It is known that the logistics sector is a fundamental pillar of economic activity worldwide, where it represents more than 10% of the Gross Value Added. In Portugal, it still corresponds to less than 10%, and its growth is notorious. Until the emergence of the pandemic, it was a practically unknown sector, currently, as a consequence of Covid-19, the rise of e-Commerce, as well as the Ukrainian War, it is considered essential in the social, economic and even political scenario.
The logistics sector has evolved rapidly, also significantly boosted by digitalization, which carries state-of-the-art developments, either by globalization that erases practically all commercial barriers or by the profound changes in companies’ operating models, logistics chains and supply chains.
Technology and innovation play a crucial role in the development and growth of the logistics sector, as well as in the ability to deliver the final product more quickly and efficiently. Along with planning and management, state-of-the-art technological solutions must be measured and implemented in the short, medium and long term.
A highlight for the automation and the inclusion of artificial intelligence in warehouses, the heart of the Supply Chain. These developments make it possible to eliminate repetitive tasks, improve productivity, increase responsiveness in less time, optimize physical space, predict storage needs, reduce execution errors and even customize the relationship with suppliers and customers.
An efficient supply chain increasingly depends on IoT (Internet of Things), which, driven by 5G, makes it possible to follow each stage of processing an order in real-time. Technologies such as sensors, scanners or information storage systems in the cloud allow the connection between warehouses, goods, suppliers and customers and, consequently, monitor the product’s status, and location, among others, until the final delivery.
In logistics, the last mile concept refers to the final stretch of delivery of a load/goods between the distribution centre and the end customer. This is also the most complex distribution stage, as it involves a set of variables closely related to the efficiency and costs of the operation and, more crucial, directly impacts the relationship with the customer. However, at this stage, there is often more slowness and inefficiency.
Many people do not buy again from a company that has failed to deliver, so it is essential to ensure the greatest possible precision and customization in the processing and delivery of the cargo. Thus, the logistics sector has been developing, in addition to those above technological and digitization solutions, alternative means of delivery, such as Smart Lockers, Crowdshipping, Drones or Robots.
Thus, automation, IoT, artificial intelligence and the use of drones, for example, are some of the technologies applied by the most prominent market players, and it is inevitable that in the future, access to these solutions will be democratized to the entire business fabric of the logistics sector.
Internal logistics, which concerns the set of information flows within the company/warehouse’s borders, is fundamental to the success of an organization, as it allows for optimizing processes, adding value to products and services, reducing costs and increasing productivity.
To help in this flow, it will be essential to invest in implementing Management Software, for example, to make it possible to manage all the information related to the company’s logistics, both internal and external.
Finally, Logistics’ commitment to the environment, and even to the real estate developers who develop the projects, is a topic we could not exclude. Therefore, implementing solutions that seek to respect the highest ethical standards for the planet is essential for the success of this sector, which, by the way, has a very relevant carbon footprint these days.
Opting for means of circulation and a less polluting fleet, optimizing and reinventing circulation and delivery flows and opting for self-sustaining buildings are some of the possibilities in this sector (in addition to all the globally known solutions that can be applied to all industries) to the real pact to create a greener tomorrow.
In the coming years, the logistics sector will go through critical moments for its development so that those who do not adapt quickly may not survive or will start to bear inappropriate costs in economic terms and terms of service quality.Back to the top