Transport and Logistics Market to Advance in Leaps and Bound with Development of Physical Internet

Posted On March 18, 2021     

In the present day, transporting goods from one place to another is not the most efficient stage. As a norm, vehicles are rarely loaded to their maximum capacity. On an average, transport vehicles are less than even 50% filled, and at times, they drive back empty after deliveries. This is one of the biggest problems in the industry that the fill rate of vehicles is not that high leading to inefficiency.

If this fill rate can be increased, it would have a positive impact on cost and emissions while also creating a system of transport that is more sustainable. The concept is similar to when an email is sent to someone across the world. It is received quickly without much delay. Message sent passes through a network of servers till it reaches its destination. A physical internet is similar in nature. It relies on the similar idea that akin to how data moves around the internet, a similar approach can be used to move freight around the world. This would be a massive advancement for all players involved in the Transport and Logistics Market as they would have a network of routes connected by hubs. They would involve different modes of transport, helping companies to streamline the process in which their goods are shipped from one place to other places.

Researchers are hopeful that the physical internet concept would realize by the year 2040, when a completely autonomous transportation process would be in place. The idea is based on a network; wherein every element will have a digital twin that will continuously get updated with relevant details like space available in a warehouse, schedule of different modes of transportation, etc. This data can be captured through the use of sensors. The centralized algorithm will use the information received to route a container in the most optimal way.

For those goods that are required to be delivered quickly requires emphasis on reliability. In such cases, the digitalized network can help identify warehouses or ports that may deliver swiftly but are less dependable or have uncertain processing times.

The main element on which the physical internet would be based is standardization. Currently, all companies have various sizes of packages, making it hard for them to be easily packed in the truck efficiently. The team has identified six different types of sizes of modular boxes that would cover 85% of the cargo. If these box sizes are taken up, it will lead to cost savings as the fill rate would improve. It would improve pallets for retailers up to 50% and 15% for manufacturers. Standardized containers also positively affect the packing process, and digital visualizations can be used to make the process simpler.

The new digital system is most likely to benefit the customers as well. For now, the transportation process involves sending the goods to a primary distribution center and then shipping it to various outlets. Physical internet would lead to decentralization in the storage of goods, which would mean shipments could be delivered faster.

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