We think of the bright future when we think of logistics. With AI (Artificial Intelligence) and the full automation of supply chains it seems that shipping will become easier, faster, and safer. Let us take a look at how logistics has evolved throughout history.
Time Stamps -Last Hundred Years
1920s – 1950s (Evolution of logistics during war, Invention of shipping containers)
1920s was promised to be the year of great change. Diesel engines were and logistic processes were still crude and simple. Pallets were introduced for storage in 1925. They helped companies use better use of the available storage space. The 1930s was the decade of technological advancements, not a surprise that the Second World War brought considerable advancements to logistics.
During war – it was to maintain the supply lines for the military. Demands escalated for both personnel transport and goods shipping as fronts developed world over.
The complexity of ammunition shipping, led to innovations in storage containers, packing supplies and process of safe loading, unloading, and consolidation. A lot of logistics processes were developed during WWII.
The moment war ended, shipping companies strained away from military purposes, and turned to trade. This led to historical invention of shipping containers in 1950.
1960s – 1990s (Increase in trucking, IBM technology, Real-time management system, Barcodes, ERP)
During the 1960s, we saw a significant increase in trucking. The increase in safety, as well as standardization of materials, made logistics far easier and predictable.
Then came the IBM advancements in computer technology. IBM brought computerization to logistics data. Real-time management system for warehouses was seen in 1975. The 70s also brought us barcodes, which made packet identification much easier. 80s was a period in logistics where everything fell into place. Technology became incrementally better and better. ERP systems were developed by companies, helping logistics. Technology advanced furthermore.
2000s to Present Day (Modern logistics)
2000 till present day is the era of modern logistics. All the present day systems were conceived in the early stages of the 21st century. Of course, these systems are more polished today.
With the advancement of AI and machine learning, we’ve come very far since the 1920s. It won’t be a surprise if we see space shipping, fully automated vessels, interplanetary transport and all those science fiction movies becoming reality in the next 100 years.