Supply Chain Dive reports:

Automation in logistics has evolved from a “nice-to-have tool” to a “value-added resource in the supply chain,” according to Cainiao Group VP and General Manager of Logistics Technology Ding Hongwei.

The emergence of generative artificial intelligence, machine learning and other technologies promise a new era of innovation across the supply chain, Ding told Supply Chain Dive in an emailed interview. However, despite the benefits a push for automation may bring to the supply chain, logistics players will likely face many challenges while adopting these technologies.

Ding shared four ways Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, is thinking about the implementation, challenges and future of logistics technology.

1. Strengthening logistics operations through automation and technology systems

Technologies like AI and warehouse automation systems can provide operational benefits for stakeholders in the supply chain, Ding said.

“Aside from streamlining warehouse operations, [technology] helps with managing unpredictable surges in inventory and digesting large amounts of unstructured data,” he said. This includes demand forecasting, route optimization and smart packaging algorithms that create efficiencies in package sorting and last-mile deliveries…”

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