Logistics: AI and Blockchain

Barcelona, May 10, 2023.- The company WhistleDrive has published a very interesting analysis on the implementation of AI and Blockchain in the logistics sector. It is worth reading:

We’ve come a long way since logistics was seen as a rudimentary network of transportation channels used to move goods and services for businesses. While companies are heading towards a data-driven approach to increase their efficiency, it’s not enough to manage supply chains anymore. With Covid-19 and natural disasters changing the trajectory of the world economy, a lot of factors within supply chains had to be paid attention to and improved upon. Cost control, technological advancements, and reliable sourcing are becoming the identifiers of a healthy supply chain system.  

Elements like rising fuel prices due to shifting trade policies and increased cost of raw materials can quickly lead to higher costs throughout supply chains. While these are external factors, internal ones include handling and regulating their data throughout their departments. Whether it be wholesalers, retailers and last-minute delivery cohorts or suppliers and intermediate logistical companies, lack of analytical visibility makes it difficult to keep an informed eye on supply chain systems. With consumers spanning across cities and often continents, the lack of coordination and streamlining can lead to delays, overstocking and financial gaps.  

Blockchain can be described as an advanced database mechanism that allows transparent and efficient information sharing within a business network. In supply chain management, it fills in the gap left by the manually handled data collection and exchange. With features like permanent digital ledgers for error-free transactions and digitalized physical assets for greater visibility, it is a major step forward in the future of supply chain management. Some of the benefits of AI and Blockchain: 

  1. Smarter Scalability: AI and blockchain apps provide scalability with large databases that can be accessed from multiple locations worldwide. This helps to handle high-value items that often fall into fraud or counterfeit. More can be used on safe and timely deliveries with less time going into validating data. With improvements in inventory management and reduction in courier costs, these technologies make handling supply chains easier.  
  2. Transparent Data Sharing: Lack of visibility is a pertaining problem in supply chains. With AI and Blockchain, this isn’t a problem anymore as data can now be easily shared among all stakeholders like wholesalers, retailers and logistical service providers. In this case, awareness increases and helps reduce internal conflicts and delays due to miscommunication. 
  3. Reduction of Human Error: Switching from the manual system of paperwork and bureaucracy, AI and blockchain help in filtering out data errors and mistakes in the process. An automated process is adopted where all the information needed can be accessed under a digital dashboard, making it easier for stakeholders to keep track. From pick-up and delivery to real-time tracking of goods, it creates a direct relationship between stakeholders.  
  4. Transparency and Traceability: Collecting and analysing better data on how goods are made and sourced leads to more transparency in the foundation of the supply chain process. What raw materials are used and how they are managed are clear and easily accessible. Stakeholders can now trust the legitimacy of the product right from the first step and more genuine information can be provided to the consumers using the products.  
  5. Increased Tech Knowledge and Collaboration: The supply chain keeps evolving with technology increasingly finding an important stronghold. As concise solutions and better mapping of processes become essential, these technologies provide companies with the resources to make supply chains more productive and adaptable to erratic market changes. It also leads to higher credibility and trust among stakeholders, thereby dripping down to end consumers and creating a stronger internal and external network.  

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