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The Top 10 Smart Packaging Technologies Disrupting the Industry


The Top 10 Smart Packaging Technologies Disrupting the Industry

When most people think of supply chain technology, packaging may not be the first thing to come to mind. However, despite these preconceptions, smart packaging technology is a fast-growing and exciting field.

Smart packaging technology is a broad field covering new technologies integrated into packages themselves or playing a crucial role in the packaging process. Here are 10 of the most disruptive of these technologies changing the industry today.

1. RFID and NFC Tags

Devices that wirelessly transmit real-time data about a package are some of the most useful packaging technologies. Today, radio frequency identification (RFID) and near-field communication (NFC) are the two leading examples of this tech.

Both RFID and NFC can send data like a package’s location, contents and even the quality or health of those contents to nearby devices. That way, customers can verify their orders and logistics professionals can manage their inventories more efficiently. Some RFID systems can even transmit data up to 25 feet, enabling easier scanning.

2. Printed Sensors

RFID and NFC tags make important information more accessible, but they may require other devices to gather this data in the first place. In the past, that meant placing bulky electronics inside packages, which isn’t practical. Today, businesses can use printed sensors to provide the same benefits in a more convenient form factor.

New technologies can print fully functioning circuits on thin adhesive strips. Adding quality sensors, vibration monitoring or other data-gathering systems is then as easy as placing a sticker on the inside of a package. As a result, businesses can enable more data-tracking without sacrificing packaging space.

3. Active Packaging

Some smart packaging technology goes further and protects shipment quality instead of simply reporting it. Active packaging interacts with its components, in turn extending their shelf life and protecting them in transit.

This type of packaging can take several forms. At its simplest, it uses chemical ingredients to absorb unwanted elements or emit desirable compounds — like an oxygen absorber to prevent beverage oxidation. However, it can also be more high-tech. Mechanical or digital technologies inside a package can monitor and emit antimicrobial solutions or block UV radiation. 

4. Nanomaterials

Nanotechnology — tech dealing with components on a nanoscopic scale — is another disruptive example of packaging tech. Many materials exhibit unique qualities on this scale, and capitalizing on these characteristics is helping companies make packaging safer, sustainable and more reliable.

Some aerogels made of nanomaterials offer effective insulation from heat and shocks without taking up as much space as conventional materials. Other nanomaterials provide biodegradable alternatives to traditional packaging materials like plastics and waxes. In other cases, logistics companies use nanoparticles to prevent microbial contamination in pharmaceutical shipments.

5. QR Codes

Quick read (QR) codes are a more familiar technology for many, but they’ve only recently grown in packaging. Just as RFID tags can send critical data to logistics workers, QR codes let end customers learn more about their packages with a simple scan. Unlike data transmitters, though, customers can read these codes with just a smartphone.

Companies can use QR codes to reveal more product information they couldn’t fit on the package. That could entail nutritional info, best-before dates, warranty explanations or tips for usage. Whatever the specifics, these codes provide an easy gateway for customers to get more out of their products.

6. AR Packaging

Augmented reality (AR) takes these customer-packaging interactions further. AR displays virtual images over a real-time view of the real world. Packages can capitalize on this by using QR codes to unlock unique AR experiences for customers.

Some companies have used AR to promote new products or giveaways. When users scanned the packaging of their products, they’d hear music from a label’s musicians or unlock an interactive experience to enter them into product sweepstakes. These unique experiences may encourage more people to buy products with this packaging so they can see the novelty first-hand.

7. AI Package Design

Some smart packaging technology focuses on processes around the packaging instead of the package itself. One of the most groundbreaking and practical of these is artificial intelligence (AI) in package design.

AI can consider thousands of possibilities and perform complex calculations far faster than humans. Its speed and accuracy in these decisions make it an ideal way to find ways to improve packaging, like coming up with designs that use fewer materials. Businesses using AI to generate novel package designs can create stronger or more cost-efficient packaging in less time.

8. 3D Printing

Similarly, 3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, can make better packaging designs. 3D printers work faster than conventional production techniques and don’t produce as much waste, making them more cost-effective. They can also produce more unique shapes than traditional methods, enabling more customization in packaging.

Since 3D printing is more efficient and can use more sustainable materials, it makes packaging more eco-friendly. Considering how 60%-70% of consumers say they’d pay more for sustainable packaging, that advantage is crucial.

9. Blockchain Tracking

Blockchain is a newer but increasingly viable smart packaging technology. While these distributed ledgers are most famous as the underlying technology behind cryptocurrency, they offer significant advantages in logistics.

Blockchain tracking solutions can store updates from in-package sensors to improve tracking throughout the supply chain. Because blockchain records are unchangeable and transparent to anyone, using them here would help fight fraud and boost supply chain visibility. In turn, blockchain tracking would offer end customers more trust in the brands they buy from.

10. Robotics

Robots are another increasingly important technology in packaging. Manufacturing packaging, folding boxes, loading trucks and fetching packages from a warehouse are all repetitive, heavy physical tasks. That makes them hazardous and inefficient when people do them, but those kinds of workloads are where robots excel.

