Revolutionizing Logistics and Transportation with Rules Engine Technology

Łukasz Niedośpiał
April 4, 2024
Blog

Back in the day, Global Positioning System, known as GPS, has revolutionized the entire supply chain management by enabling real-time tracking. 

Today we have advanced warehouse management systems, autonomous vehicle technology, AI route optimization, predictive analytics with machine learning, and data driven decision-making in logistics operation.

It's enabling businesses to optimize operations, save money, waste less resources, and reduce negative impact on the climate. 

We see that business rules engines will also find a way into logistics operations, especially in optimizing routes and comply to regulatory requirements.

Top Challenges For Transportation and Logistics Industry

Accenture surveyed logistics executives and 76% of them say, that any "Freight and Logistics company not focusing on building digital capabilities will seriously endanger their business".

McKinsey highlighted a huge opportunity for operational cost reductions, with expectations of up to 30% lower operational costs, 75% reduction in lost sales, and up to 75% decrease in inventories, all while significantly increasing supply chain agility​.

EY in their research found four trends emerging in modern logistics:

  • enhancing automation in managing and moving cargo, 
  • leveraging artificial intelligence for better route management, 
  • improving customer experiences with automated solutions in stores, 
  • streamlining administrative tasks through digital automation.

Digital vs. Traditional Logistics

Feature Traditional Logistics Digital Logistics
Shipment Tracking Limited updates, manual checking Real-time progress updates
Data & Document Sharing Paper-based, resource-intensive, risk of loss Online platform, quick sharing, secure storage
Reporting Manual reports, physical filing Automated report, digital storage, easy access
Connectivity Static EDI system Networked platform for multiple companies

Business Rules Engines in Logistics and Transportation

Business rules engines empower logistics companies by integrating advanced technologies to enhance supply chain operations. These engines streamline processes, ensuring efficient processes and robust data security. By leveraging real-time data, logistics businesses can respond swiftly to market demands, optimizing supply chains. This technological advancement boosts operational efficiency and ensures sensitive information remains secure, marking a significant evolution in logistics management.

Optimize Route Planning and Scheduling

  • Define Constraints: Set rules for factors like vehicle types, driver qualifications, weight restrictions, time windows, and service area limitations.
  • Dynamic Rerouting: With accurate tracking the engine can react to real-time traffic data, weather conditions, or unexpected delays, automatically adjusting delivery routes for optimal efficiency.
  • Balanced Workloads: Distribute deliveries or tasks evenly among drivers, considering factors like skillsets, location, and available time.

Enhance Fleet Management and Maintenance

  • Preventative Maintenance: Schedule maintenance based on mileage, engine hours, or other pre-defined rules, preventing breakdowns and extending vehicle lifespan.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Set rules to optimize routes based on fuel consumption data, minimizing unnecessary travel and fuel costs.
  • Driver Performance Monitoring: Implement rules to track driver behavior like speeding or harsh braking, triggering warnings or training interventions.

Streamline Regulatory Compliance and Safety

  • Automatic Permit and License Checks: Ensure drivers hold proper licenses and vehicles have valid permits before dispatching them, avoiding legal issues and fines.
  • Work Hour Limits: Enforce rules on driver work hours and rest breaks, complying with regulations and promoting driver safety.
  • Dangerous Goods Handling: Define rules for transporting hazardous materials, including proper vehicle types, packaging, and safety protocols.

Enhance Customer Satisfaction through Real-Time Decision Making

  • Accurate Delivery ETAs: Consider real-time traffic and route updates to provide customers with accurate estimated delivery times, setting realistic expectations.
  • Proactive Order Adjustments: The engine can identify potential delays and automatically notify customers of adjustments or offer alternative solutions.
  • Delivery Flexibility: Offer real-time options for customers to reschedule deliveries or choose preferred drop-off locations based on pre-defined rules
  • Dangerous Goods Handling: Define rules for transporting
    hazardous materials, including proper vehicle types,
    packaging, and safety protocols.

Enhance Customer Satisfaction through Real-Time

Decision Making

  • Accurate Delivery ETAs: Consider real-time traffic and route
    updates to provide customers with accurate estimated delivery
    times, setting realistic expectations.
  • Proactive Order Adjustments: The engine can identify
    potential delays and automatically notify customers of
    adjustments or offer alternative solutions.
  • Delivery Flexibility: Offer real-time options for customers to
    reschedule deliveries or choose preferred drop-off locations
    based on pre-defined rules.
  • Dangerous Goods Handling: Define rules for transporting
    hazardous materials, including proper vehicle types,
    packaging, and safety protocols.

Improved Warehouse Operations

  • Boost Efficiency and Accuracy: Automate tasks like inventory management (restocks, product placement, expiration tracking, demand forecasting), order processing (validation, picking optimization, multi-order picking), and packing/shipping (box selection, carrier selection, label generation).
  • Enhance Safety and Compliance: Enforce rules for handling hazardous materials, weight restrictions and load distribution, and schedule preventative maintenance for equipment.
  • Improve Decision-Making: Analyze real-time data on inventory, order fulfillment, and resource allocation, allowing for data-driven decisions and proactive adjustments based on 
  • simulations of potential challenges.
  • Automate decision-making processes throughout the warehouse, leading to smoother processes and improved overall operational performance.

Summary

Business rules engines are revolutionizing logistics by enhancing route optimization and regulatory compliance, thereby reducing operational costs significantly. Digital transformation in logistics, through advanced technologies like AI, is improving cargo management and customer experiences. Additionally, these engines play a critical role in streamlining warehouse operations, from inventory management to order processing, ensuring efficient, safe, and compliant logistics workflows.

Index
Get a personalized evaluation of Hyperon’s potential for your use case
More stories

The Power of Rule Repositories in Decision Engines Across Industries

Centralize business logic with rule repositories to streamline compliance, enhance decision-making, and boost operational efficiency.

READ MORE

The Role of Rule Engines in Managing Healthcare Protocols and Compliance

Discover how rule engines simplify healthcare compliance, minimize risks, and improve patient care. Addressing challenges like documentation volume and multiple guidelines, rule engines automate decision-making, ensuring real-time adherence to regulations and enhancing operational efficiency.

READ MORE

The impact of rule based decision engines on business efficiency

Explore the role of business rules engines in enhancing business efficiency and compliance. This article covers how automated decision-making can streamline operations, improve inventory management, and reduce overhead costs while addressing common organizational challenges such as tool proliferation and inefficient communication.

READ MORE