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What it takes to realise smart manufacturing and logistics

Nurdianah Md Nur | June 30, 2016
Speakers at the Computerworld Singapore Manufacturing and Logistics Forum 2016 provided tips on digital transformation specific to those two industries.

Besides that, ST Logistics is also exploring the use of automation technologies to enable autonomous warehouse operations for night time.

To further improve its processes, ST Logistics established a Master Research Collaboration Agreement with the National University of Singapore's The Logistics Institute - Asia Pacific (TLIAP). Under the agreement, they will jointly "establish a methodology to determine supply chain risk index, establish novel contracting mechanism in supply chain that is outcome based, and develop a risk resilience management platform", said Sim.

Aside from the collaboration with ST Logistics, the TLIAP is also working on ways to solve the urban logistics challenge. "Urban logistics is an emerging field of investigation looking into the management and optimisation of urban freight transports and distribution systems," said Dr Robert De Souza, Executive Director & CEO of TLIAP. He added that this is necessary as the cost of last mile usually amounts to between 13 to 75 percent of total logistics costs.

One probable way of solving the issue is to have urban freight consolidation centres (UCC), which collects goods from suppliers before dispatching them to end customers, retailers, factories, and shopping malls (ie. last mile delivery). This reduces the number of (private) warehouses needed, freeing up more land space for other developments such as constructing residences, hospitals and businesses, said Dr De Souza.

Taking it a step further, he suggested the idea of retailers sharing trucks from suppliers or UCC to customers, as well as using robotics and automation to unload goods at the loading bays in malls to ease congestion there. 


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