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Augmented reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Warehouse Management



Benefits of Augmented (AR) Reality & Virtual Reality (VR) in Warehouse Management

To begin lets first talk about the benefits AR can have on sorting the existing stock in warehouse management, and a potential AR solution already making waves in the AR and warehousing industry.

Next on our list we will look at augmented reality in the context of the logistics of warehousing management and inventory logistics.

The last part of this article will focus on virtual reality, and its potential to impact the training stage of a new employee. Both technologies, have the potential to change the way you and your business manage warehousing in the future, and both have areas which they shine brightest in.

Brief Introduction to Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality

Augmented reality is the application of a digital overlay on the real world. As the name that suggests, it’s an augmentation of an existing element, in this case the real world with a digital element overlayed on top of it and that’s exactly what it is. Virtual reality, on the other hand, takes place in a completely virtual environment, often via a headset such as the Oculus VR from Facebook, Samsung Gear VR, and HTC Vive, to name a few.

Both these technologies have the potential to revolutionise the warehouse management process.

Augmented reality (AR) Sorting items & providing further context on items

Augmented reality has the potential to assist warehouse workers to manage, and sort large quantities of stock. This can be done via a handheld device with a camera, or with a wearable device to quickly bring up more information on the products the workers are handling.

One Interesting new development in Augmented reality is Pick-by-vison, it works with existing AR glasses to deliver the mixed reality experience AR is known for.

As an example, Pick-by-vison helps workers process product orders in warehouses providing them with precise information on the item, such as where in the warehouse this item is currently located, and what type of item it is.

Not only can this save valuable time and resources in terms of not having to track the product down manually, but this can assist in creating the conditions for a more structured, and organised warehouse going forward.

Augmented reality (AR) Warehouse Management & a Perpetual Inventory system

We have looked at the sorting step and discussed how augmented reality or AR can be used to sort and provide more information on individual items.

Now let’s focus on the logistics potential of Inventory management using AR.

AR has the potential not only to deliver an overlay of helpful information, but it has the potential to tell us the quantity of items left, for example, how fast are specific items leaving the warehouse, and quite possibly when to order new supply of specific products ahead of time.

AR may aid in creating a perpetual inventory, which is a system where stock is monitored live and new stock is ordered accordingly to the rate at which product leaves the warehouse, and how much that warehouse has left.

In this situation you could essentially create a perpetual inventory of items once they begin to run low, or once your workers notice a spike in certain products leaving the warehouse. This information could be displayed live to the warehouse workers as an AR overlay, allowing them to order new stock well before running out.

VR training and risk reduction in Warehouse Management

Virtual reality can very effectively be employed to train new warehouse workers before they get to the job.

This is important considering some of these workers will be required to work heavy machinery such as forklifts and other potentially hazardous systems. The potential to lower workplace accidents may be great if the worker is comfortable having already virtually seen and worked with these machines.

This kind of virtual training is already in use today particularly in the mining sector where workers must operate arguably even more dangerous equipment than warehouse workers do.

VR specific case training in Warehouse Management

As we discussed above, VR can be utilised to train workers for their specific jobs in a warehouse, however there is another strength to this, and this is the fact that, you can not only train workers how to execute their core job duties in a warehouse. You also can train workers on specific case scenarios, such as in the case of what to do and who to call in specific emergencies allowing them to make decisions in a timelier manner while under pressure

VR in the workplace other uses

One last benefit of virtual reality is that it allows you to virtually visit the office; while not as prominent as the previous points, this element is becoming more prominent in the world as time goes by and may allow workers to work remotely more effectively.

VR can also be beneficial to view various locations of the work environment before employees get to a boots on ground stage, allowing them to grow more acclimatised to the layout of their work environment before they get there.

This is beneficial because as we have seen during the Covid-19 pandemic unforeseen conditions occasionally require you to take the long-distance approach, so virtual work may well be a viable option.


The strengths of each these technologies complement the various stages of warehouse management.

From the training process to the working stage, where the employee must execute his or her duties in a structured and coordinated manner and make critical decisions on a day-to-day basis.

Both AR and VR have the potential the revolutionise not only the warehousing sector but many other sectors to come.

From a training perspective VR shines the brightest, and from a workplace perspective AR is the clear winner, both have certain areas there more powerful in however; using both these technologies in combination is a truly powerful strategy for warehouse management.


Question: What is augmented reality used for?

Answer: Augmented reality is used to overlay real-world environments with a virtual component which provides a variety of functions such as entertainment, useful information, design or work environments or any other enhancement to the appearance of existing real-world objects.

