How integrating automation can ensure efficient automotive logistics
In today fast paced & rapidly evolving automotive logistics industry, supply chain efficiency plays a pivotal role to drive the company’s competitiveness and profitability. The aftermath of the pandemic, saw a massive E-commerce boom, which simultaneously bolstered the logistics sector as a whole. The which automotive logistics was also one such industry was put on acceleration, due to rising demand from EVs leading the front, putting automotive logistics supply chain on an overdrive mode.
Also with its leveragement and embracement of modern tech stacks like AI, IoT, ML, data analytics and robotics and better automation solutions; the automotive logistics saw a significant growth. The automation aided with achieving better accuracy & precision levels along with optimizing resource management and allocation.
Automotive logistics supply chain
Automotive logistics is the process of meticulously planning and execution of complicated vehicle transportation including rail, truck and marines.The movement of auto components, replacement parts and cars from supplier to consumer is known as automotive logistics/
The primary application of automotive logistics helps in streamlining distribution process in warehousing, loading and unloading and data processing seamlesslyAs per a recent data, India produced 22.93 million vehicles and earmarked to cement its positionas the 3rd largest automobile market by 2030 after China & US. The major chunk of the growth is driven by the unprecedented growth of EVs.
Basic models of automotive logistics supply chain
Automotive logistics can be organized in three basis modes including first-party logistics (1PL), third party logistics (3PL) and outsource logistics. While first part logistics is quite a closed intra-enterprise infrastructure, more focused on automotive companies with a massive manufacturing capacity and a steady supply chain and demand as a pre-condition and require a integrated logistics facility and human resources, 3PL model is seen as the most popular model that is highly open and flexible and most useful for managing end-of-supply chain for companies. Outsource logistics model which falls somewhere in between 1pl & 3Pl logistics, which can be touted as excessively expensive.
Benefits of integrating it with automation
While the key benefits of integrating automation with automotive logistics are immense. But it fundamentally helps with reducing human errors,enhancing the level of accuracy and precision, optimizing inventory management, cost saving and resource optimization and help with a faster turnaround time.
Key technologies boosting the automotive logistics
With the continuous evolving nature of automation, the automotive logistics has leapfrogged to growth significantly. But its growth was catapulted with assistance of the key automating technology used including the following:-
1. Automated Guided Vehicles & Robotics: AGVs play a crucial in moving materials within factories, warehousing and manufacturing facilities as it helps with efficiently transporting goods, reducing manual labour and eventually enhancing productivity
2. IoT & Real-Time Monitoring: When we talk about automotive logistics, real-time tracking is absolutely pivotal and IoT sensors play a humongous role when it comes to the tracking and monitoring process and with a smooth and agile supply chain management
3. AI & Predictive Analytics:While AI- powered help with optimizing route, better stock and inventory management whilst predictive analyze enable proactive decision making and enhancing the overall the Supply chain responsiveness in totality.
4. Warehouse Automation: Automated Warehousing systems play a role of a foundation, when we talk about logistics specially automotive logistics as it helps with estimating the warehousing storage, retrieval systems (AS/RS) and robotic picking systems, optimize storage space, reduce retrieval times, and increase order accuracy.
5. Automated Last Mile Logistics: Automated last mile logistics is a key part of automotive logistics, which is transforming the sector significantly. Latest automation and modern technologies are enabling efficient, automated operations across the last mile, from the moment the order is placed to the moment it reaches the customer.
6. Just-in-Time (JIT) Manufacturing delivery: When we talk about automotive logistics, mentioning of JIT is a must as it aids with streamlining production and delivery schedules using automation to ensure that materials and components arrive precisely when needed, minimizing inventory holding costs.
7. Collaborative Robotics or (Cobots): Relatively a new concept which helps with Integrating collaborative robots on the manufacturing floor to work alongside human workers, enhancing efficiency, safety, and productivity in assembling automotive components.
Emerging trends & future trends expected
Post the pandemic, there was a paradigm shift observed to focus on nimble and flexible supply chain infrastructure with perpetual incorporation of new technologies& automation solutions into their operations.
Hiring in expert service providers to reduce the complexities along the supply chain management also yielded greater bandwidth to OEMs for business building via innovation and new product development.
Auto OEMS and suppliers have also seen to aggressively collaborating and mono- sourcing also seen as a fast giving way to multi-sourcing to de-risk in times of contingency.
With sustainability taking centre stage, Auto companies seem to be constantly battling the pressure of reducing the carbon footprints, which also works as a fillip to the electrification process of the vehicles and the entire automotive supply chain ecosystem.
Automotive logistics could be touted as one of the most in-demand sector whilst also being the most complicated industry and with the technology advances, we can expect even more sophisticated applications of automation in the supply chain, including autonomous trucking, drone deliveries, and blockchain for secure & transparent transactions and hopefully see a reduced environmental footprint.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Indian Transport & Logistics News.