Mradul Khandelwal, VP - Global Sales & Strategy, LogiNext
At the heart of any transportation management system, there are features like route optimization and 3D packing optimization; by leveraging these, a company can raise the bar in efficient delivery management. Mradul Khandelwal, VP - Global Sales & Strategy, LogiNext, elaborates on the key elements in a transportation automation platform that help businesses increase operational efficiencies.

In our pursuit of building a modern world of advanced logistics technology, digitization and optimization of logistics management play a critical role. A transportation automation platform is basically a transportation management system 2.0, which is hosted on the cloud, and is a plug & play solution designed to meet the needs of an enterprise that wants visibility into delivery management. Within this, 3D packing optimization is a key feature that helps brands and enterprises pack goods or load a container in the most efficient manner.

Transportation Automation Platform
Be it B2B distribution of goods and parcels or last mile delivery, any organization engaging in delivery management needs to use software to keep track of the entire supply chain. A Transportation Automation Platform is a delivery management system that helps CSCOs (chief supply chain officers), digital transformation officers, and logistics operation administrators, keep track of the entire supply chain process - right from order management to packing and dispatching - using route optimization and route planning. Over this, a transportation automation platform also has an analytics and reporting dashboard which gives insights to drive business results.


Challenges in Logistics Management
For increasing operational efficiency and reducing costs while delivering goods (and a great customer experience), a logistics company must look into the following:
  • Inefficiency in packing goods in a container
  • Calculating ETAs accurately so that there are no delays
  • Efficient route optimization
  • Driver shortages
  • Increasing expectation of delivery speeds.
3D packing optimization is a feature of a Transportation Automation Platform that aims to solve the first challenge in the above-mentioned points and its effects automatically percolate through to the other areas. A 3D packing optimization factors in several variables:
  • Number of packages
  • Weight and volume
  • Type of carrier
  • Priority of delivery
  • Temperature of goods and required conditions for delivery
  • Skillset of loaders
  • Type and size of crates within the container.
Considering the above factors, 3D packing optimization capability gives operations/warehouse manager the best way in which inventory can be stored in a warehouse and the best way in which a carrier can be loaded with the parcels and goods.

The artificial intelligence and machine learning-based algorithms factor in all the variables and come up with a digital plan, which can be printed and handed out to the field crew overseeing the packaging.

Advantages of Optimal Resource Utilization
Apart from 3D packing optimization, there are several other areas where efficiency can be brought in. For instance, if one looks at transportation in general in a CEP (courier, express and parcel) scenario, there are people writing letters, ordering items from e-commerce sites, etc. All these letters/parcels need to be collected from their source of origin and brought to hubs, from where they can be taken to the main collection hub.

From here, they are shipped to hubs closer to where the final destination is, and then the last mile delivery happens. In this entire process, there is enormous scope for route optimization. A transportation automation platform factors in traffic conditions, priority of orders, weather conditions, etc to come up with the most optimized route, which can save up to 20% in costs and proportionately increase operational efficiency.
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