Question: What are the four main types of augmented reality?


1. Marker-based AR

2. Marker-less AR

3. Location-based AR.

4. Superimposition-based AR.

Question: how does augmented reality work?

Answer: Augmented reality (AR) works by overlaying a existing object in the real world, with a virtual component to add information, structure, entertainment or work based value to the new overlayed object.

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Freight Forwarding

AI in the Maritime Freight Industry




Ship carrying shipping containers on the ocean

Technology is continuing to revolutionise industries and the maritime freight industry, one of the popular forms of freight transportation in South Africa, isn’t an exception. The industry is on the brink of another transformation with the potential of integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into the industry.

AI promises to bring some exciting new benefits to the harbour, although we shouldn’t expect the implementation of AI to be smooth sailing, as it comes with its challenges as well.

Table of Contents

In this article, we’ll be exploring:

Let’s set sail.

The Benefits of AI in the Maritime Freight Industry

There are many reasons why people are so excited about AI joining the maritime freight industry at the shore. Below is a list of the most significant.

1. Enhanced Operational Efficiency

The maritime freight industry can get very complicated given that there are so many moving parts. Any opportunity where technology can help simplify the process is welcome, and AI could do just that.

One great example of this is predictive analytics. This allows shipping companies to optimise routes and fuel consumption based on issues like bad weather in real-time. This reduces cost and minimises the overall environmental impact of the industry.

2. Improved Safety

Concerning maritime freight transportation, safety is of utmost importance. Artificial intelligence has the ability to identify potential safety hazards in real time. Hazards such as weather anomalies can be detected, enabling swift responses and reducing the likelihood of accidents at sea.

3. Enhanced Cargo Tracking

With the help of AI, real-time visibility into cargo shipments is possible. You, as a customer, will be able to monitor the status and location of their goods from the harbour right to your doorstep. You’ll know exactly where your product is at all times.

The Challenges of AI in the Maritime Freight Industry

Nothing’s perfect, and the maritime freight industry is no exception. It comes with its fair share of challenges, some of which are listed below.

1. High Initial Investment

A huge issue with implementing technology into the maritime industry is the hefty upfront costs. Smaller organisations may get discouraged because of this, although the implementation of AI may be more cost-effective over the long term.

2. Data Quality and Security

Artificial intelligence relies heavily, if not entirely on data. Making sure that the data is accurate, secure and private is a constant challenge organisations have to deal with. Any data breach can result in severe consequences for both organisations and individuals.

3. Workforce Adaptation

One of the biggest concerns with regard to the integration of AI is how employees would have to adapt. Organisations will have to train their employees to use their newly integrated AI systems which my add more to the initial cost of the implementation. Employees may also resist the change from the traditional system, a system that they’re very familiar with.

Final Thoughts

AI is in a position to completely change the maritime freight industry. Let’s not forget about the challenges we’ll need to overcome to successfully make that happen. Getting excited over benefits such as enhanced operational efficiency is great, but finding ways we could mitigate the challenges as well is equally important. If we can do that, we’re on our way to a more safe and efficient maritime freight industry.

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Freight Forwarding

The Introduction of AI into Air Freight Transportation




Plane flying above a person's hand

With the rise of e-commerce, the air freight industry, one of the popular forms of freight transportation, was forced to become more efficient in its operations. Air freight transportation has had to undergo major technological changes in order to keep up with demand while also ensuring that everyone involved is safe.

A new technology, that goes by the name of artificial intelligence (AI), is being explored in order to improve the overall efficiency of the air freight industry.

Table of Contents

In this article, we’ll be exploring:

The Benefits of AI in the Air Freight Industry

We are quite familiar with many of the benefits of air freight transportation as a whole, but what would happen if we introduced AI into the air freight industry?

1. Enhanced Efficiency

A major benefit of the air freight industry as a whole is its ability to be efficient over long or medium-distanced trips. Enhancing that with artificial intelligence (AI) would make lives much easier.

Given that AI can optimise routing, scheduling, and resource allocation, streamlined processes could be the result. Scheduling flights based on factors such as weather, air traffic and fuel efficiency, reducing delays and downtime for the organisations involved.

2. Improved Predictive Analytics

Artificial intelligence absolutely loves data. It has the ability to look back to past events and predict the likelihood of the same result occurring again. Airlines and logistics companies can better plan for the future on how they’re going to allocate resources, which reduces the risk of wasting resources.

