Category Archives: Uncategorized

Inventory Control in 3pl

Hello! Blog viewers, I am here with another experience of my observation of a 3PL company during my Bachelors study in India. The ABC company was a third party logistics company working in Northern regions of India (5 states). The organization was having limited inventory flow which sometimes lead them to losses on deliveries. Lets understand the situation.

Every day company had to deliver 2 Trucks following the pattern of LTL (Less truck load) and 3 Trucks as FTL (Full Truck Load) combined with other consignments. The Trucks of LTL were supposed to go to 4 distribution centers so the cost was covered. But almost 10 days of the month The company was not able to fulfil inventory transportation of LTL consignments because of more cost of transportation than service charges for the consignment. So, firm management decided to hire services for LTL from market (& competitors) to keep satisfying the customer. But in this process they were loosing the profit share of those consignments. I kept wondering, if their was another way to handle their inventory and manage a proper process.

During my session of Logistics, I realised they were facing major inventory handling problems. Some of the problems were Procurement cost which includes Administration component, handling, Transportation (increased because of involvement of other service providers) and Inspection of arrival. Other cost is Shortage cost which includes Additional cost of special order, Lost of customer goodwill, Loss of sales.

Moral of the experience was Proper management of inventory and its handling costs is important to maintain the goodwill of the company and sustainability. Control on inventory has became vital for the survival of the organizations.

SF Express, how China’s express industry leader goes global

Last year’s US election was such a dramatic spectacle that it was comparable to a live election show. Locally on November 4, the USA TODAY ballot counting screen suddenly showed a SF Express.

Screenshot from the US media live stream

With its current efficiency and reputation, SF is the leader in China’s express industry.

SF EXPRESS

According to media reports, Americans overseas can use international delivery services to return their mail-in ballots to the US or to US embassies and consulates. An American in China told the Global Times on Thursday under the condition of anonymity that he used EMS to deliver his ballot on October 9 from China’s Macao Special Administrative Region and it arrived in California on October 15.

DHL, UPS and FedEx have all grown into giants in the international logistics industry after decades or even centuries of precipitation, and their industry experience, financial resources and developed global logistics networks are far beyond the reach of SF Express.

  • DHL was founded in 1969 and currently employs over 285,000 people worldwide, with over 450 transshipment centers, warehouses and distribution depots and 420 aircraft;
  • Federal Express (FEDEX) was established in 1971 and now has over 138,000 employees, 50,000 delivery points, 671 aircraft and 41,000 vehicles worldwide;
  • UPS was established in 1907 and now has 108,210 delivery vehicles, 657 aircraft and serves more than 220 countries and territories.
  • SF Express was founded in 1993, and as of December 19, it has only 58 cargo planes, a difference of dozens of times with the other three.
Three major multinational express logistics companies

Statistics show that in 2018, the three major multinational express logistics companies accounted for 90% of the global market share of international express, the revenue is several times that of SF.

In terms of the global logistics network, the first three international express have a developed logistics network, collection, transport and delivery of their own processing.

And SF International? Take shipping to the US for example, the first half of the collection and transportation is handled by SF Express itself, while the second half relies on UPS’s logistics network for operations

Without independent customs clearance capabilities and its own delivery network, it is difficult to achieve the desired stability in terms of timeliness and user experience.

No trade or entity or even service industry can be separated from logistics. Logistics causes trade to develop and trade drives a country’s economy.Only when SF has its own global logistics delivery network and perfect service system, can it really go to the international market and compete with several other old international couriers, and this day, SF needs to go a long long way.

Research ON RFID-TECHNOLOGY IN WAREHOUSE

Hello! everyone, I want to share an experience from last semester. In Research Methodology subject we were given opportunity to do research on a topic of our choice & I did my research on RFID technology in Warehouses. I will share with you my Findings during research. Lets start with ‘What is RFID technology?’

Radio-frequency identification uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. An RFID tag consists of a tiny radio transponder; a radio receiver and transmitter. It is a technology for tracking the movement of goods throughout the supply chain process.

Lets see how it works in a warehouse through a video..

Some of the Major Observations During my study about RFID were:

  • Depends on the deprivation cost, the severity of error and the shrinkage recovery rate.
  • Attractive ways to improve supply chain efficiency through greater coordination between marketing and manufacturing.
  • These techniques are used for:

•- inventory management to theft detection

•- keeping track of material and maintenance tools

•- safety monitoring 

•- automation of warehouse operations

•- reliability & accuracy at best speed 

This technology is nowadays used by top logistics companies in order to simplify and fasten the process with low possibility of mistakes in supply chain management. During my research I also observed that the companies not adapting to IOT are facing challenge of sustainability in the market.

I would appreciate your experiences and comments related to RFID technology, do share your knowledge.

covid vaccine distribution faces storage and Logistical challenges

This past week, some of my family and friends from Manila and Doha posted on social media that they had been vaccinated for covid. Some of them are the same of my age, so I wonder what are the reasons why I’m not receiving it? why in other places are delayed? I searched on the internet to know the situation in distribution and here is what I discovered…

Source: CBS Evening News https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQATtH9KVqk

As reported by CBS Evening News, the vaccine needs to be stored in the box at a certain temperature (Pfizer: 94 degrees below zero Fahrenheit) using dry ice made from carbon dioxide (CO2), which is not easy to maintain during shipping. So, for me that’s one of the gaps that caused delay in the distribution.

Above is a rich picture that highlight the issues, based on the video and my personal observation. What about you, can you think of another issues and propose a solution to fill the gap? Please write in the comment section.

A greener Future for the aviation sector (flying-V)

Image source: Google images

Electric and hybrid-electric propulsion is rapidly revolutionizing mobility technologies across industries, from automotive to marine and the aviation industry is no exception (Airbus, 2021).

According to the ICAO in its blog “Future of Aviation“, in 2017, airlines worldwide carried around 4.1 billion passengers. They transported 56 million tones of freight on 37 million commercial flights. Every day, airplanes transport over 10 million passengers and around USD 18 billion worth of goods.

This represents the significant economic impact of aviation on the world economy, since aviation represents 3.5 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) worldwide (2.7 trillion US dollars) and has created 65 million jobs globally, (ICAO, 2021).

However, all this transportation activities have a major impact in the environment, since its source of power is fossil fuel. This releases a considerably high amount of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere, and as a consequence it increases global warming.

For this reason some companies have already started developing new technologies in order to create electric airplanes that can transport these goods in a more efficient and greener way. This is the case of the model Flying-V. A group of engineers have been working on this new model of electric commercial airplane, and their first test have been successful, here is a short video that shows this innovation.

This project have been developed in collaboration with three big companies (Airbus, TU Delft y KLM) that have adopted an open innovation business model to create this new amazing aircraft. Innovations like this one will definitely impact the logistics industry in very positive way.

VUCA Environment

In the activity of our last logistics class we got in contact with an environment that best can be described as VUCA. For me the term VUCA was completely new and I wanted to know it’s meaning. This blog post is addressed at those that, just like me, are unfamiliar with the term and want to obtain an understanding of it.

The acronym VUCA comes from the American military and describes the highly demanding conditions in war zones, where nothing could be predicted and everything could change from one day to the next. The term VUCA has been adopted to project management as well as general corporate environments because most of the time these conditions are also common in these business environments. VUCA stands for:

  • VOLATILE – change is rapid and unpredictable  in its nature and extent.
  • UNCERTAIN – the present is unclear and the future is uncertain.
  • COMPLEX – many different, interconnected factors  come into play, with the potential to cause chaos and confusion.
  • AMBIGUOUS – there is a lack of clarity or awareness about situations.

HOW TO DEAL WITH A VUCA ENVIRONMENT?

In order to deal with VOLATILITY a clear VISION is needed for orientation when it feels like everything is changing around you. So define your vision and make sure you and your project staff always keep it in mind.

UNCERTAINTY can be countered with UNDERSTANDING. Information is needed to make decisions. So make sure there is a way to exchange knowledge between all participants. Additionally, you should also deal with risks early on and conduct detailed risk management.

React to COMPLEXITY with CLARITY. Provide clear direction, communicate clearly and try to design processes as simply as possible.

Fight AMBIGUITY with AGILITY. Ensure cooperation and communication between all project participants. Working agilely makes this simple, for example, by having a daily Scrum to keep everyone up-to-date.

As Logistics is defined by the flow of information and goods, dealing with a VUCA environment is definitely an important part of any logistics manager’s day-to-day business. I hope this post brought some clarity about the meaning of VUCA and some of you can benefit from it. Detailed information can be found here.

The 10 most innovative logistics companies of 2021

The Fast Company provides numerous top-10 rankings for the most innovative companies by categories such as, architecture, beauty, robotics, gaming, energy, logistics and others that you can find in their website.
This article introduce 10 Logistic Companies that have applied innovation in their procesess, products or services, to provide solutions during 2020 -a challenging year even for innovators- and at the same time, gives interesting examples of how logistics can be applied in a wide variety of industries in different stages of the value chain. Visit their websites to get more info!

1. GOTRG

“Reverse logistics” company goTRG specializes in helping retailers to reshelve, reclaim, and repurpose returned inventory. In 2020, the company launched several dedicated TV refurbishment centers at a major US retailer, redirecting hundreds of thousands of units out of landfills and into resale streams.

2. COUPA

Its new offering, Source Together, allows buyers seeking the same products to band together on “community sourcing events” to collectively choose, bid on, and award contracts, reducing their rates and providing suppliers with larger orders.

3. NARVAR

In response to the pandemic, Narvar rapidly rolled out solutions for companies facing store shutdowns, including returning in-store purchases through the mail, pivoting stores to ship merchandise, facilitating buy-online-pickup-curbside options, and expanding paperless returns (using a QR code) to all three major U.S. mail carriers.

4. VECNA ROBOTICS

With the release of Pivotal, a “multi-agent AI-based orchestration engine,” the company introduced the ability for clients to quickly and effectively coordinate and delegate work for both human and robot workers, reportedly helping clients double throughput.

5. PROGLOVE

In 2020 wearable scanner company ProGlove released the Mark Display, a matchbox-sized scanner and screen that, via a glove, mounts on the back of warehouse workers’ hands for simple, lightweight scanning.

6. CAHOOT

Cahoot’s Shipping Label Solution helps members analyze all combinations of fulfillment location, shipping distance, and cost to surface the cheapest way to get product to customers on time. This year it grew to more than 100 peer-to-peer merchants, and and moved more than $300 million in product.

7. BREAKTHROUGH

Breakthrough’s Network Intelligence system (launched in 2020) allows shippers to dynamically engage with their contract carriers, adding or removing partners as needed. The company’s dashboard houses thousands of data points about trucking companies, allowing clients to evaluate potential partners based on cost, speed, or quantity, and surfacing AI recommendations based on their priorities.

8. SHIPBOB

ShipBob fulfills orders for more than 3,500 DTC merchants. In 2020, the company expanded to international fulfillment centers, added free analytics tools to estimate shipping times and costs, and introduced new integrations with Loop, Shopify, Squarespace, Google and eBay.

9. RANPAK

In 2020, it introduced three paper-based solutions to its suite of eco-friendly shipping products: AccuFill, an automated system for cushioning packages that ensures just enough paper filler is used to be effective; PadPak Guardian, a machine that quickly and easily pads light and heavy items with paper bundles; and FillPak Trident, a paper alternative to plastic packing pillows.

