GTS Blog

Big Data & Logistics Go Hand-in-Hand. Here’s How.

Posted by Ascent Global Logistics on Mar 30, 2017 5:37:48 PM

big data and logistics

Big data is a buzzword that picked up recognition in the marketing space and has made its way into the business models of companies around the world. It’s a term that simply refers to data sets that are too large to quantify using traditional on-hand data management tools.

Logistics is particularly suited to benefit from big data. Why? Because when it comes to the supply chain, success depends on efficiency. There is a chain of commands that need to be met, and this is best done when transparent information is accessible.

DHL published a study called Big Data in Logistics, and pointed out five areas of logistics that big data has the biggest effect. They include:


1. Optimization to the core

Basically, there are three areas of logistics that are inherently challenging in regards to optimization of service properties – delivery time, resource utilization and geographical coverage. Logistics operations need data to run efficiently. The more accessible this information is, the better a company’s supply chain will be optimized. This requires “advanced predictive techniques” and “real-time processing.”


2. Tangible goods & tangible customers

When carriers deliver goods directly to customers, they often have direct interaction with them – opening up an opportunity for market intelligence, product feedback and/or demographics. This kind of information, when properly organized and used by big data, can give companies important consumer insights.


3. In sync with customer business

Ideally, logistics solutions should integrate into production and distribution processes seamlessly. This requires a tight level of integration with customer operations; it allows logistics providers to feel the “heartbeat” of the individual business. This is important for the provider to really understand the business’s mission and target audience. Providers can understand supply chain risks and become more resilient against disruptions.


4. A network of information

Since transportation and delivery are high-resolution data sources, network data may provide valuable insights into the global flow of goods. Diversity of big data analytics moves observation to a “micro-economic” viewpoint.


5. Global coverage & local presence

Smart corporations strive to maintain a “local presence” within each community that they do business. Big data supports this endeavor. For example, carriers can collect data simply along their transport routes. This allows access to demographic, environmental and traffic statistics.

Like what you've read? Visit to access the full logistics study.

Topics: Logistics, Big Data