Robots could automate these repetitive tasks to accomplish them much faster and more safely. Human workers could then focus on more nuanced, engaging tasks. In turn, packaging centers would reduce errors, lower operating costs and maximize throughput.

Smart Packaging Technology Has Significant Potential

These technologies are just a sample of the enormous scope of today’s smart packaging technology. As tech advances, new solutions and improved innovations will emerge and become more accessible.

Smart technologies like these make the packaging industry more transparent, efficient, sustainable and reliable. As more companies take advantage of them, they’ll soon become the norm in the sector, transforming packaging for good.



Generative AI Up and Down (and Within) Supply Chains

Improving decision-making along supply chains is strategic work. Inventory management, procurement, and forecasting are some of the main areas large software providers such as SAP, Manhattan Associates, and Blue Yonder Group among others are pouring resources into. Unsurprisingly, artificial intelligence (AI) is front and center. 

Supply chains are chock-full of data. Making sense of said data and arriving at speedy conclusions drives competition. Traditional AI was characterized by its ability to compress information (numbers primarily) into even fewer numbers. At that point, however, a human needed to step in and process the results. Generative AI is the process of algorithms (within traditional AI) creating and generating an output. This could be a photo, video, 3d renderings as well as “advice.” The word advice is still up for interpretation as programs like ChatGPT (an all-purpose chatbot) are not 100% accurate. Yet, its proponents argue, neither are human beings. 

The future of chatbots is both exciting and downright frightening. Nestlé is rumored to be considering how chatbots and generative AI can help in evaluating the company’s security. Meanwhile, Manhattan Associates out of Atlanta is pondering ChatGPT to help streamline its warehousing and transportation operations. Simple questions such as, “where is customer A’s February shipment” could theoretically be answered faster and perhaps more accurately via a generative AI bot and unfettered access to the company’s data. \

Back in late 2019 the medical systems and consumer electronics products manufacturer Koninklijke Philips needed to ramp up the production of medical equipment, specifically ventilators. To do this they needed to scale down production in other areas. The company turned to AI to model the effects as forecasting models became more and more complex during the early-pandemic era. The accuracy is comparable if not better than traditional models and this is the potential power of this next generation of AI – generative AI.

The biggest challenge ChatGPT faces is its power. While supply chain management can certainly be bolstered, the very people using ChatGPT and similar chatbots have management worried. Some fear the data that is being shared (and potentially leaked or compromised). A January 2023 survey by Fishbowl of roughly 12,000 workers revealed over 40% had used ChatGPT and other AI tools while nearly 70% indicated they do so without informing their boss. 

This new iteration of AI is here to stay, but solving supply chain bottlenecks will rely on a release of data that was previously unimaginable. 


Charting a Course to Battery-Powered Ships 

In the global movement to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions, one sector remains largely overlooked: maritime trade. According to the International Council on Clean Transportation, ocean-going ships carry more than 80% of world trade by volume and are projected to contribute 17% of man-made carbon emissions by 2050. Yet the decarbonization of maritime vessels lags severely behind the electrification of on-road vehicles. 

To address this issue, the International Maritime Organization has set an ambitious target of cutting carbon emissions from ocean shipping by at least 50% by 2050. For any chance of achieving this goal, the shipping sector will need large-scale adoption of alternative energy sources. So far, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries have been the most widely used technology for electrifying the world’s cargo ships, but they’re far from a perfect solution. Here’s a look at the potential of battery-hybrid freighters for reducing carbon emissions, and the technological advances the shipping industry will need to achieve decarbonization. 

 The Future Is Battery-Powered 

Of the zero-carbon alternatives to fossil fuels available on the market, battery systems may be the most promising. A 2022 study by the University of California and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found electric power in the transportation sector to be typically five times more energy-efficient than alternative fuels such as green hydrogen and ammonia.  

 The recent electrification of passenger boats and smaller cargo ships gives us a preview of how battery systems can greatly reduce maritime carbon emissions. Denmark’s ferry Ellen offsets 2,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year and transports passengers to their destination 15 minutes faster than her fossil fuel-powered counterpart. 

 Switching to battery technology not only eliminates greenhouse gas emissions, it may also help shipping companies cut costs. Due to rising fossil fuel prices and new carbon taxes on marine shipping, ocean freight will no longer be as cost-effective as it used to be. In contrast, battery-powered ships require less maintenance and fewer engineers on board, reducing operations costs. 

 Maritime battery technology is only set to improve in the coming years. Startups are developing ways to make maintenance even more convenient, like a system for replacing individual battery cells when they die rather than an entire battery pack. Others are making battery systems the size of shipping containers for use on smaller cargo vessels, which not only travel longer and farther on electric power but also can access more ports than full-sized freight ships. In light of these recent advances, shipping companies can expect higher returns than ever when they switch to electric-powered vessels. 

 The Limitations of Lithium-Ion 

 Considering the progress so far, what’s stopping ocean shipping from going green? One major obstacle is the lithium-ion technology used to power a majority of electric ships. While they are the most energy-dense and commercially mature type of battery on the market, lithium-ion batteries pose major risks to maritime applications. 