10. 3RD STONE DESIGN

In 2020, 3rd Stone Design was awarded from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Grand Challenges for its Stone Cold Systems for vaccine delivery. The battery-powered portable vaccine refrigerators, designed for deployment in low- and middle-income countries, keep medical products cold without the use of electricity, and can be remotely monitored for temperature and location.

Drones: A possible ally against COVID-19

There are many challenges considering the actual pandemic situation including the production limitation of vaccines, tests, and other PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), but without a good development of logistics, they could not reach the final users, specially when rural health inequities exist.

For this reason, the drone delivery service “Zipline” in partnership with the Government of Ghana, have started an air distribution of vaccines to the most remote areas where other types of transportation would take longer and imply more costs. In addition, UPS (logistics company) had been providing critical ground transportation of the vaccines and in conjunction with Zipline, have placed nests (bases for the drones to launch and land) in strategic zones to distribute vaccines across Ghana. It is also noted that this company had already experienced in the topic when it provided support for the distribution of COVID-19 tests.

The process of the delivery by drone consists on the drone arriving to the health facility or a specific out of reach vaccination centre, and instead of landing, it will lower its altitude to be able to release the package, in this the vaccine, from the air. The package will then parachute to the ground and land in a three-metre-wide area approximately.

The link from below is a video on how this system works and that was taken in Rwanda in 2016, when Zipline was also assisting in the critical healthcare access initiatives.

https://www.forbes.com/video/4885618798001/

As seen in other companies such as the partnership of Merck (pharmaceutical company) and Volansi (drone technology) whose purpose was to create an efficient delivery of routine medications, this would not be the first-time using drones for medical purposes. Some of the reasons regarding their use lay on the fact that drones will make distribution of medications and vaccines in rural areas more equity that how they currently operate and could also mean a cost-saving mean of transport (between 20 to 50% under a wide range of conditions and depending on the size of population served, the radius, quality of roads).

Even though the idea of distributing vaccines by drones sounds promising and interesting and give a possible solution for the always complex logistical challenge, there are still many requirements to take into account if considering this option. As vaccines can be delicate to transport and may require special storage (ultra-cold storage), there are still some technological and regulatory hurdles than need to be improved.

It is for sure an alternative with many advantages for the health industry and that can produce a positive impact on the vaccine logistics by reaching more people.

From: Forbes – Drones Are Now Being Used To Deliver Covid-19 Vaccines https://www.forbes.com/sites/saibala/2021/03/06/drones-are-now-being-used-to-deliver-covid-19-vaccines/?sh=70633ca126dc

Transport Topics – Drones Could Help Bridge Divides for Vaccine Distribution https://www.ttnews.com/articles/drones-could-help-bridge-divides-vaccine-distribution

SKYPOD SYSTEM FROM EXOTEC

This new system assists in the management of product and material storage in automated warehouses and imporves floor space utilization and does not require manua labor to operate. With the automated robot Skypod they optimize eCommerce in your warehouse.

The company

Founded in 2015 by Romain Moulin and Renaud Heitz, Exotec builds an autonomous robot, Skypod 3d, for fulfillment warehouses that automate the collection and moving of goods inside a warehouse.

The startup’s revenue doubled in 2020 as several new international clients, including Carrefour and Fast Retailing, adopted their technology in key warehousses. In 2019 Exotec and the internationa retail company, Fast Retailing started a new partnership,

The system & Robots

Some experts in the logistics world have said that this system is nowadays the best solution in the actual marketplace in order picking systems for units.

The operation is very simple, is based in shelves, robots and picking stations, only the robots have moving parts, the other components are passive elements, therefore they do not need maintenance and they do not have the chance to be damaged.

It is a vertical solution, the system and the boxes and shelves use the space of the warehouse in a efficient way, they leverage until 12 meters height. The robots themselves, using rails in the shelves, goes up to pick the container and bring to the work station, with the worker.

Another advantge of the system is the power consumption, that are lower than other automatic modes, due to the fact that the robots only weigh 45 kg.

In other words, this company is changing the rules of the game in the logistics of E-commerce companies. With the patented system of going up through the shelves and their robots, they can achieve incredibles times in searching, picking and sending the product to the final consumer. Due to the individuality of each robot, if you business growth you can add more robots, shelves and picking stations.

In the video below, you can see the different advantages and components of the system. Enjoy it!

Mercadona sustainable logistics

Based on the Environmental Management System and Circular Economy, Mercadona includes respect for the environment and dedicates more and more efforts towards reducing the environmental impact of its activity, to manufacture more with less resources, promoting the Circular Economy in its processes.

Mercadona has been working for more than 25 years with his logistic totaler supplier Logifruit, with whom have consolidated a sustainable model based on the optimization of resources. One of the main reasons to succeed in is the launched of the plastic pallet and the folding box which are sanitizable, reusable and recyclable.

A clear example of this resource’s optimization is the replacement of rigid boxes by folding boxes which have meant benefits for the whole supply chain. In the space occupied by a rigid box, three folding boxes are transported now. That’s mean a decrease of 96.710 trucks trips, less fuel used and carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.

Mercadona bet for this circular economy model where the design and resources used allow that pallet and boxes to be finish many circles. From the raw material supplier to the store. You can also add its cleanliness, easy repair and recyclability of these modular designs.

After each cycle of use, each pallet or box return to the warehouse and begin an automated cleaning and disinfection process that guarantees safety and hygiene. After a few minutes they are available to start a new cycle. This way of working allows Mercadona a highly raw material exploitation and work for a “zero residue” program.

The reutilization of these boxes and pallets avoids the usage of 180.000 tons a year of one-use materials. They also improve the transportation and storage costs which help to a competitive price strategy.

Reverse logistics

This process also works due to the reverse logistics and the “Eight strategy”, which main objective is not to transport “air”, that means that trucks do not travel with empty loads.

Trucks carry the used containers to a centre where they are inspected and fixed if it is necessary.  After a few minutes, containers are ready to return to suppliers or stores.  

Boom! when 5G technology+AGvs

Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) is a type of wheeled mobile robot, which moves along the wires or markers or magnetic strips on the floor, or through visual navigation or laser navigation. It is mostly applied to industry for transporting in warehouses.

Momo case: How can AGVs help?

Momo, the biggest B2C e-commerce platform in Taiwan, used AGVs instead of manual picking in their warehouses. The automated system schedules AGVs to pull goods at various points. Moreover, they can quickly shuttle back and forth to reduce picking movement, which improves the efficiency by about 4 times compared with the past, and releases about 60% of the labor resources. This can really add value to the work and assists Momo to optimize the picking process of handling, loading and unloading. Create a highly competitive smart warehouse.

Momo applied AVGs in warehouses.

Supported by 5G technology

In February of 2020, there was no warning of the pandemic. The demand for toilet paper increased sharply and shelves were empty in various parts of the world. Supported by 5G technology, Momo used AI forecasts to sort the items with the high speed. The combination of 5G technology and the AGVs can increasing machine intelligence and support new coordination mechanisms.

Due to that, the toilet paper that takes a lot of logistics capacity is directly delivered to the sub warehouse, which avoided blocking the storage lines of other epidemic prevention hot-selling products. At the same time, it also saves the transit time between the main warehouse and the sub warehouse. This smart warehousing becomes a winning weapon for logistic company. In face of the pandemic, Momo can respond quickly and grasp the opportunities.

Future: 5G apply to AGVs

In the past, when the data transmissions become limited, accidents might occur with Wi-Fi. Over the years, thanks to advancements in 5G connectivity, AGVs have moved closer to becoming truly autonomous robots, no longer reliant on preconfigured scripts.

With 5G, AGVs can utilize navigation algorithms, LiDAR sensors, vision technology and virtual map sharing to detect objects, think on their own and move autonomously through facilities. Wi-Fi can’t support these advanced machines with the seamless coverage and high data transfers needed to operate in sprawling environments. 5G is the only technology that can provide the reliability, bandwidth, coverage and security required to safely operate AGVs. The objective of it is to promote the realization of the vision of Industry 4.0.

GREEN LOGISTICS?

Nowadays pollution is a topic of great importance in all the industries, as for the daily operations of a company, big quantities of CO2 are released. For the logistics sector, this contamination is produced because of the use of fossil fuels in transportation, but what if we could keep transporting the products from one place to another without having such a big negative impact on the planet?

A possible solution for this issue is the utilization of renewable energies such as the one generated by green Hydrogen. This chemical element is abundant in nature, is light and highly reactive. This hydrogen can be obtained by electrolysis (a chemical process that separates hydrogen from oxygen in water).

Some advantages of this growing industry:
– It is 100% sustainable compared to traditional fuels

-It can be transformed into electricity for mobility and other purposes

-It can be stored and used after its production

-It can travel through the same channels and infrastructure as gas and can be mixed with it up to 20%

Some challenges to face:

-High costs related to equipment and technology as there is a lack of infrastructure for this chemical and the production process is not fully developed, which increases the costs compared to the ones of diesel.

-High costs of vehicles, even though it is an eco-friendly option for the logistics sector, it will increase the service prices.

“According to some studies, the year-on-year increase in hydrogen plants between 2018 and 2019 worldwide was 20%, between 2019 and 2020 it was over 50% and between 2020 and 2021 it is expected to exceed 100%, i.e. double the number of operational stations.”

According to prediction from the World Hydrogen Council, its production will become 50% cheaper by 2030, being one of the fuels of the future. Furthermore, the European Commission presented a “Sustainable and Intelligent Mobility Strategy” a specific plan to reduce greenhouse gas emission by 90% related to transportation in the next three decades.

With the development of this environmental energy source, transportation companies can become more sustainable while developing their current business and lowering their carbon footprint.

From: Stock Logistics – Green hydrogen will gain importance in the logistics sector

The layout that made McDonald’s become the fast food reference

McDonnald’s is one those brands that doent’s need much introduction. It was founded in 1940 by the McDonald’s brothers as a small burger restaurant in San Bernardino, California.

With a small success in their main product and experience with their customers, which were people interested in eating during a car stop, they realised that the customer was waiting too much time to receive their product. So since one of the brothers (Rick) was a numbers focused man, he found that they had to improve their product preparation so that customers’ orders could be delivered earlier. That internal process of transforming a complete system sounds easy, but it comes as a part of a complete mindset change, that led them to deliver burgers in thirty seconds instead of thirty minutes, which ended in the invention of fast food.

How they become a fast food restaurant?

In the movie The Founder, we can see how this innovative process layout was made. They met with their kitchen employees in a tennis court and mapped out with chalk, test and redesign their restaurant layouts to find the most efficient workflow by applying a lean method to food preparation.

It is interesting to see how just the layout change could have affected their whole business. For example, their facility, suppliers and strategy changed to become a fast-food restaurant. At that time, they didn’t realise the potential of their idea of fast food, until Ray Korc entered the game and transformed that franchisable pre-made process into one of the most profitable franchises in the world. This layout also gave them a competitive advantage among its competitors, not just because of the flavour or the meal quality, but also for the process and achievement of what their customer highly valued as part of their quality service: delivery speed. As a sign of their innovative philosophy, they still keep introducing and testing new layouts in their restaurants, as the indoor seating, play areas, self-service kiosks or grab and go place.

Currently, we could see how the focus on the same customer satisfaction strategy, with the optimization of delivery time, has become one of Amazon’s competitive advantage and positioned them as a reference in terms of logistics.

Walmart’s Consolidation Centres Aimed at Supply Chain Efficiency

Walmart’s consolidation centres all over the U.S are expected to increase the speed and efficiencies with Walmart’s supply chain. These high-tech consolidations centres are able to receive, sort and ship freight out to the retailer’s other 42 regional distribution centres.

