CloudSort CEO, Derek Szopa, is pretty much always thinking about how to improve the logistics industry, with a special focus on the wide-open opportunities to reinvent the often-neglected step-child of the supply chain, the middle mile. One source of inspiration from outside the category is Starlink, an internet provider that radically re-thought how to deliver internet service through an innovative application of mesh network principles. Derek believes these same principles can have application in the logistic industry too, if only we are creative enough in how we think about it. He recently recently published his thoughts on the matter in Supply Chain Brain.
Head over to that site to read the whole article. To whet your appetite, here are a few selected quotes from the article:
Manage fluctuations in supply and demand
In a distributed mesh network, carriers, shippers or 3PLs can add sortation capacity to the supply chain without having to build big hubs. Instead, they can build small nodes that are strategically placed close to points of origin, and have these nodes connect in a more direct way. By leveraging existing infrastructure close to the point of greatest value creation, carriers can increase efficiency and reduce costs, while also improving delivery times and customer satisfaction.
Just as Starlink's mesh network can reroute data packets based on real-time traffic conditions, a mesh-powered supply chain can optimize the grouping and routing of packages based on real-time logistics data, such as node utilization, weather conditions, and transportation availability. By dynamically adjusting routing and transportation modes, mesh networks can minimize transportation and distribution costs while also reducing waste and improving sustainability.
Increased transparency and accountability
But with mesh-powered logistics networks, stakeholders can gain real-time visibility into the movement of goods, providing full end-to-end transparency across the supply chain. More visibility means better coordination with stakeholders to identify bottlenecks and potential delays before they become serious issues.