Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Log-Net adds artificial intelligence to logistics platform

Steve Rogerson
March 29, 2017
The latest version of the Log-Net autonomous logistics platform uses artificial intelligence and analytics to create a global supply chain management platform. The platform is delivered completely as a software as a service model via the internet.
Log-Net version 8.0 takes the complexity out of huge number of trading partners while boosting their performance with machine learning and application interface capabilities. New Jersey-based Log-Net's research and development team redesigned traditional forwarding, consolidator, carrier and logistics processes to enable anyone to process complex, multi-modal global commercial transactions.
The platform is said to create a capability that redefines trade processes in a world of global real-time integrated e-commerce.
"With version 8.0 our engineering and product design teams wanted to really raise the bar on redefining what autonomous logistics is," said John Motley, CEO and founder of Log-Net. "As we celebrate our 25th year, we see the supply chain industry having moments of fundamental shifts in technology such as this release. We wanted to change the direction of the industry with tools that redefine what is possible in supply chain processes. I am extraordinarily proud of the results of our team's efforts.”
Version 8.0 introduces different ways to perform retail, freight forwarding, 3PL and 4PL processes. During its design, beta clients volunteered to perform time and motion studies of legacy forwarding and logistics systems versus the new platform. The Log-Net platform required 37.5% of the time and produced more accurate processing, documentation and visibility.
With enhanced supplier, operations, transport, warehousing and transport modules the system performs seamless real-time collaboration. An added finance module introduces autonomous transportation arbitrage capabilities that could reshape the competitive landscape of logistics where advanced algorithms for quoting and executing are capable of beating historic low costs with even higher margins.
"We feel Log-Net 8.0 will enable retailers and forwarders to easily become 4PLs with far more efficient, optimised and risk tolerant supply chains compared to legacy models requiring large local office networks inputting to a single system," said Motley.
Version 8.0 introduces several APIs that perform real-time integration and feedback to the user in both Log-Net and the linked ERP and accounting systems. A user now sees information, updates and error messages from linked systems as if they were on that system in real time. Similarly users of linked systems experience visibility at the same detail directly within their application.
For example, Log-Net integrates customer credit status with the NetSuite cloud ERP and receives updates on customer status globally at the same time the updates are made in NetSuite. If there is a problem with the freight activity status or information in Log-Net the NetSuite user receives an error directly to the screen in NetSuite that they were updating.
Log-Net is working with its carrier partners to move past legacy electronic data interchange (EDI) for bookings, events and bills to enable similar real-time integration in transportation.
"Log-Net's vision is to transition from an old school cloud vision of being the centre of a global trade network to an ecosystem of intelligent federated platforms executing and managing global trade in real time," said Motley.
Version 8.0 also takes the process of dynamically allocating product on a global basis to new levels. Customers can make large bulk, factory orders and have them distributed closer to the completion of production. Log-Net will review near term sales and distribution orders assign the inventory and provide carton labels with packing instructions for the factory.
This model eliminates the need to pick and pack goods for distribution later in the supply chain and provides the distribution and delivery labels required for shipment and even parcel delivery of the goods directly to the factory over the internet for goods that can be delivered directly to a consumer. This process cuts several handling cost points from the international process and weeks from inventory as goods can move from the factory to the consumer via ocean transport at speeds previously achieved via airfreight. The goods move at such velocity that the model will also support fast fashion through ocean transport.