Consolidation Centres way of working

Walmart operates approximately 10,500 stores and clubs under 48 banners in 24 countries and eCommerce websites. We employ over 2.2 million associates around the world — nearly 1.5 million in the U.S. alone.

Walmart’s supply chain now uses 11 third -party consolidation centres know as CenterPoint, which are located throughout the U.S. The facilities mostly consist of cross dock terminals that take products shipped using less than full-truckload (LTL) and bundle them into full-truckloads for better efficiencies. Walmart likes to move products in full-truckload because it is less expensive, minimizing the net landed cost of goods into their distribution network. The freight coming from the consolidation centers is routed to Walmart’s 42 distribution centers, which then concentrate on moving the items to the stores.

Rather than suppliers sending small shipments directly to Walmart’s distribution centres oround the country, Walmart reduces freight costs by having suppliers transporting their LTL loads into the nearest CenterPoint, which consolidates all merchandise going to the same distribution centre with the goal to achieve a full-truckload inbound to every distribution centre. Once the full-truckload is achieved or a time window constraint has elapsed, trucks are dispatched from the CenterPoint to the distribution centre.

Consolidation Centres design

CenterPoint distribution centres are similar in shape and size to cross dock terminals in which they tend to be long skinny buildings with many dock doors on either side of the building. The exception to this rule is with facilities that must use cold storage. These facilities are strategically located around the U.S with the objectives being to minimize inbound transportation costs primarily for LTL loads.

Amazon’s most surreal warehouse patents

As the last blog posts of Belen and Lucas showed, the company Amazon is driving innovation forward in the logistic industry like no other company. In accordance with our last class about warehouse design, I was curious about what innovations might come in the next years and found some unbelievable patents of Amazon for new era warehouses.

As the chart above indicates, Amazon is obtaining hundreds of patents every year. By doing this they want to assure their position as a world leading online marketplace. In order to have the warehouses as near as possible to the customer, Amazon is looking up to the air and down to the ground to find new possibilities for warehousing in highly urbanized areas. Two of the patents that astonished me the most are listed beneath. More incredible patents can be found here.

An underwater Warehouse

Watery warehouses? Amazon's 'Aquatic Fulfillment Centers' could make it so  - GeekWire

The goods would be stored in watertight containers that have a fish-swim-bladder-like cartridge in order to control their height in the water. When a container needed to be retrieved, acoustic waves would be sent to it to activate the cartridge, which would send the package to the surface of the water. In the pool warehouses, boxes could be stacked in endless piles with no need for humans or robots to move around them and therefore no space for pathways between the boxes is needed. This would give a huge advantage in space usage in comparison to usual warehouses. [More Info]

The beehive-like Drone Tower

Amazon has applied to patent a beehive-like drone tower

Described as a “multi-level fulfillment center for unmanned aerial vehicles”, the tower would be particularly useful to Amazon in densely populated areas. Amazon is already testing the drones aka. bees that would be needed for this type of fulfillment centre, as we have seen in the last logistics class. The drones are able to fly at heights of 122 meters with a speed of 80 km/h and around 2.3 kg of cargo weight. Despite many regulatory issues that the towers would face, this could become reality much faster than we expected. [More Info]

the race for covid-19 inoculation

At the beginning of the pandemic, the global objective was to “flatten the curve” of contagions. One year later, the objective is to “accelerate the curve” of vaccination to achieve immunity in the shortest time possible, a medical and logistical challenge at global scale.

Eyes are on the global race to vaccinate the population to stop the advance of the Coronavirus pandemic. Until March 31, 2021, a total of 595.92 million vaccines have been administered globally acccording Our World in Data.

The total number of vaccination administered give us a preliminar idea of what is happening but, do not reflect the number of people vaccinated because most of the vaccines available needs two doses to generate the desired immunity. In the following graph we can see the share of population by country that at least have recieve one dose of vaccination.

From there, we can analyze possible factors that might caused that some countries, such as Chile have already reached the 35% of the population in their vaccination campaign, aiming the ambicious objective of reaching 80% of population by the first semester of 2021.

Sanitary and logistical capacity installed to be able to carry out mass vaccinations.

A system that is based on a strong network of primary health care centers at the city council level makes it easy to create a calendar according to the age of the population in order to prioritize patients who are older and at risk of disease, also seen in Israel strategy. Nevertheless, health centers and hospitals are not enough, specially when the sanitary system its reaching limits as consequence of the outbreak.

For Chilean politician, the logistics plan must include the use of adapted areas, such as: schools, colleges, public gyms, stadiums, and even drive-in’s were up to four people can recieve the shot. In this logistic bet, dozens of vehicles line up to enter a health circuit where the first stop is vaccination and the second, a parking lot, which functions as an observation area for possible adverse reactions. For them, the aim is to multiply the number of people vaccinated, reaching 15.000 vaccination centers, and being able to inoculate up to 319,014 people in a day.

Vaccination Drive in’s in Chile.
Massive and diversified purchasing strategy to have vaccine availability.

Diversification of suppliers has worked in the midst of a global context of limited distribution, especially for those high-income countries that bet only on vaccines produced in the West. In the contrary, the case of Chile, which vaccinates 3 times faster than Spain, has reached agreements for the acquisition of 36 million vaccines and has already bought the companies Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, AstraZeneca and they are still in negotiation processes for the purchase of Sputnik V and Cansino to ensure availability of supplies, in addition to be part of the Covax program. The European Union, for its part, bet mainly on AstraZeneca and Pfizer, which have had logistical problems to produce and deliver the committed quantities, with contracts that favor them in these cases and with agreed quarterly deliveries, added to the preventive suspension of the vaccination for 2 weeks due to suspected side effects, causing a delay in vaccination throughout the region.

Mobilise all available resources

About 3.7 billion of the 6.8 billion doses of vaccines have been purchased by wealthy countries, according to an analysis by Duke University. Those who have been able to negotiate purchases by investing large amounts of public funds and generating price and volume agreements. Then there are the middle-income countries, which, with limited purchasing power, use other strategies to get ahead of the line, such as India and Brazil, which have managed to negotiate large commitments for the main vaccine candidates as part of the agreements. manufacturing.

There is also the case of Chile, which, although it does not have the capacity to manufacture or develop vaccines, can host clinical trials, which has allowed it to negotiate purchase agreements, and despite being the second most unequal country in the OECD, only behind Mexico, it has privileged resources and extensive business connections with vaccine producing countries.

Global logistic challenge

Imperial College of London researchers say integrated modelling for accurated prediction on how optimize procesess and flexible planning approach to multifactorial problems will be essential for manufacturers to meet the global COVID-19 vaccine demand.

In the current climate supply chains could face significant disruption from closed borders and limited international travel and transportation and additional pressures caused if personnel cannot work due to health issues, or if production processes break down. Their expert recommendation is: Optimising production, It is essential that manufacturers tackle capacity limitations and identify an efficient strategy that will enable them to be effective. Scale-out of manufacturing reduces the risk of losing production and supply capacity, by increasing the availability of operational facilities over a wider geographic area. This means that if one facility fails, others will be able to continue with production. Re-routing supply chains and distribution networks  it’s vital that supply chain networks are agile and flexible to mitigate risks related to route, and to be responsive to needs. In the early stages, vaccine availability will be insufficient to immediately cover global demand, so strategies will have to be decided at governmental and global levels to decide who will be prioritised for the initial doses. This will define the target for the supply chain and will change over time.

Drone delivery

Today, drone delivery is one of the key areas that both large UAV manufacturers and companies specializing in the delivery of goods around the world are working on.

Top Developers

To date, four American companies developing commercial drones for delivering goods are among the first successful ones:

Amazon

Wing Aviation

Uber Technologies

UPS & Matternet

Achievements of companies

Although there are many legal obstacles that still need to be overcome. For the United States, 2020 marked the beginning of a series of drone delivery trials:

Wing Aviation is known to have partnered with FedEx and Walgreens to test deliveries this month with their drone in Christiansburg, Virginia.

Uber said it has already begun testing drone delivery in San Diego, California.

Amazon did not specify where it will test its drones, but back in June the company said it would begin delivering packages to consumers using UAVs “within the next few months.”

UPS & Matternet recently announced that it is fully certified by the FAA, allowing it to operate as an unmanned airline using Matternet’s unmanned aerial vehicle technology to expand the delivery of urgent items on demand across the country.

What are the prospects?

According to industry experts, it takes quite a long time to launch a large-scale drone delivery service. Nonetheless, commercial drone sales are expected to skyrocket. The FAA estimates that this number will grow from 600,000 (as of 2016) to approximately 2.7 million in 2020.

Drones

Amazon

Amazon Details How Its Drone Delivery Service Will Work | Time

Amazon has been testing its drones in Cambridge, England since 2016. It is known that before settling on the last hexagonal configuration, the developers had to consider about 50,000 concepts. The Amazon drone is a pretty interesting design with a hexagonal shape and shields around the six rotors. An Amazon drone lands to deliver the package. Takeoff and landing are carried out vertically. To carry out high-speed flight, the drone switches from horizontal to semi-horizontal mode. The drone can make a 20-kilometer round trip, and it promises delivery within 30 minutes. The drone uses machine learning algorithms in combination with an infrared sensor system to detect wires, birds and buildings. The company programs its drones for different scenarios so that they know what to do when, for example, they arrive at a delivery location.

Wing Aviation

FAA awards Wing Aviation with first air carrier certification for drone  delivery

The design of the Wings Aviation drone is even more unusual. To implement vertical takeoff and landing, their drone is equipped with 12 small propellers. For horizontal flight at higher speeds, wings with two large propellers are provided. The Wing drone lowers the parcel using a cable, which excludes landing from the delivery process. Able to carry out delivery within 10 minutes at a distance of up to 19 kilometers.

Wing aviation has been testing its drones since 2014 in Australia. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company has conducted more than 80,000 tests. As previously mentioned, Wing Aviation is partnering with FedEx and Walgreens to deliver small packages to Christiansburg, Virginia. The developer does not inform by means of what technologies the definition and overflight of obstacles is carried out.

Uber Technologies

Uber Eats Moving Forward with Urban Drone Delivery, Powered by New  Computing Platform - DRONELIFE

The Uber drone has received a traditional configuration. This is a hexacopter, which is actually a modified AR200 drone from AirRobot. In May this year, Uber teamed up with McDonald’s to test drone delivery near the University of California, San Diego. The company says residents in the vicinity of the university will soon be able to order drone-delivered food from a limited number of local restaurants via the Uber Eats app. Uber promises delivery in an average of 7 minutes for a distance of up to 4.8 kilometers. The developer does not inform by means of what technologies the definition and overflight of obstacles is carried out.

UPS & Matternet

UPS se alía con Matternet para el transporte de muestras médicas en EEUU |  Novologistica.com

The Matternet M2 Drone standalone platform includes the Matternet M2 drone itself, the Matternet control station and the Matternet cloud platform, through which it interacts with Matternet networks. The drone received a classic quadcopter configuration. The potential of the platform allows you to automatically receive customer requests, generate routes, monitor and manage all operating Matternet assets. The developer presents its platform as a service for healthcare, e-commerce and logistics organizations. The M2 drone is authorized by the Swiss Aviation Authority for full-fledged logistics operations over cities. Designed for the carriage of goods weighing up to 2 kg or 4 liters at a distance of up to 20 km, in a 24/7/365 operation mode.

Do you think this delivery method will become popular?

amazon is testing rivian electric vans in la

Many articles of this blog talk about the big company, Amazon. As you know, this company always use new technologies to improve their process and ways to deliver their products.

