For logistics companies, having an optimal service that suits every situation requires attention to every detail. Therefore, they need to know in a precise way where their work area is. To make it possible, technological tools are required. Specifically, Geographic Information Systems (GIS). If you would like to know how it works, we invite you to read this article.
What’s the current situation of the logistics sector and its main trends?
These last few months have been quite busy for the logistics sector. From the deceleration during the first months of lockdown to its resurgence with the new consumption habits. Undoubtedly, the health crisis has been a turning point for this area.
Several figures indicate the current good health of logistics. For example, the reports from BNP Paribas Real Estate. According to these, real estate investment for logistics is 22% of the Spanish total market, only surpassed by the retail sector (29%) and offices (26%).
Specifically, what has led logistics to this privileged position? The main cause is the rise of e-commerce. In fact, 51% of its users have increased their purchases on this channel, going from 3 times a month to almost 8, according to the IAB Spain Annual Ecommerce Study.
The growth of e-commerce has brought other trends that play an important role in the current situation of logistics. For example, the last mile delivery.
Now, there are more options than just delivering at home or at the workplace. More and more people decide to pick up their orders at other pre-established points, so the delivery is not delayed if they are not at home.
In addition, delivery does not mean everything in logistics. An efficient and fast return service is also highly appreciated by the general public.
The last mile trend has led to technological solutions such as TESEO. Our solution applies machine learning techniques to optimize delivery routes in urban centers.
Regarding this, we must also mention the master of postal addresses, such as TomTom Address Points. It allows you to locate a postal address on a map without the need for interpolation in addition to having a unique key for each address, maintaining the integrity of your Master Data Management (MDM).
In addition to this new scenario, we must keep in mind the trends that were already present before the crisis. One of the most obvious is the commitment to environmental sustainability, something that users increasingly appreciate when choosing a particular service.
Applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to logistics
There is an obvious relationship between logistics and distribution and geographic information. For companies in this sector that want to keep evolving in a highly competitive environment, the use of Geographic Information Systems has become almost mandatory.
Let’s start with the most obvious application of GIS to logistics: Transport routes optimization and, therefore, of vehicle fleets. This is where factors that go beyond the distance between the point of origin to destination come into play.
Control and monitoring of the traffic state is another of the fundamental variables in GIS. In that regard, it’s possible to have historical data on vehicle density, speeds and origin-destination matrices. In addition, this information can be segmented by hours or days, which provides a huge planning capacity.
We can even have real-time traffic information as well. In this way, in the case of specific incidents, routes can be dynamically rectified.
With successful GIS-based management, goods will be delivered according to plan, for greater customer satisfaction. This also means savings in fuel, reduction of polluting emissions, greater effectiveness of the routes and the use of resources.
Of course, companies must take care of their human capital and the material. Safety must be a priority. For this reason, the GIS provides data regarding the state of the roads, such as the main black points of the road network.
Another important aspect is how GIS makes a valuable contribution when choosing the location of logistics centers. Some of the data they weigh is the connectivity with the main roads, the proximity of towns, airports, railway centers or ports.
In addition, with the recent and frequent border closures, companies increasingly value having more geographically dispersed logistics centers, to ensure the supply of goods to nearby environments.
Finally, logistics companies must adjust their operations to the just-in-time supply of industry and construction. It is not a minor aspect, because a shortage of supply or having saturated warehouses can cause considerable economic losses.
So much for this review of the functionalities provided by Geographic Information Systems to the logistics sector. We hope that, at this point, you have become more aware of the need for companies to have them.
Have you made up your mind yet? Are you still hesitant? You can count on us in order to make the best decision for the well-being of your business. We have the geographic solution your situation requires. Let’s talk!