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Logistics Automation is Not Intelligent Logistics

  1. Logistics is Not Just About Moving Boxes

Logistics is the physical flow of goods from the place of supply to the place of receiving. It is an organic combination of basic functions such as transportation, storage, loading and unloading, handling, packaging, circulation processing, distribution, recycling, and information processing according to actual needs. Wang Jixiang believes that the object of logistics operations is “things”, which can be summarized from the perspective of “things” as: dividing, combining, moving, transporting, and storing; the purpose of logistics operations is “flow”, and the common law of all logistics operations can be summarized as: connection and integration.

  1. Improving Logistics Efficiency is Inseparable from Building-blocks Thinking

Building-block thinking integrates strangely shaped and complicated “things” into normalized and standardized cargo units, which are divided, combined, moved, transported, and stored according to the units, which is more efficient. The cargo unit is the operation unit of each link of logistics, and such logistics is unitized logistics. There is a book called “Containers Change the World”. In fact, it is the building-block thinking of pallets and containers that is constantly changing our world-production line unitization, blockchain, container cloud, etc. are all the use of building-block thinking. When all objects can be reduced to 0 and 1, the world will take on a new look.

  1. Information Technology is the Driving Force for the Development of Modern Logistics

Logistics informatization is the soul of logistics that manages and controls the operation of logistics Internet. With the development of information technology, warehousing, transportation and other links of information interconnection, so that various functional operations of logistics can be systematically managed, the development of modern logistics has entered the stage of supply chain management, and logistics has become a part of the supply chain. With the development of the Internet of Things, technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, and machine learning have promoted the improvement of the “logistics brain”, giving birth to smart logistics. The Internet of logistics enables the full interoperability and integration of physical commodities such as agriculture, manufacturing, and commerce and circulation, and smart logistics has begun to become an infrastructure linking economic and social ecosystems.

  1. Logistics Automation≠intelligent Logistics≠smart Logistics

Logistics automation means that the logistics system has the functions of automatic perception and automatic execution. Intelligent logistics means that the logistics system can achieve status perception, real-time analysis, scientific decision-making, and precise execution. Smart logistics refers to the application of the Internet of Things technology to realize the extension of the Internet to the physical world, the integration and innovation of the Internet and the logistics entity network, the realization of the state perception, real-time analysis, and precise execution of the logistics system, and further achieve independent decision-making and learning improvement. And a modern logistics system with intelligent capabilities.

Logistics automation, intelligent logistics, and smart logistics are the primary, intermediate and advanced stages of logistics informatization. Compared with logistics automation, intelligent logistics mainly focuses on execution ability and perception ability. However, the intelligent logistics system only knows what it is, but does not know why; the intelligent logistics system not only has the ability of “smart”, but also masters this ability generation method, which can realize the self-learning improvement of the machine, continuous evolution and iterative upgrade.

  1. Software Defined Logistics

When the virtual and real logistics units are integrated to form a network system that combines virtual and real, it is necessary to manage and dispatch the logistics units through software to achieve the most efficient division, combination, carrying, transportation, and storage. According to the needs of the actual scenario, drawing on the idea of unitization, the logistics division, combination, carrying, transportation, and storage operations are decomposed by functional modules, logistics operation facilities and equipment are decomposed by functional modules, the unitized design has perception, analysis, judgment, and execution. Functional intelligent hardware, software scheduling and management intelligent hardware, build a flexible logistics automation system to meet the requirements of logistics system operations. This realizes a software-defined logistics system.

  1. Smart Logistics Thinking Model: AI Drives Machine Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) allows machines to simulate the intelligence of human thinking, and even do things that humans cannot do, which is machine intelligence. The smart logistics system is a large-scale machine system, and the smart logistics thinking model is machine intelligence. The characteristics of machine intelligence include comprehensive perception, ubiquitous networks, digital processing, and ultra-fast evolution. Currently, it has surpassed humans in information perception, networked connections, big data processing, and machine learning, and will become a major arm of humans in the future.

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