In 2019 the CEO Jeff Bezos, announced that Amazon would create a futuristic fleet of 10,000 electric delivery vans with Alexa, and built-in routing software.

Now, in less than 2 years since the announcement Amazon has tested the electric deleivery vans from Rivian in the city of Los Angeles. You can see the real result in the video below.

AIM

This new 100% electric delivery system has created as part of the aim of Amazon to achieve net cero carbon emissions across its operations by 2040.

Amazon wants to reduce the carbon footprint, due to the fact nowadays is one of the most polluting company in the world, in 2019 their CO2 emissions were 51.7 millions of tons of CO2.

The director of Amazon’s global fleet and products, said the electrification effort is a point of pride for the company. This project has required to Amazon to install thousand of electric vehicle chargers and change up the electrical design and layout of delivery facilities in North America and Europe.

RIVIAN ELECTRIC VAN

The actual fleet of vans of Rivian manufactured in Plymouth, Michigan, assure until 241 km with an unique charge. So far we do not know the technical specification of the van performance, so we hope that in the next moths Amazon will give us more information about these wonderfull vans.

NEXT STEPS

Nowadays, there are only 16 units of these vans in the USA cities, there are in test phase. But Amazon have a plan, they will manufacture 100.000 units of vans with the colaboration of Rivian in the next 9 years.

Before the ending of 2022, the first 10.000 units will be available for Amazon, and they will start delivery some products to their customers with 0% of carbon emissions.

Puede ser una imagen de al aire libre

Special EXPRESS Services: NEW ERA

Namaste! Coming up with another experience from India. Knowing these names since childhood for Logistics Services: GATI , SAFEEXPRESS. Once I was looking for some services on the site of these companies and observed some special services: innovative and Qualified services they have added. I thought would be interesting to share with you all. Analysing the different needs of people in India with logistics services. The companies have begin categorized and cost-effective Services for individuals and SMEs :

  • “Student Express & Campus2home” is a specialized service for students which assist the students to manage the packaging and movement of their luggage and material belongings from their dorm to home or next destination. Providing Flexible payment options with Student discounts, easy documentation, Free consignment Insurance, Tracking services, Customer support services, fast delivery and other services.
  • “Easy2move” is a unparalleled door to door delivery offered for small business shipments, samples, promotion items, gifts, etc. in India and saves 90% on excess luggage expenses. Proving free weekend and holiday deliveries.

  • “Sainik Express” service for Assisting Indian defence personals by offering specialized baggage delivery services to them (soldiers). Special discounts, Easy payment options, inbuilt risk coverage, convenient pickups/ deliveries, Packaging & transit documentation support, other services and allow them to have carefree travels.
  • “Safe Returns” service offered specially to cater the needs of participants of exhibitions and expos. This service allows individuals and company delegates to make smooth and timely exits from exhibition centers, by ensuring Hassel-free returns of their products and demo pieces, after exhibition. Provides pickups at desired time according to events with cost-effective services. Another special service is added to this as Retail Returns with enables services to retailers for returning and transporting stock.
  • “Art Express” is a special service provided to transport delegate art pieces. Prepared teams with extensive training on handling, packaging and transportation of valuable art works. This expertise combine with infrastructure makes an ideal choice for private collectors, antique dealers, galleries, corporate buyers, fine art specialist, interior designers and artists presenting in exhibitions.

There are many more companies offering such services with categorized services with specialized workforce and proper infrastructure, facilitating logistics for public.

Trends in logistic industry 2021.

Found this image and found really interesting how new innovations are getting part of the logistic industry. Working along, the industry finds ways to work easier and measure better their performance.

Logistics-Startups-TrendResearch2020-TreeMap-StartUs-Insights-noresize

Let’s talk about the TOP 5 trends.

  1. Internet of things: Physical devices to monitor and transfer data. Integrating IoT technology into the logistics industries we archive real-time visibility of goods, condition monitoring, and fleet management.
  2. Artificial intelligence: Cognitive automation technology brings intelligence to automate administrative tasks and speeds up operations. For example: price prediction and demand forecasting.
  3. Robotics: Integrating robotics into logistics increases the speed and accuracy of supply chain processes and reduces errors.
  4. Warehouse automation: Warehouse automation increases efficiency, speed, and productivity by reducing human interventions. Including automated guided vehicles, robotic picking, automated storage and put-wall picking.
  5. Blockchain: Brings transparency of transactions to the entire logistics process.

If you want to know more you can check this link.

The New Silk Road: Challenges and Opportunities

Living in China was a life changing experience, there I learnt very interesting things, for example, the importance of commercial routes for China. The Silk Road was and is a network of trade routes connecting the East and the West, (Here is more info if you want to know more, The Silk Road Book by Valerie Hansen).

The Silk Road trade played a significant role in the development of the civilizations of China, Japan, Korea, India, some African countries, some middle east countries and Europe. And now, it is said that the new Silk Road will have an impact in the economy and political structures across borders in these commercial routes.

Challenges

New Strategic alliances must be established, this is why having key partners in different countries will help companies maximize its opportunities.

The role of politicians will be extremely important, since clear policies will ensure a fair and transparent international trade.

Climate change is a major challenge that logistics companies have to face in the upcoming decades. New sustainable ways of transportation are being studied, however there is still a lot of work to be done in this field.

Opportunities

Thomas Kowitzki (head of China Rail DHL) claims that with the new railway connections they are able to reach new markets, reduce the delivery time and also it will be easier for them to reach their climate protection aims since transport by train is much more climate friendly than other means of transportation like airplanes.

IoT (internet of things), 5G, Big data and many of these new technologies will play a key role in the development of this trade routes. Since this new inventions help to better manage the supply chain, reduce costs and facilitate transparency for both the companies and their clients.

The video below will give you a glimpse of the importance of the new Silk Road.

This is a very broad topic and here in this post, I just mentioned important but very general things to try to comprehend the opportunities and challenges of the new Silk Road.

If you want to know more I invite you to take a look a these videos and links:

Suez Canal blockade: if you are the in charge, How would you like to solve it?

As an MGEPS student, I believe that the prompt above (title) would be an interesting topic to discuss and even debate, specially in Logistics class.

It’s been 5 days since the blockade occurred in the Suez Canal, one of the world’s important trading/shipping routes. The manager of the canal is faced with a challenge of how to move the Ever Given ship that has a capacity of 240,000 tons.

What happened?

Source: BBC News https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C06Q4Mft0yQ

Proposed solutions:

Reported by Francisco Jose Moya of Levante (published on 28th of March 2021)

As illustrated on the image above, there are three proposals for moving the ship.

  1. Several tugs push and pull the boat to move
  2. A boat loaded with a suction dredge sucks sand and silt from the bottom
  3. Remove containers and empty fuel to reduce weight and float

What about you? What is your solution? Please feel free to write your proposals on the comment section.

the most efficient logistic systems in the world

The Great Big Story (2017) reported that “with a population of over 18 million people, Mumbai is one of the world’s largest megalopolises. To put it mildly, the city can be unpredictable. But amid the chaos, Mumbai has one thing that is nearly 100 percent reliable: your lunch delivery. The dabbawalas of Mumbai are an institution. Dabbawalas deliver homemade lunches to workers across Mumbai—nearly 200,000 of them per day. Crisscrossing side streets on bikes, balancing trays that weight almost 150 pounds on their heads, this group of 5,000 men helps define the city. But it’s not just the staggering quantity or exhaustive work that sets these guys apart; their 99.9% delivery accuracy and incredible efficiency is the envy of delivery services the world over”. (Source: https://www.youtube.com/c/GreatBigStory/about)

Amazon robotics, building an army for logistics

Regarding automatization in warehouses, today it has been announced the opening of Amazon’s fourth robotic distribution center in Spain (first was built in 2017), this time located in Murcia, which will join those in Seville and Barcelona with more than 160,000 square meters equipped with Amazon Robotics technology, to support the Amazon operations in Spain and Europe, let’s take a look at robotics within Amazon.

After the adquisition in 2012 of Kiva Systems, most of technology and robotics used by Amazon is developed in-house through its Amazon Robotics division, headquartered on the outskirts of Boston, and is not marketed or sold, it’s developed only to build their empire. It took amazon six years to get 100,000 robots working for them in their warehouses but in just the last two years that number has already doubled to 200,000 robots. Amazon is investing heavily into building their robotics where it is currently investing $ 40 million in a new innovation hub, which will feature research and testing labs, as well as manufacturing space to design and build new robots designed by highly skilled teams.

At amazon’s fulfillment centers robots transport items to humans who then pick and pack them to be delivered. This robot alliance raises a human’s productivity from 100 items packed per hour to around 300 to 400 items an hour. Some of the Amazon robots:

The first in the family coming from Kiva Systems, is called Drive (changing the original name Kiva) and is very easily described if you imagine a Roomba, as well as their bigger cousin Hercules. Both capable of lifting and moving from 450 to 1,300 kilograms of products in a special rack called Pod on the surface on which they operate, called Robotics Field, at a speed from 5 to over 6 km/hour.

The Pegasus, which also moves pods on the robotic fields. However, it is only 19 cm high, 10cm less than the original Kiva. These alone make up 200 000 of amazon’s robots. The Pegasus is also intended to be a generic base for different attachments on top, such as The Pegasus X-Sort Drive which has a different fuctionality as the following video shows.

The technollogy keeps evolving and The Pegasus already has a succesor, The Xanthus, first presented at the Amazon MARS conference in June 2019. This new model is much thinner, has one-third the number of parts, and costs half as much as the original Kiva, and as the Pegasus has the option of different attachments, but in a wider variety. The Xanthus sort bots (similar to the Pegasus X-Sort drive) is used for sorting parcels to different chutes. The Xanthus Tote Mover can move the yellow boxes with items (called totes at Amazon) from picking to packing, and also if needed to multi-sort and gift wrap.

In order to keep adding robotics in the logistic chain, Amazon bought Dispatch in 2017, an urban delivery robot startup and in 2018, Canvas Technology, a robotic startup that specializes in autonomous carts for moving goods near humans. By January of 2019 Amazon starts Field Testing for a new, fully electric delivery system added to the well-known Drone delivery system project – The Amazon Scout – designed to safely get packages to customers using autonomous delivery devices of the size of a small cooler that rolls along sidewalks at a walking pace. For Valantine’s day in 2020 Amazon celebrate their employees with a love story featuringthe very adora-bot Amazon Scout in this cute video.

Artificial inteligence is already being used to predict what you are going to buy before you even go to the amazon website. Since 2015 deep learning AI has been predicting what is going to be bought, and getting it to the nearest fulfillment center, before it is even ordered. This means that when you shop online products are readily available, cheaper to ship and since they are waiting at a center near you they will ship to your doorstep faster. Amazon is also investing 10 billion dollars to build a satellite internet network just like Spacex’s Starlink. Amazon’ s version would require 3236 orbiting satellites and they have already received FCC certification.

In 2020 amazon acquired Zoox for 1.3 billion dollars, which is a self-driving vehicle company. This technology could be used to create self-driving delivery or workhouses vehicles, such as cars and forklifts.

Maybe one day, whole delivery chain will be run by robots, from artificial intelligence predicting what you want to buy to self-driving planes that deliver the goods to a robotic fulfillment center, where self-driving forklifts supervised by drones and driving units and robotic arms get the items packed and send delivery robots that take the packages and deliver to your personal robot at home.

