Role of Technology in Transportation and Logistics

By M. Prem Kumar, Chairman and Managing Director, Uniworld Logistics

praveenHow is RFID being implemented in the export of cargo from India?

When it comes to the prospect of convenience and cost, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) proves to be one of the most effective electronic sealing mechanisms all across the world. The biggest advantage is the ability to capture information without being present in the location, thus saving a lot a time to gather process and make quick decisions about the cargo, helping speed up cargo clearing capacity.

With RFID, the sanctity of data is maintained at any given point in time. The scanner updates data into a server and the same goes for all interested parties. This enhances the data safety and also prevents information from being tampered with during the process.

These days, exporters are allowed to seal a container without the presences of an official from the government, given the exporter have been certified by regulatory bodies and hold a clean track record. For example, Uniworld, being one of the most compliant companies in the Logistics and Supply Chain sector with AEO, GDP, and ISO certifications, prefers servicing exporters with AEO and similar certifications only, since it guarantees a high level of compliances, which includes self-sealing.

Due to this tracking mechanism, cargo safety and traceability also improves for exporters and government agencies from the factory until the port of dispatch. Many major and private ports have RFID readers already in place which will help to facilitate passage of e-sealed containers. A number of RFID e-seal vendors have been identified by the government and exporters are currently required to purchase from these approved vendors only. If I have to mention the greatest advantage of e-sealing with RFID, it is the fact that the RFID scanner can detect if the e-sealing has been tampered with or damaged during the voyage. In this process, the container will be subject to manual checking by customs officials. Also, not to forget the huge amount of logistics cost saved for exporters because the e-sealed containers do not need to go to ICDs for document processing and will not be subjected to detention at the gates.

Cloud technology has enabled warehouse and logistics management solutions to transmit their data over the internet in real time and it really improves collaboration. How do you see this change?

Cloud technology is implemented in our eco-system which helps us in hosting all our data in one location and giving services to different countries where our offices are located and implemented using the same system which has enabled rapid collection of data from various sources and a huge advancement in analytical capabilities.

In the cloud, we are able to combine all the cargo movement and give the solution through a dashboard to the customers. There is an advancement in the decision making from cargo arrival to pick up of cargo and then moving of cargo phases. The advantage which we get from a cloud is a reduction in manpower and manual input of data on an end to end basis.

Over a point of time when the society becomes more dependent on cloud systems, more and more supply chain providers will come to recognize the role of the cloud in today’s scenario. When comparing traditional supply chain benefits and processes to the last benefit of cost reduction alone, the lower cost of using cloud technology could easily make up for any potential problem encountered within traditional supply chain management processes.

“RFID scanner can detect if the e-sealing has been tampered with or damaged during voyage. In this process, the container will be subject to manual checking by customs officials”

How is the transportation and logistics industry advancing in India because of these technologies?

The current industry regulations force transportation and logistics firms to do more with less, threatening the profitability of firms like us. However, we have countered these with visibility into personnel, equipment, and transactions.

Our team can better support peak operations in real time - improving operational efficiency and performance.

With the advent of today’s Cloud technologies, RFID and even Internet of things (IoT), we can accelerate productivity, profitability, and operations with solutions designed specifically for a particular process.

With the right Tech/Product solution in place, enterprises can connect all devices across a centralized cloud network, and capture and share their mission-critical data, allowing them to gain real-time visibility of their operations.

This actionable insight is what provides organizations the Enterprise Asset Intelligence they need to make improvements. This enhanced business knowledge can be gained through a set of enabling technologies in the areas of Asset Management, Cloud, Mobile and Big Data.

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