Logistics and Sustainability are two concepts that often go hand-in-hand. A logistics system captures the physical flow of people, activities, resources and information and is therefore ever-changing and adaptable. The challenge is to maintain a degree of flexibility in all logistics operations, while in the same time retain the robustness of all operations and constrain costs and externalities to a minimum. In order to achieve these goals, a comprehensive understanding of all operations and assets needs to be established, along with the objective of optimizing the end-to-end transportation of goods, whether that is carried out on land, water or air. AETHON brings versatile solutions to effectively support data-driven decision making.
Intelligent systems and automation
Intelligent systems have become essential for organisations that aim to establish sustainable logistics and transport. The use of IT tools provides the capacity for bringing innovative solutions to clients, as well as managing and controlling an organisation internally. Establishing databases and information systems that are interconnected and online, using unique identification and coding systems are all part of the greater family of power tools that can instill great versatility in logistics operations and planning. The term ‘Intelligent Systems and Automation’ includes both the software and hardware that can be used for enhancing the delivered logistics services. Vehicles’ on-board computers can provide real-time information about load and status of carriers, while IoT solutions can enable real-time tracking of cargo. In that way deliveries can be tracked and traced along the route, ensuring a tight grip over the entire logistics sequence.
In addition to the above, various IT systems are often deployed for the provision of the maintenance and timely repair of transport equipment to guarantee that the fleet is always and under any circumstance available. Control systems and IT equipment can also be used on the infrastructure side, as per example in ports, airports and cargo depots. Using intelligent infrastructure enables the unobstructed flow of operations and allows for better control over the processes of loading cargo and tracking available resources while generating metrics for the future improvements. Lastly, automating processes is an essential step for load balancing fluctuating needs and being able to allocate the exact amount of resources that are needed at a given moment. AETHON assists its partners and clients to design, develop and deploy IT and IoT solution to achieve the above-mentioned goals.
AETHON’s vast experience and knowledge on mathematical modelling for transport in combination with IT skills, can help its partners to achieve a factual perspective of the logistics system that is essential for sound decision making.
Operations research and process optimization
Mathematical modelling of the logistics operation is a powerful ally for approaching complex problems and maximizing profitability. Modelling can be used for solving transport optimisation problems in the case of freight or passenger transportation and supply chain in the transport industry. The range of applications is vast, since a model can incorporate sources of cost and revenue, and consequently suggest the optimal solution for each case. AETHON’s vast experience and knowledge on mathematical modelling for transport in combination with IT skills, can help its partners to achieve a factual perspective of the logistics system that is essential for sound decision making.
Whether the problem in hand is scheduling of timetables for a public transport service, or the planning of optimal route paths for waste collection trucks, process optimization is essential for tackling the problem methodically. The application of operations research methods is also commonly applicable in crew assignment problems (i.e. rostering) for airlines, through the coding of multilevel objectives and constraints. Organisations that aim for a robust, unhindered operation should assign the right amount of resources, according to the ever-changing needs of logistics.
Maritime logistics covers the entire range of activities that range from waterborne transport of freight and passengers, to inland shipping processes. The complexity of these processes rises exponentially in relation to the numerous actors that partake in a logistics routes of a container ship. Different types of cargo have different requirement to be considered during the planning of activities. These requirements are passed as constraints into mathematical models that can produce metrics for supporting decision making in this process. The very task of stacking containers on a cargo ship can be a mathematical problem that will be able to produce a set of alternatives that fulfil the given objectives; may the objective be the reduction of loading time, increased ship stability, or prioritization of goods. The restrictions of each logistics route can be passed into the model as hard constraints, as for example requiring refrigerated compartments for goods, or meeting delivery deadlines according to the planning.
A consequent feedback loop between the planning of operations and the needs of each route is established leading to the requirement for maintaining control over the end-to-end operation in a manner that is reliable and concrete. Maritime logistics is an area that necessitates the application of trustworthy predictive modelling and decision support and therefore requires the application of sustainable solutions that will increase revenues for the organisations involved and yet retain a healthy equilibrium with both the natural and the economical ecosystem of waterborne transportation.