Sandeep Sharma, Founder and CEO, Cogent Transware Solutions

Logistics companies are deploying, smart solutions in various areas, including supply chain management, delivery and storage with the aim of streamlining operations and deriving business benefits. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), internet of things (IoT) and big data analytics have also started marking their presence in the logistics sector, with a number of applications emerging around these technologies. Going forward, blockchain is expected to impact the sector in a big way by driving transparency and efficiency in supply chain management and enhancing the customer experience. Se­ni­or executives of enterprises operating in this space talk about the emerging IT trends in logistics, the status of technology adoption and the future outlook…

What role is ICT playing in the logistics and transportation sector?

The logistics sector has finally come of age. The era when people had no idea ab­out the whereabouts of their consignment has finally ended. This has largely been made possible through ICT. Com­mu­ni­cation has become an integral component of logistics and following up has never been easier. Fr­om real-time GPS tracking to controlling vehicle movements and understanding drivers’ behaviour, smart and intelligent tran­s­­portation systems im­prove reporting, customer experience and asset utilisation. Th­us, the logistics and transportation sector will be one of the major beneficiaries of ICT.

What are some of the key ICT solutions dep­loy­ed by your organisation? How is it benefiting your operations?

We have invested in the latest technologies and have developed proprietary systems that provide clients with real-time information about their consignment, and provide us with relevant data and insights. Using these systems, we have been able to increase our efficiency by 33 per cent with the same resources. Operations have im­proved and so has customer delight. The idea is to feed customers not with data but with useful information.

What is the scope of new technologies like IoT, big data analytics and AI in the sector? How are you leveraging these technologies?

All these technologies will play an integral role in logistics. IoT along with AI can reduce manual intervention, and increase accuracy and efficiency. With the e-commerce market becoming bigger, the supply chain is going to be a brand differentiator for companies. As the cost of hardware used in IoT devices is decreasing, the up­take of the technology is increasing, which will transform many traditional job profiles and create new and innovative ones. New technologies help us in bringing innovation to business and efficiency to the supply chain.

What are the key challenges faced in the adoption of ICT solutions? How can these be addressed?

The main challenge is to find the right mix of technologies that fits into the company’s business model and yields significant benefits. Also, quantifying the intangible benefits that ICT solutions bring to the table is a challenge. It is essential to stay up to date with the dynamic changes in the technology landscape and the evolving government policies.

What are the upcoming technology trends that will shape the logistics industry over the next few years?

In the coming few years, I believe, IoT, AI and big data are going to drive overall businesses, and not just logistics. Data will fuel this growth. Blockchain will be another big game changer and we may get to see a lot of collaboration among businesses around this.

“IoT, AI and big data are going to drive overall businesses, not just logistics. Data will fuel this growth, and blockchain will be another big game changer.”Sandeep Sharma