The SENATOR consortium member DOTGIS has recently published a whitepaper on the trends of the logistics sector and how GIS solutions are driving its digital transformation
The logistics sector is going through a period of change and growth. Society’s consumption and lifestyle habits have changed: the rise of e-commerce, the intense demand for ever faster and more instantaneous deliveries, the necessity for more environmentally friendly actions, etc. show the need for a digital transformation of the sector. All this has led the Spanish corporation and member of the SENATOR consortium, DOTGIS, to bet on the geolocation of the logistics sector, which is here to stay.
In their new whitepaper, DOTGIS analyses the current situation facing the logistics sector, the trends that are shaping its direction and how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Location Intelligence solutions are driving its digital transformation. This new situation has given way to the SENATOR project, which was born to develop more sustainable urban logistics, making the most of the alternatives offered by new technologies.
In this article we will summarise the different contributions Geolocation Intelligence can make to the logistics sector. The full report by DOTGIS is available in Spanish here.
The digitalisation of the supply chain
New consumer trends are leading logistics stakeholders to question what the new supply chain model will and should look like. In the whitepaper, Pedro García Santiago, Head of the Territorial Management Area of the Spanish Postal Operator Correos said:
“In 2020, we delivered 209 million parcels at Correos, which is 8% more than in 2019. In the Christmas campaign, we delivered more than 52 million parcels in just 2-3 weeks. Lately, the logistics sector has been focusing on immediacy, but how is this supposed to be? Can we optimise our routes to such an extent that any delivery can be made in less than 1 hour? Can we really afford to have so many vehicles to deliver to any point in Spain in less than 1 hour?”
To address these trends in the most sustainable way possible, in its report, DOTGIS presents the optimisation of routes by digitalising the supply chain. GIS, Geographic Information Systems, is a tool that allows consulting geospatial information, analysing it, editing it, and representing it on maps for better understanding. GIS helps to detect in advance what is to come to better design and shape appropriate response actions, strategic management decisions and new business opportunities.
With the use of digital tools that allow the analysis of large amounts of data in a very short time, costs can be reduced. Fewer errors mean lower costs by offering higher quality products and services: logistics 4.0 will mitigate operational costs, lost sales and inventory costs.
In terms of relations with customers, suppliers and partners, digitalisation provides more personalised attention to their needs, as well as greater transparency and security in all operations. The result is a more fluid and stable relationship, fostering collaboration and communication between all parties.
Main GIS applications in the logistics sector
First, to optimize logistics, GIS is involved deciding the best location for the operational bases and logistics centres. Here, issues such as the following are considered:
- The distance to the main distribution areas, be they cities, industrial areas or business parks.
- Good connection with motorways or dual carriageways.
- The option of transport intermodality through proximity to airports and freight train stations.
- Average expenditure per trip, such as petrol or tolls.
Once we have an ideally located logistics centre, every logistics company must also take into account the optimisation of the resources: they need to know which the best routes for their fleet are. Often, the shortest route in kilometres is not synonymous with the fastest route; roads that are often clogged, with accidents, roadworks, bad asphalt, flooded, icy, etc. and a secondary road or many other possibilities may be better options.
But to know which the best option is, it is important to highlight the predictive capabilities of the processing of this data by means of Artificial Intelligence algorithms, which allows us to anticipate demand and possible incidents. This tool significantly improves decisions that condition the day-to-day service, obtaining a benefit for the user and for the company itself. For example, reducing costs by optimising human resources and identifying contingencies that require rapid changes in operations, such as meteorological weather conditions or the absence of a postman.
SENATOR project, involved in GIS
Considering the trends of the new environment and the possibilities offered by digitalisation and geolocation, SENATOR was born: A project that aims to develop more sustainable urban logistics. This project consists of the planning and execution of governance programmes that will try to support aspects such as:
- Demand forecasting.
- Optimisation of transport tasks.
- Intelligent planning of the entire logistics chain.
- Development and design of urban infrastructure to accelerate last mile delivery.
According to Miguel Fernández, DOTGIS CEO & Founder: “Location intelligence has become one of the drivers for the development of Smart Logistics, in which location and spatial relationship of all stakeholders must be taken into account in order to meet the challenges of agility and transparency among others.”
SENATOR project will work to provide a collaborative system between citizens, transporters, logistics operators and city councils, which will function as a control tower. From it, dynamic logistics planning can be developed based on a digitised system. José Crespo, Director Support and Technology of DOTGIS, said:
“DOTGIS will develop a real-time interactive dashboard that integrates data from all operators. It will be possible to visualize all the processes in a simple and visual map, allowing a more agile and intelligent decision making.”
SENATOR will take advantage of asset monitoring through Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to improve real-time decision making and prediction of future needs.