Is Amazon getting into the airfreight logistics business?
With its lightning speed and a marketplace network that has revolutionized ecommerce, Amazon is already known as a logistical powerhouse. Now details are emerging to suggest that Amazon could be getting ready to bring its logistics fully in-house, giving the company the power and control to improve its supply chain and delivery times even further.
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According to several reports, this month Amazon commenced with talks to lease 20 cargo planes. This is a move that would give Amazon full control over its transportation costs and its fulfillment schedules, by allowing the company to cut out the 3PL airfreight services that it currently relies on—services that, as these reports point out, have caused frustrations beyond Amazon’s control in the past:
Amazon would be able to sidestep carriers like UPS and FedEx to avoid the shipment delays that it has previously dealt with (most notably during the 2013 holiday season, when many customers didn't receive orders in time for Christmas).
Vertically integrating a new piece of your supply chain is always a risk. Any problems or failures as the company adjusts will fall directly on its own shoulders. But a successful rollout could come with significant rewards, especially if Amazon eventually turns its in-house logistics program outward to take on the 3PL market as a competitor:
"Similar to the gradual roll-out of [Amazon Web Services], we would expect Amazon to introduce competitive transportation and logistics services to external clients on an incremental basis, with a long-term focus," [Baird Equity Research analyst Colin] Sebastian writes. "Amazon may be the only company with the fulfillment/distribution sophistication and scale to compete effectively with incumbent service providers (UPS, FedEx)."
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Based on the success of AWS, analysts predict that an Amazon-run logistics service could be valued at as much as a $400-450 billion. But that’s a long way off. First Amazon will have to prove that it can handle this side of logistics within its own fulfillment chain.
[SOURCE: Business Insider]
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.