity of operations. Computing appropriate data and effective inventory management in the sector with the help of AI is another benefit of technology taking over the field.

With Artificial Intelligence creating ripples of change, Robotics armed with AI has been contributing significantly in the growth. It is being used in India to serve various purposes and is now aiding the warehousing sector to develop further. It is aiding them in locating and tracking inventories along with various other functions.

As supply chain and logistics came to a halt during Corona virus pandemic, and the delivery workforce migrated to their hometowns, many brands were unable to fulfil demand. This laid bare the unreliability that accompanies the gig employment model therefore companies started to optimize real-time requirement for the personnel by implementing technology which takes over scheduled and routine tasks.

Even the government of India is witnessing the evolution of logistics sector and they are making maximum effort in contributing towards furthering the frictionless growth of this sector because the Indian logistics market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.7 percent between 2020-2024. With government’s policies like the National Logistics Policy that is to be released by the Government of India this year aims to promote seamless movement of goods across the country. It will focus primarily on process re-engineering, digitization, multi-modal transport, EXIM trade etc. This policy will help major brands in boosting their performance by leveraging cutting-edge technologies for better operations. It will address many issues seamlessly. It has also incorporated GST and the E-way bill to make processes smoother.

AI and swarm of other devices like electric vehicles, automated systems, high-tech security, drones, and efficient management systems have made the processes much glibber for logistics companies as well as their clients. All these developments strongly suggest a growing trend of AI implementation in Indian firms and their logistics management.

Conclusively, the ambit of AI is monumental, considering the space it occupies in renowned companies and flourishing start-ups. This is an affirmative sign for novel beginnings, which means many other will start walking in their footsteps and become allies in the digital transformation of logistics sector in India.

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