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Aug 08 2019

Filling gaps in logistics with advanced analytics

Good stories have surprises and plot twists. They challenge readers to think and sometimes  introduce new ideas. Ideally, they have a satisfying ending.

With all this in mind, I would like you to tell you a story about Nokia and logistics. This may not sound like the premise for a new bestseller but stick with me.

The story begins in Munich, at Transport Logistic, the world’s leading trade fair for logistics, mobility, IT and supply chain management. Many attendees who stopped by our booth asked, “Why is Nokia here?” We answered by explaining three elements we think every logistics company needs :

  1. A private LTE network: LTE offers many advantages over Wi-Fi because of its communication, networking and IoT integration potential for warehouses, ports and cargo operations. Private LTE networks offer a secure and reliable foundation for improving business performance and realizing new operational improvements.
  2. Better sensor support: Sensor devices are integral to ensuring that goods are not damaged in transit. The combination of private LTE networks and standards-based IoT platforms can support the onboarding and use of a wide array of connected devices.
  3. Advanced analytics: Analytics based on artificial intelligence and machine learning can drive optimization in specific logistic business processes.

As we shared our vision on logistics, it became clear that we were telling a story that attendees weren’t expecting but found very interesting. Why? Because this combination of elements fills logistics service gaps that many vendors aren’t aware of or ready to address. What’s more, it offers improved efficiency that translates into real cost savings.

Analytics in particular appears to be underutilized in the logistics space, even though it offers the potential for tremendous operational improvements. Most software at Transport Logistic focused on asset tracking, routing and scheduling. But we’ve identified underserved logistics business processes where analytics can make a real difference in improving efficiency.

For example, a human warehouse operator would have trouble reviewing all the trailers in the yard, the volume and type of packages in each trailer, and their final destinations during the course of a 3–4-hour sort. The typical result would be high initial productivity followed by an overload of packages to specific locations, which would crash sort operations.

Logistics

Our Hub Optimization solution uses artificial intelligence to view this problem holistically. It ingests vendor data on available trailers, packages, package types, available workers, warehouse layout, and package destinations and gives the operator an optimized sequence of trailers to put on doors over the course of a sort. We’ve found that the solution provides a 7–10 percent improvement in efficiency for each sort. When applied at scale, it can generate significant cost savings.

Hub Optimization is just one part of our portfolio of analytics solutions for logistics. Additional optimization opportunities exist within the logistics industry, especially around the movement and storage of goods and the utilization of workforces in warehouses.

Nokia has expertise, technologies and scale that can enable companies to optimize their logistics operations. With our help, companies can develop new and novel ways to improve their operations and increase profits.

Want to know more?

Learn how our transport and logistics analytics solutions can help your company optimize the movement of assets and people to save time and money and increase productivity and capacity.

Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokiaindustries using #industry4.0 #IIoT #machinelearning 

About Brian Welde

Brian Welde is a product line manager for Nokia Enterprise Analytics and IoT. He specializes in solving business problems with models, analytics, and spatial data. Brian has 18 years of experience implementing innovative business solutions for a wide array of commercial and government clients as a consultant, project manager, and product manager.

He holds a masters degree in Geography from the University of Missouri-Columbia and in his limited free time is usually kayaking a river while fishing.

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