How Big Data is Revolutionizing the Logistics Industry

karthipriya s | August 22 - 2018


The emergence of big data has created ripples across multiple industries, empowering both the businesses and its customers. Where the logistics industry continues to battle with geographical complexities and severe bottlenecks, Big data has been vouched by companies like UPS and DHL to make data-driven decisions for improved operational efficiency and better customer experience.

Big data takes into consideration the massive amount of information that is transmitted throughout the supply chain and leverages data mining and predictive analysis to break down the data into useful metrics. Here are three ways big data can be implemented in the Logistics Industry.

Intelligence-driven planning

Throughout the cycle of scheduling, routing and delivery, there is a huge amount of information that is to be taken into consideration in the logistics planning. Big data replaces the manual recording of information with an intelligent platform that analyzes different parameters to strengthen decisions.

When it comes to route planning, big data analyze routes, weather conditions, traffic forecast, road diversions and other real-time scenarios to identify the fastest route to the destination. Intelligent routing solves the obstacle of handling multiple deliveries and streamlining activities throughout the transportation channel. This helps businesses in not only speeding up the order-to-cycle but also reduces fuel expenses and improves vehicle productivity.

Furthermore, big data analyzes customer behavior, global demands, economic conditions and other factors to predict demand. This help businesses with better workforce planning and fleet utilization to reduce wastage and improve overall operational efficiency.

Mitigating risks

Earlier, the logistics industry struggled to manage unforeseeable circumstances. Big data let businesses make proactive decisions by identifying patterns and predicting possible risks to lessen the impact of the outcomes. From fleet maintenance, shipping routes, external conditions (weather, traffic, road conditions) to even analyzing political and socio-cultural changes, big data can improve forecast and reduce damages to an extent.

Strengthening last-mile delivery

Most businesses tend to agree that the highest level of uncertainties occurs during the last-mile delivery. However, since there is a direct contact with the end customers, there can be no room for error. In this regard, big data helps in consolidating all the important data points that are a part of the last-mile delivery – including scenarios when customers are unavailable to pick up the delivery, managing chaotic routing and so much more – to streamline operations for improved customer experience.

The above scenarios bring an overall improvement in operational efficiency and customer experience which sets the foundation for a successful business. While the potential of big data has been explored in various other verticals, the logistics industry is slowing catching up. By discovering the right opportunities, the logistics industry can reap the rewards of this innovation.