UPS supports distribution of COVID-19 vaccine

Since the pandemic hit the world seriously, everyone is looking forward to the vaccines which can ease the impact. UPS, which has been supporting the fair distribution plan of COVID-19 vaccines with practical actions, hopes to protect global vaccine supply chain continues to operate through their foundations, medical care and other organizations. They also cooperates with COVAX, Immunization Gavi and the international care organization CARE, to give priority to the delivery of 20 million doses of vaccines to countries that have not yet obtained enough vaccines and medical personnel and other priority countries, including Indonesia and Myanmar.

UPS is ready to deliver the Covid-19 vaccines.

Coronavirus Testing Logistics Support Plan

“UPS is proud to provide logistics and transportation support to assist with the Administration’s special Coronavirus multi-city testing program. We stand ready to assist to help keep our communities safe,” said David Abney, UPS Chairman and CEO.

UPS are committed to rapidly adjusting the processes to ensure our employees, customers and communities can maintain normal daily life to the greatest extent possible while they adjust to the new realities of this pandemic.

Here are the capabilities of healthcare logistics plan:

  • Quality-focused:Highly-trained quality experts, facility audits, and specialize licensing designed to provide GDP & GMP-compliant healthcare logistics services.
  • Patient-centric:Their culture and solutions are designed to consider the supply chain’s impact on patients.
  • Innovative technology: From next-gen sensors to drones to tracking and recovery, they are building the future today.
  • People and process:5,000 healthcare personnel; solution-driven approaches to help meet the supply chain needs.
  • Global scale: Service to 220+ countries and territories; 8M square feet on healthcare-licensed space.

How does UPS Healthcare work?

UPS Healthcare is an integral part of Operation Warp Speed, COVAX, and other global vaccine initiatives. It manages advanced packing, tracking, and cold and frozen storage to ensure secure, compliant distribution of critical yet fragile vaccines and therapies.

The video shows the how they manage those things with their capabilities:

For more information: https://www.ups.com/us/en/healthcare/Home.page

NEXT GENERATION OF DHL SMARTSENSOR

GLOBAL OUTLOOK

The smart sensor market is growing at a 19 percent annual rate and is expected to reach 60 billions of $ by 2022. Technological advances have miniaturized and energy efficiency and reduced production costs.

This smart sensors interacts closely in the supply chain, decressing operation costs, increasing asset efficency, improving demand planning and provide critical insight into costumer behavior. Smart sensor increase the level of automated collection and processing data and broaden management visibility across the supply chain to help companies reduce operating cost among.

The smart sensor ecosystem

DHL smart sensor

This SmartSensor protect the load against changes in temperatura, humidity, shock, light even air pressure. With the NFC technology and with an APP in your smartphone you can easily monitoring your load.

SmartSensor give you full visibility of you shipment easier than ever before. There are two types of sensor, passive temperature logger and active multi-sensor logger.

PASSIVE TEMPERATURE LOGGER:

This type of sensor with the NFC technology can be read 10x quicker on a Smartphone than existing UHF RFID devices. The sensor is always monotoring the temperature and the data is globaly available within seconds. These type of sensor can be linked to individual single package, a pallet or container.

ACTIVE MULTI-SENSOR LOGGER

This sensor provide full condition sesing of highly sensitive freight, anytime, anywhere. Near Real-Time visibility gives you instant global data and full condition sesnsing, monitoring temperature and humidity, indicates shock and light events.

Coca-Cola bottlers, an example of automated warehousing.

Based on the usage of different technologies such as warehouse automation, the company wants to continuously improve its supply chain management.

Coca-cola company

Coca-Cola is one of the most popular drinks and famous brand in the world. More than 1,9 billion of Coca-Cola are sold everyday in more than 200 countries.

Logistically, this is a big challenge. The soft drink already arrives and its parteners’ plants in syrup form and is then mixed with carbon dioxide and sugar.

Coca-Cola warehousing

The material handling activities are carried out through shuttle cars equipped with digital trolleys and aisle equipment, infeed/outfeed bays, infeed/ outfeed single-pallet vertical pallet lifts, steering shuttles, and dispatch sequencer shuttles.

Automated Guided Vehicles complete the material handling phase. They can move pallets (Finish Good or Empty Pallet stacks), picking up or depositing the load unit without human intervention.

Meanwhile and operator will could coordinate, manage, and control all the material handling operations, from pallets storage managing, inventory, shipping and communications.

This way of work optimizes space utilization and guarantee the maximum throughput, aiming at the automated management of internal logistics from the automated warehouse towards the production departments and vice versa.

Coca-Cola supply chain partners – a global network model

Coca-Cola is a global company that operates at the local level, that is why there are around 300 bottling partners worldwide. The process starts with procurement of raw materials (agricultural products such as sugar, cane and fruit and water). The most important ingredients, water and sugar, are sourced locally by each partner.

The following step in Coca-Cola supply chain is the production of the concentrate, which is mixed with water, sugar and carbon dioxide by the bottling plants.

After mixing, the bottlers package, market and distribute the finished beverage to grocery stores, restaurants, etc.

Therefore, the management of supplier relationships and the continuous monitoring of suppliers is of great importance to the company.

Revolutionizing Businesses through Augmented Reality.

Immersive technologies are transforming the way of doing business through virtual, augmented, and mixed reality, which companies are implementing in different areas, such as Sales, Logistics and Mantainance.

This technology applied have great potential in companies, and Daniel Iribarren and his team knows it, dedicated for more than 8 years to bring virtual and augmented reality solutions for efficiency and safety in the industrial sector through their company IMOVA, which has been developing solutions with immersive and gamification technology to help businesses to train employees and improve operational efficiency. Since 2019 their Spinoff GOT IT, has specialized in operations management, delivering solutions that improves efficiency in logistics, maintenance, and security, ranging from providing remote assistance in real time, to “vision picking”, in which big players in Logistics Industry are taking part, such as DHL or Wallmart.

Picking and packing tasks in warehouses, can be improved by reading with Augmented Reality glasses, that have a special card which contains information like order number, code of the product to be collected, its location in the warehouse, in which basket / dispatch of the cart it must be placed, progress, among others. In this way, the operator can carry out his activities faster, without repetition and reducing errors, improving efficiency up to 25% according to a DHL trial developed in Netherlands. In addition to the order storage system using Augmented Reality vision, the report from DHL describes the best practices and use cases of this technology in logistics.

AR applied in picking process. Source: IMOVA.cl

Other relevant topic for Logistics is Safety, especially in warehouses or other facilities where machinery is manipulated by operators and have risk of accidents, which can end fataly. Training through virtual reality can help operators to identify risks, retain information, reduce onbonarding times and improve their skills and productivity. In this video a Demo developed by IMOVA to see how a training for a forklift operator using VR Glasses would look like.

Source: IMOVA LAB Youtube Channel

Personal approach

Using virtual reality and augmented reality aplications for sales area, places, products, equipment or machinery can be shown interactively and with all detail needed, for example, the interior of an engine, the detail of any product you are looking at or the interior of a house which has not yet been built.
My personal experience from Chile, while working in real estate and hospitality companies in marketing and sales area, I have learned to use VR to show houses, hotel rooms and buildings remotely, which is especially useful for a first approach to the customer in the sale process, when the project is in a different location from the client or is in an early stage of the construction, helping them to understand better the distribution of the space and interact in diferent levels.

Source: IMOVA LAB Youtube Channel

Partnerships to become stronger

Some companies are strong by their own but when creating alliances between them, gives room for continuous improvement. For example, this year, the leading African company Imperial (specialized in proving integrated market access and logistics solutions focus on healthcare, consumer, automotive, chemicals as well as industrial and commodities) announced its partnership with Mix Telematics (a leading SaaS provider of connected fleet management solutions), which since more than 10 years has been the supplier of Imperial.

The agreement between these two companies will mean the alignment of data and reporting through the implementation of risk management benefits across Imperial´s fleet. The integrated data will also provide a general view of operations, allowing the identification of trends for continuous efficiency improvements for Imperial.

Furthermore, safe vehicle and driver operations will be ensured by the bureau service of MiX while the fleet’s safety and monitoring will be enhanced with the MiX Vision camera solution and MiX Vision bureau service, the benefits of which are greater visibility and insights into Imperial’s vehicles and drivers in real-time.

The managing director of MiX Telematics Africa, Gert Pretorius, stated: “Our expertise in fleet telematics and security services adds value to Imperial’s business and is testament to how successful our solutions are at meeting the specific requirements of a leading logistics provider. Together, our advanced artificial intelligence powered technology solutions present new growth opportunities for both businesses”.

https://www.logisticsnews.co.za/Article/imperial-enters-strategic-partnership-with-mix-telematics

Disney’s virtual queue

I am a person that gets annoyed by waiting times and queues a lot. When I think of fun activities that are connected with possible long waiting times, my brain instantly pictures a scale with the fun part on one and the waiting part on the other side. As a result I mostly decide not to do the activity or if possible do it on working days where the queue is expected to be much shorter. Disney’s virtual queuing approach might change my perception of amusement parks.

Disney started to introduce virtual queues to some of their most popular attractions at Disney World in order to avoid enormous queues and waiting times. Through an application, the visitors are able to request a boarding pass and will be assigned to a specific boarding group. The app also displays the remaining waiting time which gives the visitors the opportunity to visit other attractions, go shopping or have lunch in the meantime. In theory this new approach is adding value to the visitor’s experience by enabling them to spend the waiting time for their favorite attractions with more fun activities than waiting in line. In reality Disney has some difficulties with the implementation because some customers are resisting the change. For me personally, virtual queues offer huge possibilities to enhance the customer experience in activities that are connected with large queues and I already see myself planning and scheduling every minute of my visit at an amusement park…

You can find very detailed information about Disney’s virtual queues here.

reducing logistics costs does not mean reducing service levels

China’s logistics cost is much lower than in developed countries when compared under the same conditions of logistics operations. Meanwhile, logistics costs are not the lower the better, low price competition leading to a decline in service levels is not the direction of development of the logistics industry.

With the help of big data, cloud computing, Internet of Things and other means, it is possible to optimize the resources and network of the entire logistics chain to achieve optimal operation and reduce logistics costs.

To give a simple example: the same brand of clothing in a city, there are different shops, different channels of purchase, there may be a shop sold out of goods, layers of orders reported to replenish; at the same time another shop has a backlog of goods, but also need to report layers of returns; resulting in a great waste and high costs.

According to the practice of logistics enterprises, with the help of information link and instant distribution services in the same city, it can realize direct distribution from backlog shops to shops out of stock, and realizes the circulation and logistics network of the supply chain down by the chain, and realize networking at the end.

How ALIEXPRESS IS GETTING FASTER AND FASTER AND FASTER

We all know what Aliexpress stands for: cheap products, dubious quality and, most certain, eternal delivery dates. Some days ago, I was browsing their webpage, on a quest to buy some components for a DIY project I’m immersed in and realized Aliexpress was faster than expected. As for 2019 the average delivery date of an Aliexpress package was 30 days. Compared to the standards, we have grown accustomed to next day delivery as Amazon does and Aliexpress seems to us that it took forever to delivery a single product. But the other day, the delivery to my house would only take 15 day. They halved their delivery times! But how did they do it?

Since 2019, the logistics branch from Alibaba has been trying to shorten its delivery times as the Europeans started to put their value concept on the delivery times and less on the cheap prices Aliexpress offered. They started to realize this on holiday seasons, as many customers preferred the fast and reliable Amazon shipments to the cheap prices of Chinese wholesalers. And this had to change.

