Monday, 24 March 2014

Logistics can benefit from smartphone and PC tablet use, reports DHL

DHL has reported a trend that shows technologies initially designed for consumer use can also be incorporated into logistics. A study conducted by the Trend Research team at DHL has shown that low-cost sensor technology, such as Microsoft’s video-game camera Kinect and smart watches, can be used in logistics.

Logistics could see a future involving lost-cost technologies
Dr. Markus Kuckelhaus, Director of Trend Research at DHL Customer Solution and Innovation, explains “The success of Smartphones and tablet PCs has created a situation in which employees have better technology for personal use than they do for [their] business needs.” Kuckelhaus also goes on to say: “But they expect to have the same standard of technology at work. For this reason, we think companies have to step up and put Smartphone sensors in particular to work in logistics.”

The introduction in the use of Smartphones and PC tablets in the logistics industry could prove highly beneficial to logistics. The technologies involved could help aid in the processes of delivery. It has been possible for aspects such as acceleration, position and light to be monitored using these types of devices. These technologies could be applied to include the recording the arrival time of a shipment for example, as well as being used as a tracking or tracing feature, with the results then being uploaded onto an on-line viewable platform.

DHL has also invested time into testing several other application areas. Concepts have been developed to measure pallet volumes. The testing proved that measurements made by technologies that have the ability to detect depth were 50% faster when compared to using older technologies. Further to this, other benefits include the fill measurements of containers and trucks, in addition to the monitoring and tracking of damaged freight.

In terms of costs, sensibly priced technologies bear particular appeal within the logistics industry. While network development investments are usually accompanied with high costs, the mass production of sensor technologies could counterbalance this theory.

Customers are due to advantage from this new method as volume measurement will utilise networks of transport. Additionally, the emissions of CO2 would lower as a result.

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