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The Benefits of Wearable Devices in Logistics

Helen Colam

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The worldwide logistics industry is worth approximately 5.5. trillion euros. With a 1.44% average shrinkage rate occurring, the losses and inefficiencies add up to billions.

The need for accuracy in identifying, handling, and processing packages is extremely important and one of the solutions to these issues is in wearables.

They eliminate time-wasting, improve the efficiency of staff and reduce stress in a fast-paced work environment. The computer/wearable is always on them, allowing them to do hands-free barcode scanning, input data, look up information, find parts, receive immediate alerts, receive new information and free their hands to operate more efficiently.

The pandemic has brought about a need for companies to keep their staff safe while effectively maintaining operations. These wearables have meant that social distancing can be implemented with more ease and effectiveness. Workers are able to keep their distance and be effective and efficient at their jobs at the same time. One of the features of these wearables is they are able to give the worker an alert when breaching the 1-metre social distancing requirement.

Wearables include:

  • Smartwatches which can be combined with augmented reality (AR) capabilities that expand their possibilities even further. Applications are developed that take advantage of the high-quality cameras on consumer smartphones for use in barcodes and product scanning. When the information is received, the app can instantly display information about a product. Through artificial intelligence, these apps can identify text on printing labels and even recognise products themselves without a barcode.
  • Truck drivers wear smartwatches that vibrate when it is time for them to take a break, or when they are changing lanes, and there is a car in their blind spot. They also wear glasses that through LED monitoring of the user’s eyes are able to alert them when they are nodding off to sleep.
  • Smart glasses are used in the warehouse to scan barcodes, record video, and process information without having to lift a finger.
  • These devices also create a safer employee work experience by alerting workers when their posture is unsafe and providing real-time feedback when the wearer is in motion. These functionalities prevent potential injuries before they have a chance to occur.
  • Finger-trigger and ring scanners allow workers to do more with lighter, portable technology. Workers are handling a large number of packages all day long. Whilst the chances of contracting the virus, via packaging, is low but it is still important to reduce any potential possibility of contact.

Ensuring that workers know how to properly use and maintain their wearable devices is the first step in seeing a wider, more beneficial adoption. The increased safety, improved efficiency, and heightened worker confidence are major benefits in implementing wearables in the logistics industry.

Logistics

Logistics Going Green

Bernita Marais

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A logistics start-up has launched eco-friendly packaging that allows online retailers to minimize their impact on the environment with last-mile deliveries. The new packaging will offer the same quality, durability, and security everyone has come to expect with an added benefit of leaving minimal impact on the environment.

In South Africa alone, billions of plastic bags are discarded every year. Clinging to trees, spreading across fences, and filling up gutters. Sadly, the logistics industry also contributes to this single-use plastic wastefulness.

Many single-use plastic items are only used for a few minutes and outlive their users for hundreds of years. Being industry disruptors within the logistics field, the logistics start-up has the privilege to address this pressing concern and pilot their new sustainable paper packaging range, which includes mailing bags, envelopes and packaging tape ensuring tough tamperproof and trusted products.

There is no denying it anymore, single-use plastic is not sustainable. By adding this paper packaging option to last-mile delivery every fulfilment strategy can be environmentally sustainable and change the logistics industry altogether.

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Logistics

Abu Qir Port Project Contract Awarded to DEME

SCN Africa

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DEME, the dredging, offshore, environmental, and infrastructure service specialists, announced that at the end of last year it secured a large dredging contract for the Abu Qir port project in Egypt.

Described as the largest ever dredging and land reclamation contract in history, the project includes the reclamation of 1 000ha of new land, the deepening of the port’s approach channel to 23m and the dredging of a turning basin to 22m. More than 150-million cubic metres will be dredged.

This ambitious megaproject creates land for the expansion and further development of Abu Qir, which boasts an ancient history and is slated to become a bustling economic hub, supplementing nearby Alexandria, in Egypt.

DEME will deploy the world’s most powerful CSD (Cutter Suction Dredger) ‘Spartacus’ on the project.

The project’s preparation has already started, with the main works set to commence in early 2021. The project is set for completion in 2023.

“We are very proud to have secured our largest ever dredging and land reclamation contract to date, and to support the Arab Republic of Egypt in its ambitions to develop a world-class project,” says DEME CEO Luc Vandenbulcke.

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Logistics

Convergence Partners acquire CTrack

SCN Africa

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Technology investor Convergence Partners has entered into an agreement with Inseego to acquire 100% of Ctrack’s operations in Africa and the Middle East.

The transaction will be the maiden investment for its third fund, the Convergence Partners Digital Infrastructure Fund (CPDIF).

Ctrack is a telematics software-as-a-service digital infrastructure platform, providing fleet management, insurance and weather telematics solutions, as well as asset tracking products, to its subscribers in Africa and the Middle East.

Convergence Partners says the business’s Internet-of-Things (IoT) and data analytics capabilities are a key component of an emerging sector in Africa and the company is a good fit with CPDIF’s strategy of identifying high-growth market players that build digital infrastructure on the continent.

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