Nowadays, delivering a package from China to Spain takes on average 15 days. This is half the time it took just one yea ago. And all thanks to a strengthen supply chain. The main reason is, that the Chinese marketplace started to operate their own flights from Hong Kong to Spain, in order to the ones controlling the flow of product from China to Spain. The company is operating three flights per week to Madrid in order to satisfy the demand of Spain and Portugal. This is the main change in their supply chain, which now is partly controlled by the Chinese company and not by third party logistic companies.

But moreover, the other big change is in their unit load concept. Aliexpress started to realize, customer shop for more than one item each time they accessed the marketplace. And that why they started to bundle deliveries for each customer. By doing this, both sides win. Customer get all their product at the same time, giving them the sensation of faster delivery and the company can minimize costs, as they now require fewer transports and logistic partners for each delivery.

So, to sum up, how did the company known for eternal delivery times halve its delivery time? Easy-peasy, reducing variability in their supply chain. Fewer partners, less single packages moving around, less intermediate stops and all this without rising prices. Amazon should start to consider this threat. While they do so, I’m going to wait for my package.

For more info, please check:
https://elmercantil.com/2020/12/16/aliexpress-mejora-sus-tiempos-de-entrega-en-espana-con-nuevas-opciones-de-envio/
https://elmercantil.com/2020/07/15/aliexpress-acelera-los-plazos-de-entrega-con-nuevos-vuelos-entre-madrid-y-hong-kong/
https://tass.com/economy/1257587

Challenges Faced by Logistics companies (Surface) in india.

Logistics is one such sector which has seen constant evolution over decades and is on a fast paced growth in recent times. It is a fact, that Indian logistics sector and logistics companies in India are competing various global logistics players. Their is a lot of possibility of scope in industry acquiring many areas of logistics.

During my internship in Logistics company I realized when we talk about logistics everything is time-bounded. Each process is rely on the one proceeding it and a slight obstruct generate a magnified ripple effect on all the other stages. Minor set backs delays the entire procedure. This situations are gone through by logistics companies as a result of and effects of challenges. Some of the challenges I observed:

  • Order Intensity Ratio: The issue of receiving a bulk load of orders that could break the back while trying to keep up with the supply-chain timeline. The high volume of orders received, is a challenge to prioritize orders & deliveries.
  • Increasing Fuel cost: The constant rise in price of fuel is adding cost to transportation. Increasing fuel cost cause an increase in sub charge to the freight traffics.
  • Lack of Skilled Labours: There is serious shortage of skilled personnel and specialist in the Logistics sector in India. The companies face problems like high labour turnover, increased training cost and under performing human resources.
  • Information Technologies: Slow adaptation of new technologies has been another grand constraint. Lack of technology system and insufficient technical knowledge add to ache.
  • Performance Standards: Customer expectations and consumer´s behaviour is diverse. They demand personalized services, flexibility and faster services. Due to these complexities, there is need for integration of services in order to meet performance standards.
  • Regulatorily Hurdles: With compliance mandates being tightened more, the logistics company´s in India face the consequences of Bottlenecks with increased regulations.

In my opinion, Effective solutions could be Adaptation of new technologies such as Argumented reality, Advanced Robotics, drone are some cost reducing factors which ensures the competitiveness of both the logistics players and clients. New age cloud based arrangements which enables to avoid practising with elaborate manual formalities and processes.

The Toyota Way

the Toyota way. 14 management principles from the world's greatest  manufacturer: Amazon.es: Liker, Jeffrey: Libros en idiomas extranjeros


Toyota is one of the world leaders in the automotive market and the company is very successful both in terms of profitability and market capitalization. Despite the fact that Tesla has recently appeared, nevertheless, for many years Toyota remains the standard of quality and Toyota’s business is built on very clear and principles known to scientists for a long time.

The authors of the book very clearly show that in fact there is no the mysteries of the Toyota company itself are simply very deep and subtle effective management that can be extrapolated and other businesses. in particular such major American companies like Boeing, General Electric, Caterpillar have been using Toyota production principles.

It is possible to apply the principles even for small industries, it is only important to understand and want to apply it in practice. The book just describes development and prosperity of the Toyota company which is based on 14 basic principles and the author of the book reveals to us the very effective formula for success, the very philosophy that must be applied in the long run in every business for increasing its efficiency.

What is the basis?

There is such a Japanese word – Kaizen. Which denotes the pursuit of excellence, continuous learning of new things and readiness to change. Kaizen’s combined with Toyota’s respect for its personnel and gives the very same success, this is the main strategy of Toyota in the organization production is based on the so-called integral production system TPS (Toyota Production System), the principles of which form the basis of lean production (Lean management, Lean production, Lean manufacturing), this can include, for example, stopping a conveyor to avoid overproduction, creating a stock of products, supporting company employees, using manual assembly, and respecting workers.

Another important rule is the maximum disclosure of creativity.

Toyota employees and that is why the staff is constantly trained and improve because Toyota comes from the fact that success is laid in fact, people, not technologies, and thus the company, as it were, consolidates it’s dependence on labor. It would seem that this is not a trend now, it would seem everything they think that a successful business is maximum robotization, but it’s not there it was said in Toyota.

And here is an example that the 14 principles described in the book can be extrapolated to other businesses.

In the 80s, Toyota organized a joint project with General Motors outside of japan and started training employees internal principles of the system and after a few years General Motors began to produce cars at such a rate that it overtook all other General Motors factories in productivity.

IoT in Logistics “The Maersk Case Study”

Last year in the course of Senior Management and information Technologies in the Master of Business, Product & Service Management at the UPV, we analyzed how Maersk was planning to innovate its business model (click here to see the case analysis) and why it was important to them offer the possibility to its customers to monitor its goods while being transported. Now we can see how they implemented the “IoT” to deliver a better service.

According to the article “How IoT can improve the logistic process” the internet of things (IoT) provides data, which describes objects “physical assets” for example a good to be transported and distributed worldwide. As a consequence, asset data can be available in real time and at low cost in a central location, enabling completely new use cases and business models.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Maersk has been the largest container shipping line and vessel operator in the world since 1996. There experience in this area of logistics is vast, this company is constantly innovating and integrating new technologies within their business in order to enhance its value proposition and make the customer experience better. For this reason Maersk has started implementing IoT into their supply chain management business model.

Maersk has teamed up with Microsoft by using its cloud computing services Azure. This platform allows Maersk to integrate several devices and get access to a high volume of data so it can better manage its services. Let’s take a close look at how IoT helps this company improve its business.

  • Visibility: Customers are provided with insights of their goods in real time, so they now what is happening at any time.
  • Conditions control: now the humidity and temperature can be controlled online.
  • IoT 380 000 devices: a vast quantity of devices can be synchronized to obtain valuable data and to operate flawlessly.
  • Security: IoT offers security for both the company and the customer.
  • Cloud based services: this makes easier for the customers to get data faster.
  • Co-creation: Maersk is able to detect and study better what its customers need, so it facilitates the co-creation of new products and services adjusted to tackle a particular issue.

The video below better explains how Maersk is disrupting this industry with the use of IoT integrated into its supply chain.

Here are some further lectures for you to read in case you are interested about this amazing subject.

Call queueing

“I’m sorry to keep you waiting, this is Vincent. How may I help you today?” This was my opening spiel when I was taking incoming calls for Virgin Mobile USA. So, after our discussion about queueing last meeting, I was inspired to relate it to my work experience in the call center industry where queueing is one of the challenges that needs continues improvement. Garcia (2020) stated that “queues grow due to variability and they do not disappear when utilisation levels are high.”

Most of us have experienced stress from waiting so long to talk to customer service over the phone. One of the reasons is called call queueing.

What is call queueing?

Call queueing is a concept used in inbound call centers. When calling a phone system that uses call queues, callers usually hear a welcome message and an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) menu and are then sent into a call queue, where they hear waiting music and position announcements until an agent becomes available.

Quality Department to monitor the Average Handle Time and Average Wait Time

Apart from your direct supervisor, your performance is also controlled by the quality department. They audit your call if you comply with the standard operating procedures including the  efficiency of  managing the time such as Average Handle Time.

Average Handle Time, or AHT, which is the average time an agent takes to complete a call or customer interaction.

Average Wait Time (AWT), also known as Average Speed of Answer (ASA), is the average time an inbound call spends waiting in queue or waiting for a callback if that feature is active in your IVR system. AWT can be measured globally across the contact center, by ring group, agent or phone number. The traditional call center industry standard service level is 80/20, or 80% of calls answered within 20 seconds, but there are a few reasons why this might not always be an optimal number.

In this photo, I am multitasking by talking to the clients over the phone while pulling up tools from the system

According to Lui, et al (2017) “customer waiting time in queueing systems is a key factor of service quality. Customer might negatively react to the long waiting time by switching to other companies.”

In my experience from working in the call center, I discovered that agent’s expertise about the product is one of the determining factor in improving the Average Handle Time. This expertise is acquired through product training. At this stage, agents learn the different aspects of the products and get familiarized with the database such as Oracle in order to answer queries, solve issues and/or provide troubleshooting relating to the product. Part of the training is to adapt with the company’s culture in providing quality service in the shortest time possible.

In the call center industry, you will keep the interest of your clients (in this case Virgin Mobile) as your business partner so long as you provide efficient management of calls, minimising long  calls because the longer the time call center agents spend in taking calls the higher the cost (clients part). The same goes for customers (callers); if the queue is long, they might abandon the call and not call anymore.

In conclusion, queues grow due to variability and they do not disappear when utilisation levels are high. So, contact centre industry will continue to innovate and renovate solutions for keeping high customer satisfaction and retention.

References:

S. Liu, J. Gong, L. Ma and M. Yu, “Influence of waiting times on customer loyalty and queueing behavior in call centers,” 2017 29th Chinese Control And Decision Conference (CCDC), Chongqing, 2017, pp. 1130-1134, doi: 10.1109/CCDC.2017.7978688.

TRENDS THAT WILL CHANGE THE LOGISTICS OF THE FUTURE

Евротерминал рассказал, какой будет логистика будущего - новости Украины, -  LIGA.net

GREEN LOGISTICS

The high mobility and speed of delivery of goods, which is provided by the global transport network, undoubtedly have a detrimental effect on the environment. 

Electric vehicles, AI-based software that calculates routes with the lowest emission levels, and resource-efficient packaging will help minimize the environmental impact of logistics.

BLOCKCHAIN ​​TECHNOLOGIES

Blockchain will provide logistics companies with a seamless digital network. The technology will enable manufacturers, suppliers, customers, auditors, warehouse managers and others in the supply chain to create a transparent and efficient system for recording transactions, tracking assets and managing documents.

The security of the supply chain will be increased, fraudulent activities will be minimized due to complete transparency, and the absence of paperwork will reduce the risk of errors.

AUTOMATION OF LOGISTICS AND INTERNET OF THINGS (IOT)

These techniques are transforming the global supply chain market. IoT is communication between devices that are connected to each other by small sensors of different types.

IoT will help eliminate shipping delays, operator errors, and cargo loss and theft. In the near future, supply chain management is expected to use IoT and edge computing to generate automated data in real time. For example, to predict equipment failures and reduce crash risks using visual and acoustic sensors in maritime transport.

IMPLEMENTATION OF COLLABORATIVE ROBOTS (COBOTS)

Cobots will be needed to efficiently perform delivery order processing services. They are equipped with a long-range and visibility system and can quickly unload trucks, move boxes and pallets.

Amazon is already developing robots for warehouse operations, including functions such as packing, storing, and order picking.

