Editor's Comment

Editorial: Why AI is set to make big waves in logistics and delivery

The potential of delivery of goods that you haven’t even ordered yet is a concept that has been discussed for a while but is getting ever closer thanks to the growing use and potential of artificial intelligence in the logistics market.

That’s according to a new report from DHL and IBM which examines the impact of the technology within the industry. As well as predictive behaviour such as this it also promises a number of improvements to mundane processes. Right on cue therefore is this week’s announcement from Doddle that its new AI powered Facebook chatbot has been designed to improve the returns service for customers by simplifying and speeding up the process for customers.

Interesting news also comes from Domino’s Pizza this week. Its announcement moves the market a step closer to delivery to wherever you are becoming the norm for retailers. The food company has launched a new hotspot service which allows goods to be delivered to one of more than 150,000 non-traditional addresses in the US.

Last week we referenced the growth of automation in the warehouse and this week we see the impact that is having in the form of a new announcement from Shop Direct. The retail giant has announced that it is to open a new automated warehouse in East Midlands which will be fully operational by 2021. The new warehouse will replace three existing units in Greater Manchester and will need around half of the numbers of permanent staff currently employed. The move will allow it to move its cut-off delivery times and to look at the possibility of same day delivery.

Revamping its delivery options health food chain Holland & Barrett has revealed a new click and collect and returns services partnership with CollectPlus. Fashion giant TJX Europe meanwhile has announced a renewal of its logistics contract with DHL. The companies have been working together for more than 20 years and have announced another five-year contract.

In the latest of our stories from EDX last month, we have Nigel Blunt, head of operations development at Sainsbury’s Argos, warning retailers to focus on three key trends rather than be distracted by more futuristic trends.

And finally in our opinion piece this week Walker Logistics’ William Walker advises why regular communication, forecasting and planning with your fulfilment partners is vital to success.

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