3. Enhanced Cargo Security

Efficiency is great but is nothing without security. With the help of AI, screening cargo can be much easier and more efficient. They can also view them in real time so that they can detect any irregularities with cargo after the initial check, which ensures the safety of the supply chain.

4. Cost Reduction

Cost is always an issue in the air freight industry, so reducing operational costs with the help of AI would be a welcome benefit. AI is very good at doing boring and repetitive things like data entry and processing documents. You don’t need to worry about human error anymore and humans can focus more on complex and creative problems.

The Challenges of AI in the Air Freight Industry

The benefits are exciting, but that doesn’t mean there are no challenges to be overcome, as the list below will indicate to you.

1. Data Security and Privacy Concerns

Artificial intelligence relies heavily on data, making data security a huge priority in the air freight industry. Given that the data is collected digitally, it makes private information vulnerable to cyberattacks. Creating a security system that is robust against cyberattacks will be a continuous challenge.

2. Workforce Transition

With AI integrating into the air freight industry, concerns about job displacement will arise. People will be forced to upskill, and companies will be responsible for training employees for other positions within the company or training them to effectively use AI tools.

3. Implementation Costs

Implementing anything tends to cost money and regarding the integration of AI into the air freight industry, it can get quite expensive. Particularly for the initial costs such as the infrastructure and training of the people who’d be operating the systems. Smaller companies may shy away from AI integration because of the upfront costs.

Final Thoughts

The integration of AI into the air freight industry shows immense promise for individuals who enjoy shopping online and for companies that are looking to increase the overall efficiency of their operations. It’s important to take into account the challenges that will come with the introduction of AI. The future looks bright for the air freight industry if we can manage to keep the challenges to a minimum.

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Freight Forwarding

What AI Means for the Road Freight Industry




Futuristic concept truck on road

Artificial intelligence and its capabilities aren’t new to us. This is what makes the integration of AI into the road freight industry so exciting regarding its overall efficiency, safety, and sustainability. It has the potential, just like the air freight industry, to revolutionise the industry entirely.

Table of Contents

In this article we’ll be looking at:

The Top 3 Benefits of AI in the Road Freight Industry

Even though we’re aware of AI’s potential to revolutionise the way we do things in the freight industry as a whole, how does it benefit road freight transportation specifically?

1. Enhanced Efficiency

Efficiency is at the top of the priority list whenever freight transportation is mentioned. This is because there are so many moving parts. That’s why AI is so exciting as it can significantly improve efficiency.

This means that your nephew can get that Iron Man helmet delivered to his front door on his birthday, and not three days later. With the help of AI, routes can be adjusted in response to heavy traffic, poor weather and more to ensure you get your package on time and in good condition.

2. Improved Safety

Safety is of utmost importance whenever people are involved. Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) equipped with AI can monitor driver behaviour and detect potential safety hazards, which is particularly important for longer journeys. AI can ensure the safety of drivers even after they fall asleep.

3. Predictive Maintenance

Not only can artificial intelligence detect potential safety hazards, but it can also predict certain issues with the vehicle due to sensors all over the truck. This means we can deal with them before they accumulate and lead to a breakdown.

Delays may not disappear entirely but will definitely happen less frequently. Both downtime and maintenance costs will decrease, and the lifespan of the vehicles will increase.

The Top 3 Challenges of AI in the Road Freight Industry

Like many things, AI’s integration into the road freight industry doesn’t come without its challenges.

1. Implementation Costs

Many technological integrations require a hefty fee upfront, and that’s still the case with AI integration into the road freight transportation industry. Implementing the new AI systems into existing infrastructure, training personnel, and maintaining the technology can end up being quite costly.

2. Data Privacy and Security

A lot of sensitive data is generated in the road freight industry. Introducing AI to these databases may cause concern as they can be vulnerable to cyberattacks. Robust security measures must be put in place to ensure the safety of this information. Not to mention ensuring compliance with privacy regulations like GDPR and HIPAA can be challenging.

3. Workforce Disruption

This is among the biggest concerns with regard to the integration of AI into the road freight industry. Even though AI can handle routine tasks effectively, human drivers and workers are still required for complicated decision-making and customer interactions.

Finding the balance between the usage of AI and the involvement of humans is a major challenge that organisations and individuals must consider before making such a drastic change.

Final Thoughts

Artificial intelligence and its integration into road freight transportation is very promising, with its potential for improved efficiency and safety to name a few. However, its challenges such as initial cost and the potential to disturb the current workforce mustn’t be ignored. With the rate technology is evolving, don’t be surprised when we start using AI sooner rather than later.

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