DIGITAL TWINS TECHNOLOGY

Structural parts wear out and are replaced, and until recently, their computer models could not display this. With the advent of digital twin technology, everything has changed. Now the physical and digital worlds can be so synchronized that it will allow interacting with the digital model of a physical object as with its physical counterpart.

The possibilities for using digital twins in logistics are enormous. In the international transport sector, this technology can collect product and packaging data and use it to identify deficiencies and errors.

Warehouses and businesses can use “digital twins” to create accurate 3D models of their centers, experimenting with the introduction of new equipment. And delivery networks are designed to provide real-time information about cargo, improve delivery times, and help autonomous vehicles along their routes.

Amazon 3rd party FBA sellers face new inventory limitations

Concerns over safety at Amazon warehouses as accident reports rise | Amazon  | The Guardian


FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) is the sale of goods from Amazon warehouses.

Amazon has introduced new restrictions on the supply of goods. Starting August 16 2020, sellers can send up to 200 units of a product with the new ASIN (An Amazon Standard Identification Number is a 10-character alphanumeric unique identifier assigned by Amazon.com and its partners for product identification within the Amazon organization) to Amazon.

The main reason for this limitation is the sharply increased demand for goods sold online in the past few months.

Amazon’s new policy affects all sellers planning a new product launch.

Initially, it was assumed that the restrictions will last until December 31, 2020. However, as of March 10, 2021, the limit of 200 units for the supply of new goods is still in force.

At the same time, Amazon relaxed the requirements for the allowable volume of goods in its warehouses, lowering the IPI (Inventory Performance Index) threshold to 450.

Previously, Amazon could restrict replenishment of inventory only if the IPI (Inventory Performance Index) fell below the acceptable level. Moreover, this concerned only the volume of goods in the warehouse, and not the number of units.

The main problem sellers face at the moment is the minimum order size. It is unprofitable for factories to produce batches of 200 units of goods, so the unit price will be several orders of magnitude higher.

What to do in this situation?

Pay the supplier the cost of the entire shipment, but ask to send only 200 units first.

This will not be a problem for most vendors. Based on the results of the sales of the first batch, you can optimize the listing and then send the bulk.

Use the services of independent logistics companies (3PL – third-party logistics company).

An external contractor will take over all the storage and shipping tasks for Amazon.

This will eliminate the need to reduce the batch size: you can send 200 units directly to Amazon warehouses, and the rest to the contractor’s warehouse.

This way, you will be able to replenish stock in Amazon warehouses as they run out.

Is there a way to get rid of the new restrictions?

Amazon does not provide an answer to this question. But there is reason to believe that the limit could be increased, provided that the product sells well.

Also, Amazon may lift restrictions after 30 new planned fulfillment centers open.

Notpla: Plastic-free PACKAGING

Plastic pollution is getting worse

How green are you? The single-use plastics are everywhere in our daily life and more than half of the 300 million tons of plastic made every year. What is worse, according to a survey conducted by Daniel Webb revealed that we were throwing about 8 million tons of plastic away this year, which is much more than the last year. Because of the pandemic, the demand of food delivery and food take-away is rising, which has made the problem worse.

This packaging can be eaten.

Ooho: eco-friendly packaging

The London start-up Notpla has created a plastic alternative from seaweed which is biodegradable in order to develop new packaging solutions as an alternative to single-use plastic packaging. This packaging is called “Ooho”, which can not only be used as fertilizer, but it can also be eaten! The design team used molecular gastronomy technology to produce an edible layer that becomes the best container.

Notpla is hoping its seaweed-based alternative to plastic casing can help reduce plastic waste.

It is everywhere in our daily life

Ooho is a flexible packaging for beverages and sauces. For example, it replaced plastic cups and bottles for Virgin Money London Marathon. The runners could just tear off the corner packaging and drink directly without opening the cover of bottles. Notpla has also cooperated with Glenlivet, a Scotch whisky brand, to manufacture “cocktail without glass” capsules, allowing consumers to drink whiskey directly. Of course, it can encapsulate a wide range of sauces, salad dressings and condiments for the take-away industry.

Keep growing, keep sustainable

“We started this because we wanted to be part of a solution to this plastic crisis.” said cofounder Pierre Paslier

Notpla’s pricing is private, but it sells products to companies whose customers value their eco-friendly credentials. Now, it is launching a new line of disposable food containers that are free from synthetic chemicals and are covered with a waterproof and greaseproof lining. In the past, few companies were concerned about the environmental pollution caused by packaging. Now packaging has become an item that everyone thinks may damage the brand image or values. It can not be denied that everyone has begun to truly realize the importance of sustainability.

PepsiCo: Experts in products but struggling in their distribution

PepsiCo is one of the biggest companies in the food, snack, and beverage sector with international presence; however, they faced problems when trying to enter the Ukrainian market. The distribution system they operated was through exportation of their products to Ukrainian bottling companies, which then sold the products to independent distributors. This system did not only generate more costs for PepsiCo, but also it was not able to reach all the rural areas were prospective customers were.

The high interdependence of distributors and the management on the supply chain led that PepsiCo loses control over its operations and their modus operandi as the cultural differences also played an important role in the situation.

In order not to keep the losses, PepsiCo established an own distribution system in agreement with local organizations to invest in bottling plants in the country and reinforce their presence in the international market, recovering the power over the distribution channels and reaching to more consumers.

Sources:

Marketing Channels And Logistics: a Case Study Of Pepsi International

New York Times: COMPANY NEWS: Pepsico Reaches Accord For Expansion in Ukraine

Rusia: host country for Fifa worldcup

Have you ever desired to attend to FIFA World Cup? In 2018, I decided to put all my effort to attend Rusia World Cup and achieved it.

The FIFA World Cup is the biggest sports event in the world, being such a demanded event, Russia needed to be prepared. With hundreds of thousands of people going into the country, here are some things that Russia did on their logistics to receive us all:

Transportation:

With matches happening in a multiple cities around the country, transportation is something that is essential. Russia provided all people holding a match ticket with a ‘FAN ID’ that was like a visa. This ID gave some advantages such as using free public transportation in the hosting cities and intercity trains. The city managed to have all the needed trains to move the fans holding a ticket in time for the match.

Ticketing:

For the ticketing, FIFA had different prices according to the match number and the section in the stadium, all this tickets were released in different queues. The sell was divided in phases in which the ‘first come, first served’ method was applied. This was vital to get the FAN ID and be able to enjoy the benefits.

Infrastructure:

In preparation for the World Cup Rusia built over 100 new hotels to have enough accommodation for fans and reformed their stadiums.

Organization:

All around the city you could find people helping all the tourist and signals for all the touristic places, stadiums and public transportation.

If something in their logistic had failed it would had been a disaster but they managed to do it GREAT! Rusia maintained the Fan ID as a visa to enter their country for one year more hoping the tourism of their country grows.

Ukrainian delivery service

Новая Почта улучшает график работы для удобства граждан — Info News ІнфоНьюз

I would like to tell you about the delivery service in Ukraine, which simplified life not only for private clients, but also gave a huge impetus to the development of e-commerce and not only. I will also give a small comparison with the Spanish postal service “Correos” which is 295 years older than the “Nova Poshta”.

The history of “Nova Poshta” began in February 2001, when university friends Vyacheslav Klimov and Vladimir Popereshnyuk decided to found a common business. Both were 25 years old. Vladimir’s small confectionery business helped to choose a market niche. He was just looking for ways to transport goods from Poltava to Ukraine. This is how young entrepreneurs got the idea to offer Ukrainians a new service – fast and convenient delivery.

The start-up capital of “Nova Poshta” was $ 7,000, and the team initially included 7 people.

Within the framework of the company, several development vectors have been formed, among which is the international direction (“Nova Poshta Global”). In 2014, “Nova Poshta” opened representative offices in Georgia and Moldova, and a year later entered the international delivery market.

For Ukrainians, “Nova Poshta” has ceased to be just a delivery service. The new corporate structure is a group of companies that provide clients with a range of logistics and related services. Today, in the branches you can not only receive / send a parcel or cargo and order targeted delivery, but also make an electronic money transfer through the ForPost cash desks, and order a fulfillment service.

“Nova Poshta”, along with Privat24 and OLX, is one of the three pillars on which practically all e-commerce in Ukraine rests upon. Today, “Nova Poshta” already processes 14 million parcels per month, and in order to cope with the constant growth in the number of parcels, it needs modern sorting terminals (now the company has 40 of them). The new terminal called KIT (Kiev Innovation Terminal) cost the company 15 million euros and was opened last year. Now they are preparing to launch new queues of the terminal, which will further increase its throughput. According to the company’s employees, their goal is to process up to a million parcels per day at KIT. This is the level of the largest terminals in the world.

In front of the entrance to the terminal, Slavuta’s car is installed on a pedestal. An interesting story is connected with it. This is the very first car of “Nova Poshta”, which at first played the role of both a truck and a representative vehicle. Today, this car is alive, daily reminder of how you can create a huge logistics company out of nothing. In the era of globalization and the total Internet, logistics is a real circulatory system of the economy.

История успеха "Новой Почты" начиналась со "Славуты"

The terminal uses equipment from Vanderlande, the world leader in the automation of logistics processes. Its equipment is used in many airports around the world.

Now the terminal has 199 gates with ramps for receiving trucks. The next step is the construction of new lines capable of increasing capacities and serving the constantly growing needs of Ukrainians in sending parcels. For the last 7 years, the company has been growing by 30-50% annually.

Thanks to the fast and relatively affordable delivery in Ukraine, a huge number of “Instagram shops” have appeared, which undoubtedly positively influenced the development of small businesses in the country.

Now I will make a small comparison between “Nova Poshta” and the “Correos”.

For example, let’s imagine that we need to send a box weighing 5kg and measuring 20x30x50 cm between two major cities.

The parcel will be delivered from Dnipro to Lviv (990 km) the next day, if the parcel is sent before 12:00. If you send it from 12:00 to 18:00, the package will arrive in two days.

Spanish service “Correos” Delivers a parcel of the same size and weight from Bilbao to Seville (930 km) in 3 days. In order for the parcel to be delivered within 24 hours, you must select a separate more expensive tariff.

I did not find information about the insurance of the parcel in Spain, but Nova Poshta offers insurance for the parcel of any amount. To do this, you must indicate the cost of the parcel and the calculator will show the cost of insurance. For example, for just 0.10 cents, the 30 euros valued parcel will be insured. And if the parcel is lost or damaged, the full cost will be refunded.

There is no Amazon in Ukraine. But with the help of “Nova Poshta”, you can order any product from the USA or Europe. “Nova Poshta” provides addresses of their branches in Europe or USA and when making an order you put their provided address, then they deliver your parcel to Ukraine.

And now some statistics:

In Spain, which has an area of ​​505 990 km², 2400 branches of “Correos” and in Ukraine, which occupies 603 628 km², 7200 branches of “Nova Poshta”.

CORREOS Group has distributed over 196.5 million parcels in 2019. Of these, CORREOS has distributed 129.32 million parcels.

During the same year, “Nova Poshta” delivered 212 million parcels.

When the water bottle can also be drunk

Last week we talked about packaging and how supermarkets adjust their logistics to the packaging to satisfy customer expectations. In one part of the class, we talked about water packaging, so I remembered one that was presented as an ideation example in a startup program I took two years ago. And that was an innovative edible, biodegradable and jelly-based package for water called Ooho.

