Augmented reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) was first conceived as fun technologies for the gaming and entertainment industries. Soon, the promise of both techniques was realized by many industries like retail, eCommerce, real estate, and critical industries like healthcare. No wonder, in less than half a decade, app developers have built a plethora of AR and VR tools for these industries, including in logistics and shipping.
An Overview of AR & VRs Impact on Logistics and Shipping
In shipping, logistics, and supply chain management also, these technologies can play a significant role in boosting efficiency. Already, major eCommerce companies, manufacturing facilities, and businesses of all sizes and niches have started to use AR and VR for moving and shipping goods.
Here through the length of this blog post, we are going to explain the key advantages offered by AR and VR technologies for the logistics and shipping industry.
The Digital Supply Chain: The Landscape, Trends, Types, and the Application in Supply Chain Management
Safety and Security of Personnel
If you think the AR and VR technologies are only crucial for gaining the competitive lead and for ensuring efficiency, you are still not aware of how they play an active role in the safety and security of logistics and shipping professionals working in warehouses or on the field. These two technologies can play a significant role in reducing the chances of injury or any other accidental fatalities during the work.
The increasing fatigue of the workers often leads to severe mistakes leading to fatal injuries during work. This is quite common as shipping workers are often seen to work for extended hours without a break or rest. Too small workspace and too much work pressure also can lead to severe injuries and fatalities.
Now just consider if the workers working in a shipyard or warehouse can wear an AR headgear that can keep track of the breaks or rests taken by the worker or can assess the kind of work pressure he is handling. Based upon all this information and also on the basis of specific cognitive parameters, the headgear can provide the fatigue index of each worker. To prevent accidents and fatalities, the management simply can allocate work or schedule work process so that fatigued staff can always be sent for rest.
Order Pickup Process Improved by AR
For logistics and shipping companies, efficient order picking is of utmost importance. Thanks to AR, now the order picking process can be more productive and less prone to errors. The pickup staff now can wear smart AR-enabled glasses that keep him updated about the delivery list and the priorities. Such AR glasses can also guide him always inside the warehouse and help quickly picking up the order from a warehouse. Besides ensuring efficiency, speed, and professionalism, AR guided order picking will also help shipping and logistics companies to do without the intensive job training.
VR & AR Based Predictive Modelling
Large companies who have a global presence spreading across all continents often face the challenge of streamlining the process without errors, delays, and other irregularities even at times when the human management is not there to look after the whole process. This is precisely where the role of AR and VR based predictive modeling plays an important role.
In fact, predictive modeling with AR and VR technologies helped large eCommerce brands like Amazon to streamline the process so that errors can be kept at a minimum without requiring human intervention at all stages. By using AR and VR based tools, shipping and logistics managers and professionals can supervise things at sites in real-time.
Efficient Freight Loading and Unloading
In any logistics and shipping process, the drivers and carriers spend a chunk of their time in loading and unloading goods while remaining away from the distribution facility. They often need to spend a lot of unnecessary time due to imprecise estimation of the weight of the goods, the wrong and improper estimation of the time required to pass through traffic, and incorrect information about cargo placement.
If the logistics drivers can be equipped with AR and VR devices capable of tracking driver and freight management information in real-time, much of this unnecessary wastage of time can be avoided, and the process efficiency can be optimized to a great extent.
The Final Mile Delivery
As of now, we have seen the extensive benefits of VR and AR in streamlining the warehousing process and for finding the goods quickly. But, what is still left to discuss and focus upon is the advantage of AR and VR based systems for final mile delivery of products. Efficiency in terms of final mile delivery is significant for specific industries like eCommerce, manufacturing, retail, etc. The efficient last-mile delivery will ultimately result in a better cost advantage for the organizations and companies.
When loading a delivery goods van, the driver by wearing a VR headset can assess the best way to load the vehicle so that all the goods can be accommodated within the space with optimum efficiency and timing. This will result in the best utilization of the manpower and delivery time. Such technology can also be used to distribute the load evenly and in a proper manner resulting in excellent fuel saving for the shipping company.
AR enables glasses can guide the delivery personnel about the best delivery routes, on-road traffic, and other challenges in real-time. This will result in faster delivery and a smooth selection of routes for the most efficient and timely delivery at the intended destinations. Moreover, AR glasses, by keeping track of the safety and security conditions, will also help to improve the working condition for the delivery personnel.
Since AR and VR technologies have set their foot in the logistics and shipping industry, a smart, streamlined, and precision-driven delivery process could be out of reach for most companies and organizations. In the years to come, we can expect more logistics companies to embrace these technologies for their delivery process.
Nathan McKinley is a Business Development Manager at Cerdonis Technologies LLC – mobile app development company in USA a comprehended service provider of mobile app development for the superior quality of AR/VR Apps. He is in the marketing profession for 5 years and along with his marketing career, he has developed a passion for writing to provide and share real-valued insights of technologies to make use of the smooth processes in mobile app development.