We cannot deny that we live in a society in constant change, where new technologies have been integrated into our day to day almost without realizing it. According to economists, we are witnessing the fourth industrial revolution, and it is expected that in the coming years, the changes of this revolution will reach new areas of our society. Randall Castillo Ortega, an expert in international trade, provides insight into how technology is improving global trade and assisting logistics.
One of the sectors in almost constant transformation is logistics. And it is one of the best fields to incorporate new technologies. As a result, it improves productivity and maximizing, as well as the efficiency of processes throughout the supply chain.
eCommerce is one of the clearest examples of advances in the logistics chain. With eCommerce, customers can buy anything, wherever and whenever they want, and this is a huge challenge for the logistics sector. Thus, they have had to develop methods of accelerated delivery of goods, much larger warehouses to manage orders, return centers or more sustainable means of transport to meet this demand. Hence, we already talk about e-logistics, such as eCommerce logistics.
Big data is another of the fashionable concepts in our society. It refers to the massive processing of data and undoubtedly has a great impact on the supply chain. Thus, Big Data allows us to know the preferences and tastes of our customers and this exhaustive knowledge has been transferred to the supply chain that, for some time, prioritizes consumer service overproduction. In a globalized world like the one we live in, customers have become much more demanding, and that is why it is so important to know our final consumer in-depth, to adapt the way of producing and distributing goods.
The Internet of Things has earned a prominent place within the logistics sector. This allows us, among other things, to know in real-time the status of goods: geolocation and tracking systems or temperature sensors are just some of the examples. In the same way, the IoT offers the possibility for companies to control and respond to all the risks associated with the supply chain.
Nor can we forget the impact of new technologies among professionals in the sector. “There have been two great changes that have taken place,” explains Castillo. “First, professionals have had to adapt to changes in the sector and adapt their roles to new demands. Second, new jobs and new profiles have been created within the logistics sector, to face all the novelties that new technologies have meant in this field.”
The evidence shows us that new technologies have transformed the world of logistics and will continue to do so in the coming years. There is no doubt that we have evolved towards a more agile, efficient, transparent, secure and interconnected logistics sector in all its phases. New technologies have also made it possible to improve the planning and organization of the supply chain, as well as the user experience.
And we cannot forget that the logistics sector is one of the most important pieces for the economy of any country, especially for its impact on exports and imports and also on the domestic consumption of a nation. For this reason, it must evolve at the same pace as society does.
Blockchain solutions, a system of decentralized digital transactions, can reduce the time spent on customs compliance and logistics. The Internet of Things, networking capabilities and everyday object processing can help improve operational efficiency through better preventive maintenance of machinery and products. Therefore, these technologies can reduce transportation and storage costs, which account for a significant portion of overall business costs.
Digital technologies can also significantly affect world trade. For example, remote-controlled robotics has led to revolutionary advances in the trade in services and the emergence of new services such as telesurgery.
Enhanced technological capabilities that enable faster and easier processing of traded products could also encourage trade in time-sensitive, certification- and contract-intensive goods. Overall, the expansion of digital commerce has the potential to generate considerable benefits if carried out under conditions that adequately address important public policy challenges.