Ooho edible water bottle | Object in Focus

If we take a deep look at Ooho’s idea, we can see that the package is coming from Skipping Rocks Lab, an innovative sustainable packaging company based in London. They are explorers in the use of natural elements extracted from plants and algae to create containers with low environmental impact. With this and all their products, they try to combat a real environmental problem, which is plastic pollution, substituting the arrival of 1 billion plastic bottles in the ocean every year and ending with the emission of 300 million kilograms of CO2. This type of packages not only can reduce the environmental impact of bottles but also can transform the whole logistic process for supermarkets and water suppliers as a new unit load support device.

Although it might be a possible alternative to plastic containers for some liquids (in my opinion, an awesome solution in terms of creativity and ideation), it looks like it hasn’t been accepted by customers and they face a supply chain logistics problem due to Ooho’s short lifespan. So as Bill Gross explains in the following video, this might be an example of one of the most important factors for startup/innovation failure which is bad timing but this doesn’t mean that in the near future we end up eating from jelly bags.

The single biggest reason why start-ups succeed | Bill Gross

what if ALL OF A SUDDEN everyone wants to buy your product…? a story of relaince jio in india

what if I told you that Digi Sims are going to be available for 3 euros and if you buy a sim card this month you can have unlimited amount of calls and unlimited internet, will you buy it? that is how things went in India few years ago. in 2016 I had started my bachelors and my college friends told me that there is this Sim card we can buy at a very cheap price and can use it for unlimited calls and unlimited internet for 1 month(or 3 months if I remember correctly). mobile data was expensive in India back then, it was around 3 euros only for 1 GB of internet at 3G speed, smartphone era was on all time high, everyone wanted to enjoy YouTube, movies etc.

Jio was a brand lauched by reliance just like wayra brand(Innovation management) lauched by telefonica. reliance opened Jio stores throughout the country to meet with the demand of this new product. well…the word demand is overrated as thousands and millions of people rushed to buy the sim cards, the stores had 2 hour long queues outside before opening, workers worked around the clock to sell it, but were not enough, one small store received around 700 applications in day when all of this wasn’t even publicized.

so what does Jio do? in this situation where the demand is going off the roof into the moon and then to the black hole, jio had to allow 3rd party dealers and small stores to sell the product, it couldn’t handle the rush at its stores and their employees being overworked, they started selling sims by appointment as well, whoever wanted it could call Jio and a salesperson would come to the house to get the work started. their sales team started setting up small stands like blood donation camps so that they can sell it on the streets, they even went to the universities and colleges to sell. this teaches us on how a Big company with an amazing product had to do whatever it takes to meet the demand and sell its product efficiently.

AMAZON’S DELIVERY VEHICLES IN iNDIA

So I decided to write the blog on this topic since amazon uses different types of vehicles in India which many of my classmates aren’t aware of, I was discussing a case study in New trends in service strategies with Pablo and Miguel and involved the delivery system the company used in a country, I was pretty comfortable to tell them that delivery is easily possible and they were confused on what I was talking about. So their question was like “How can Vans go easily through traffic and through narrow streets that have bad roads RAVI!? you stupid or something?” and I replied “Stupid is as stupid does..”(Forest Gump) Just kidding, they didn’t say that. that is when I replied that I am not talking about delivering products by a 4 wheeler but by a 2 wheeler, because that’s what amazon uses in India alongside 4 wheelers. as things are done differently in every country or continent.

in my opinion delivery by motorbikes is a great way for amazon to get through the traffic in cities, bad roads and narrow streets and it has been working very well for Amazon in India.

Amazon recently started its E-rickshaw(3 wheelers) delivery services as you can see Jeff Bezos travelled to India and is posing in the picture. he has also announced Amazon’s plan to deploy 10,000 electric delivery rickshaws across the country, after successfully completed the trails in 2019. The rickshaws would be sourced from automotive startup Rivian and are said to be operational across 20 cities by 2025.

The company is placing a lot of emphasis on its environmental vision, which fit in alongside its #climatepledge announced back in September 2019, in which Amazon plans to be completely carbon neutral by 2040.

it is amusing to see how a big company like amazon is going ahead of its time and using this type of service that is acceptable in the culture, which I guess is cheaper and can carry more load as compared to motorbikes. In bigger cities there is a lot of pollution and the government is making many policies to reduce pollution, they introduced different schemes like odd-even which allow vehicle with odd number to drive on odd days and vehicle with even numbers to drive on even days, although this is not the reason that amazon is launching this, but I believe this can be one of the reasons to improve its image as the business for amazon is just increasing by big margins in India.

Raghav Jain(Ravi)

AUTOMATION OF PACKAGING IN THE COURIER INDUSTRY

I got the idea to share this blog when I received and unpacked a delivery at the weekend. Online shopping is part of our daily lives, especially since the pandemic, people are using online e-commerce platforms to purchase more than before.

How to make the most of the packaging space in a delivery box?

When receiving an online delivery, we will notice that sometimes there is a lot of space left in the delivery box, which is a waste of space. So, are there any advanced solutions to this problem? A number of e-commerce platforms have made improvements to their packaging processes, using automated packaging robots to achieve effectiveness and efficiency, such as Amazon and JingDong in China. They have both chosen the CMC CartonWrap robot system, supplied by CMC Srl in Italy.

The CMC CartonWrap is an automated carton packing system for e-commerce packaging needs. The robot enables goods in an order to be 3D scanned as they travel along a conveyor belt. These items are then placed in suitably sized customised boxes created by the robot. CMC Cartonwrap variable carton packaging solution breaks away from conventional packaging and enables on-demand personalized packaging. Furthermore, CMC claims it can achieve speeds of up to 900 orders per hour.

The operation of CMC CartonWrap robot system

The advantages of this new packaging process are obvious, which not only saves labour but also reduces the waste of packaging material. This hits exactly the right spot in a labour-intensive industry like logistics, reducing labour dependency and labour costs.

CMC CartonWrap is now being used by companies in China, the United States and Sweden, among many other countries. The system offers significant labor savings, while reducing storage and transportation costs. The application of automation equipment in the field of logistics is becoming more and more advanced and user-friendly. Perhaps in the near future, most of the express deliveries we receive will be packaged by such robots.

THE CURRENT PROBLEM OF THE FREIGHT FORWARDING SECTOR

“The shipping containers prices have skyrocket”

I would like to share with you some actual information about the freight forwarding sector. Actually, I’m doing an internship in an international shipping company, and I found interesting to share with you some relevant information about the actual moment of the sector which is also related with this subject.

Regarding the Shanghai index, the container cost has been reached an average of 2.900$ for 20-foot containers. It is 3 times more expensive than January 2020.

Type of containerJanuary 2015January 2020February 2021
20 foot450$1.000$2.900$
40 foot 1.800$5.200$

From the financial crises of 2008, the shipping companies have maintained a very cheap price for the freight of containers, trying to fight against the economic recession. But after the coronavirus crisis this price has been multiplied, and many economists argue that the prices from before will never come back.

One of the reasons of this price increasement is because most of the containers are stocked in China. China receives more empty containers for their exportations than full containers for their importations. Therefore, there is a bottle neck that block a fluent motion of containers and cause an increasement of the prices. Furthermore, during the Chinese New Year holiday, the majority of the factories shut down for two weeks, so the movement of containers has been heavily affected. For this reason, many companies wait for weeks for containers and are paying premium rates to get them faster, causing shipping costs to skyrocket.

A part of that, it is also true that today there is a major demand than offer provoked by a high increasement of the e-commerce companies. Day to day, there are more and more companies that want to import and export goods, but there are not enough containers for all of them. Therefore, it is absolutely understandable the increment of prices due to the increment of the demand.

Many economists argue that the prices of shipping containers are starting to stabilize, but they also maintain that prices will never be as years before. Some experts say that the freight forwarding companies have an agreement for maintaining these high prices, so, perhaps the golden age of import and export of goods is over.

More information:

https://www.eleconomista.es/empresas-finanzas/noticias/11049734/02/21/El-precio-del-transporte-maritimo-se-triplica-y-no-volvera-al-nivel-preCovid.html

Massive problem to luxurious brands:Excess inventory?

The impact of Covid-19

Luxurious brands are facing a significant challenge under the Covid-19. The demand declined massively since the outbreak in 2020  with a big loss in sales in the high-growth market of China. What is worse, the travel restrictions across Europe and the US causes a drop in demand. For example, the store closures in Italy indicated that Chinese shoppers are not allowed to purchase at the level before crisis. This has led to the main problem to luxurious brand likely.

Under the pandemic: The empty street in Barcelona

Few customers in luxurious brand stores

When I was traveling to Madrid in September 2020, I noticed that the tourists declined massively, which I could see the main street is not as crowded as before. Moreover, there was always long waiting line in front of the luxurious stores but it is totally different now. What I saw was few customers with some employees, which amazed me a lot and made me realized how the crisis damage the each industry. I believed the excess inventory must be much more after the pandemic, so where are they delivered?

There were lots of customers shopping at Louis Vuitton before the Covid-19

Burned them rather than the discount

Unlike fast-fashion brands, the luxury brands have a high conscious on the product value. In order to protect the brand image, some luxury companies refused to give the discount on the products. In stead, they burned the excess inventory. For example, Burberry destroyed excess clothes, perfume and accessories worth £28.6 million in 2018. Under the government intervention, other brands like Louis Vuitton and Dior made a commitment to stop burning excess products. Moreover, French government has required domestic brands to recycle or donate any products they intended to destroy, which aimed to make it sustainable.

Where inventory should be delivered now?

“Nobody really knows.” By Credit Suisse sell-side analyst Guillaume Gauvillé

Seasonality dominates not only ready-to-wear brands but also luxury brands. Normally, some luxury companies deliver off-season products to the outlet malls such us La Roca Village in Barcelona or Bicester Village in London, which is the main way to deal with the excess inventory. However, the leader brand like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior do not give sales in outlet and even in stores. They tried to redistribute inventory to the region which could help assuage but the effect seemed to be limited because the pandemic damaged all over the world.

Therefore, inventory management could cause problems for most luxury brands in 2021. Additionally, the other challenge will be navigating the potential impact on their positioning and how they are viewed by consumers.

Gucci store in La Roca Village

Inventory Costs – Pillage & Ullage

Watching the video about Inventory Management from Mal Walker I stumbled across two terms I have never heard before and which aroused my curiosity – Pillage and Ullage.

Inventory Management – An Introduction with Mal Walker

While Ullage describes the unexplained loss or damage of goods, Pillage characterizes the actual theft. The annual cost of inventory theft is around $15 billion for warehouses, manufacturers and shippers and therefore needs to be considered in an inventory cost calculation. I didn’t expect this number to be this large because of the highly advanced security standards implemented in all the companies I visited in Germany. The word security refers to the condition of a closed system (like a warehouse) being protected from intentional intrusion and harm from the outside. But what if the harm does not come from the outside?

The Article: “Prevent Theft in your Warehouse” offers small insights about two contract delivery drivers working for Amazon, who routinely stole goods from their employer for at least 6 years. The two drivers, who also happen to be roommates, later sold the stolen goods to two frauded pawn shops and received $4 Million from them. The pawn shops actually sold the goods again on Amazon, as third party sellers and generated over $10 million. Full information about the Amazon theft ring can be obtained here.

In industrial security there is a 10 / 80 / 10 rule, which implies that 10% of your employees will never steal from you, 80% can be motivated to steal or not to steal and the remaining 10% will steal whenever they can. It is important to focus on the 80% and motivate them not to steal by reducing the opportunities and therefore the temptation on one hand and making sure the employee feels appreciated both personally and financially on the other hand. If you are looking for in-depth information about industrial & warehouse security I recommend this paper from Cisco-Eagle.