The concept of Digital Twin in logistics refers to a digital replica of potential and actual physical assets (physical twin), processes, people, places, systems and devices that can be used for various purposes (Wiki source) in the supply chain. The advent of connected devices and machines is huge and it is said that half of the new businesses in this decade will be run by IOT.
In the case of freight logistics industries, there are many assets such as warehouse, fleet, cargo (pallet, container, parcel, bins, oil tankers) – perishable and nonperishable – high and low-value goods, life-Saving medicines, food items such as fish, meat, wines, cheese, etc.. Raw materials being sent to factories, finished goods transported to distribution warehouses and retail stores.
Bonded warehouses will benefit by implementing Digital twin, so that exporter and importers will have full transparency and visibility of high-value cargo.
Implementing a Digital Twin in your logistics business can help to provide value-added services to your customers who are in the distribution and manufacturing industries. Thus raising the bar of business performance and competitive advantage.
Movement of high-value cargo happening from ports to logistics yards through multi-modal transportation – Ships, containers, multi-axle trucks, small trucks and carrier vans for last-mile delivery.
The concept of “Digital Twin”
For all these activities to happen smoothly, there is an urgent need to map the physical location and transportation environment of cargo on to a digital twin – a cloud-hosted software.
Digital twin brings the desired visibility to your customer, whereby that can plan their factory production or distribution activities based on accurate measurement of delivery timings provided by the logistics software. This can be achieved using IOT enabled inventory and asset tracking tags that can be deployed in indoor and outdoor units.
Digital twin brings accountability on the way the cargo is being transported – Are they subject to undue shock, excess temperature or other parameters that would have a negative impact on the shelf life of the product.
The location of trucks, driver behavior, fuel consumption, tire mileage, etc contribute to reducing the cost of operations and maintenance.
Ideally, a Digital Twin ready solution would give the logistics company as well as their customers a 360-degree view of inventory, geographic location, timings, storage place & environment. IOT powered warehouse optimization solutions are also being implemented vastly these days.
Reduction of theft, abuse, lower consignment claims and longevity of capital equipment, ane warehouse optimization will be the key benefit of implementing a Digital Twin solution.
All these enablements will result in lowering the cost of transportation, empowering the customer on using self-services.
Elastic logistics in supply chain
Elastic logistics in the supply chain is an agile model where the ‘pull’ of consignee demand sets up lead times for deliveries and replenishment in a distribution or manufacturing environment. The idea is to react quickly before or just after the demand or supply need arises. Companies want fast go-to-market distribution with clear tracking and tracing for all moving trucks and raw materials. They want to reduce turnaround times, move more truck shipments, close down lead times, and serve the consignee faster.
Information can be delivered as alerts, notifications, daily or weekly snapshots or analytics reports in the logistics software