A Changing Landscape for Routing and Logistics
The rise of electric vehicles and other kinds of automation are rapidly transforming the industry, requiring better planning and logistical support than previously necessary with human based operations and drivers.
In addition, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been vastly increased demand for direct delivery and service to customers. This is a trend that is expected to continue well into the future, altering the traditional structure of the logistics industry away from centralized distribution and vendors.
Alongside the demand for more delivery capability there is now a greater demand for speedy deliveries. Next day delivery and other similar programs have shaped consumer expectations, placing vastly increased pressures onto distribution systems.
The Three Challenges
These issues present a number of challenges for routing and distribution planners.
Challenge 1: Do I have the quality data I need?
Breeding: “Where is this data coming from? How are you touching it? Processing it? Who is involved in that process? What amount is automated or not? Is the final product ultimately representing where you want to go?”
The quality of data makes a huge difference, especially when it comes to data like addresses, which are essential for delivery and services. Having accurate addresses that lead to entrance points rather than the center of the building results in increases in efficiency for delivery and services. For routing, there are even more considerations that go into determining an optimal route. Factors like the type of vehicle, legal and physical restrictions, distances, environmental markers, and the location of loading docks all must be taken into account for data to be useful. With millions of operations and vehicles on the road, having the most accurate data available is essential for avoiding damages, such as fines and accidents, and saving lives.
Naik: “We collect 15 billion data points every day to keep our maps refreshed. This cannot be a manual task, so we have been continuously invested into automating this task with machine learning algorithms. Every sensors’ data and images are processed in an automated way, labelled, and then put into the database. That’s why we have the strongest presence in the automotive segment, with 4 out of 5 cars powered by HERE’s location platform”
Challenge 2: How can I trust the routes I am following are the best routes?
What makes the “best” route depends on the criteria of the customer. HERE offers a number of options for customers to decide what aspects of the route they want to focus on. HERE also generates its own data, allowing customers to trust in the product and to integrate all of their routing and logistical planning through the same highly developed framework. AppGeo’s Routinize application allows smaller businesses to streamline this route planning process, using the framework and engine established by HERE technologies.
Naik: “Reaching the destination on time is of course important but sometimes the cost is important, sometimes safe driving is important, sometimes sustainability is important. In logistics and transportation we have to take a multidimensional approach. That’s why we give our customers parameters they can choose and plan around, we want to offer that flexibility.”
Challenge 3: Will my drivers arrive at the correct time?
Providing accurate ETA predictions is very important to managing customer expectations with both deliveries and services. HERE blends real time traffic data with predictive analytics to provide accurate ETAs, not just in the moment, but in the future as well. Having more accurate ETAs limits downtime and increases reliability of the service. Additionally, we can eliminate efficiencies and improve safety by identifying the best and worst performing routes by using driver GPS as additional data points.
Breeding: “The key is having the volume of data to not just know what is happening right now in those conditions but learning from that and setting up profiles that can help assess what it will be like in the future. Having that confidence in how the world might operate is extremely valuable.”
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