As a leading expert in the field of (big) data solutions, we develop the technologies that are going to shape our future. To prepare for the future we analyse the industries we operate in, we share our image of the future of the field of logistics and how technological innovations will push operational excellence to its very limit.
A glimpse of the future
Imagine a warehouse just outside a highly technologically advanced smart city. This small warehouse doesn’t stand out in size, but in its diversity: the warehouse is completely stocked with goods from a variety of clients. Just as a truck is leaving the warehouse, another truck arrives with goods to fill up the space that just opened up. This is not a coincidence, it’s planned; no storage space goes unused. As the cargo leaves the warehouse, clients are informed about the current location and the condition of their goods and billing is handled automatically. If a problem occurs when the goods are loaded on the trucks or in the warehouse, it will instantly be documented and all parties involved will be directly informed.
Outside the warehouse, the driverless truck that has just left the warehouse sets off towards its destinations. It is completely full of packages from a variety of clients with a variety of destinations. Some packages need to be delivered to other warehouses in the distributed warehouse network, others need to be delivered to customer’s home. Upon leaving the warehouse, the ideal route is computed to deliver all the packages. The automatic vehicle drives from destination to destination, using real-time traffic information and weather data to expertly avoid any traffic jams and deliver packages to their intended location at the promised time.
After all deliveries have been completed, the truck picks up a new load that have been ordered as recently as minutes ago. Newly filled with goods destined for customers and other warehouses in the network, it is ready to make a new set of deliveries. A seamless logistics system running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, around the globe.
The impact of data streaming technology
This glimpse of the future might seem an idealistic or futuristic one, but it’s not as far away as you may think. Many of the techniques required to make this dream come true are already being developed and implemented in streaming solutions such as our Datastreams Platform:
- Ensuring optimal warehouse capacity by instantly utilising newly freed space requires a system to continuously monitor future incoming and outgoing deliveries from a variety of clients. Technologies enabling extensive data collaboration and business-to-business data streaming is an essential part of enabling this kind of dynamic shared warehousing.
- Optimally handling issues with broken or incomplete goods requires an automated system for recognising, documenting and photographing any issues when they arrive. This information then needs to be disseminated to the relevant parties and integrated into relevant software systems. We built a system capable of doing this by combining our Datastreams Platform architecture with a custom-made app. Read more about it here.
- Monitoring each client’s storage space currently in use and handling the pay-per-shelf billing for this requires a seamlessly integrated data architecture that is capable of handling incoming and outgoing deliveries in real-time. Technologies for integrating different streams of data in a structured manner will be required to accomplish this.
- Utilising transport capacity sharing will require a collaboration platform where different clients can pool their data on plans for incoming and outgoing deliveries. A technology platform where organisations feel secure in sharing potentially sensitive data will play an important part in this.
- Allowing a (driverless) vehicle to deliver packages on will require a lot of data to be collected, streamed and processed in real-time. This is not only required to make such a car functional and safe, but also to allow the routing systems to make decisions based on weather and traffic data to continuously find the optimal route to take. Additionally, integrating the routing system data with the delivery database and customer database will allow customers to continuously be up to date on the status and arrival time of their packages.
The future is not here yet, but we’re building it brick by brick. Want to get a little bit of the future we are building? Our Datastreams platform empowers logistics providers to get a little bit of the future right now, enabling more efficient processes with big data in every part of the supply chain. Want to know more about what it can do? View our page on logistics here.