 Runaway battery fires at sea tend to be catastrophic, even more so than those on land. Before a lithium-ion cell in thermal runaway actually catches on fire, it releases toxic gasses such as hydrogen fluoride and carbon monoxide. These flammable vapors may spread throughout a ship for hours before the point of combustion, culminating in a huge explosion that destroys cargo and puts crew members’ lives at risk. Traditional fire suppression systems are not effective at stopping battery fires, which do not require oxygen to burn and can be exacerbated by seawater. 

 Companies have been working on features to make Li-ion batteries safer — better cooling systems; separation between cells to prevent mass thermal runaway — but lithium-ion batteries have already caused significant damage to the marine shipping industry. According to Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, fire and explosion accidents were the top cause of loss on marine insurance claims in 2021. AGCS and other insurance experts have identified lithium-ion batteries as a significant source of such fires and a growing risk for maritime shippers’ investments. Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard has issued warnings about transporting lithium-ion batteries at all, let alone using the technology to power shipping. 

 What’s Next: A Better Battery 

 Battery technology will continue to improve over time, but lithium-ion chemistry in particular poses too high a fire risk for large-scale adoption by marine shippers. To reach the International Maritime Organization’s decarbonization targets, shipping companies need a power source just as energy-dense and far safer. The company that develops a non-flammable battery chemistry will turn the tide of maritime carbon emissions. 

Mukesh Chatter is the CEO of Alsym Energy, a technology company developing a low-cost, high-performance rechargeable battery chemistry that is free of lithium and cobalt.



The Future of Autonomous Vehicles in Logistics: Challenges and Opportunities

The logistics industry is a colossal and indispensable part of the global economy. It serves as the conduit for the transfer of goods and materials from manufacturers to consumers. In addition, its smooth operation is essential to the functioning of businesses and societies around the world.

In recent times, there has been a growing fascination with the transformative potential of automation, particularly autonomous vehicles (AVs), in the logistics industry. The capabilities of AVs to enhance efficiency, safety, and sustainability hold tremendous promise. It could also  lead to a profound transformation in the transportation of goods.

However, the adoption of AVs in logistics is not without its challenges. We must surmount the development of dependable and secure AV technology, the need for substantial infrastructure investments, and the regulatory barriers. These are among the challenges that must be overcome.

In spite of these challenges, the prospects for AVs in logistics are exceedingly bright. With sustained investment and development, AVs can revolutionize the logistics industry. It can render it more productive, secure, and sustainable.

Let us go into more detail.

The Challenges

There are a number of challenges that need to be addressed before AVs can be widely adopted in the logistics industry. These challenges include:

Safe and reliable AV technology

AV technology is still in its early stages of development. We must address a number of challenges before we can consider it safe and reliable for widespread use in the logistics industry. 

AVs rely on a complex suite of sensors, including cameras, radar, and lidar, to perceive their surroundings. These sensors must be able to accurately detect and track other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, and other objects on the road. They must also be able to handle a variety of weather conditions and road surfaces.

Moreover, even the most advanced AVs are not perfect. There is always the possibility that a sensor or software failure could cause an accident. AVs must therefore be equipped with fail-safe systems that can take over control of the vehicle in the event of a failure.

Infrastructure investment

AVs will require significant investment in infrastructure in order to operate safely and efficiently. As part of this investment, new roads and highways will be constructed that are designed for AVs, as well as new traffic signals and other infrastructure that can communicate with them.

AVs require infrastructure that is specifically designed to accommodate their unique capabilities. This investment will involve the construction of new roads and highways that are wider and provide more space between vehicles, allowing AVs to safely navigate. 

Additionally, new traffic signals and other infrastructure that can communicate with AVs will need to be installed. This will enable AVs to safely maneuver through intersections and other complex traffic environments. Therefore, it is essential that significant investments are made in infrastructure to ensure that AVs can operate safely and efficiently in the future. 

Regulatory hurdles

Before AVs can be used in the logistics industry, there are a few rules and regulations that need to be followed. 

Firstly, regulatory agencies need to confirm that AVs are safe for public roads. This process may take a long time and could cost a lot of money. Secondly, the government needs to make new regulations that govern the use of AVs on public roads. 

These regulations must cover a range of topics like responsibility for accidents, privacy, and cybersecurity. These are some of the obstacles that need to be overcome before AVs can become widely used in the logistics industry.

The Opportunities

Despite the challenges, the future of AVs in logistics is very promising. With continued investment and development, AVs have the potential to transform the logistics industry and make it more efficient, safe, and sustainable.

Better efficiency

One of the main advantages is improved efficiency, as AVs can reduce the need for human drivers. This can lead to lower labor costs, increased productivity, and better fuel efficiency. For instance, AVs can be used in urban areas where traffic congestion and parking are challenging, as well as on long-distance trips where human drivers might get tired and make mistakes.

Improved safety

Another significant benefit is increased safety. By removing human error, autonomous vehicles can reduce accidents. AVs can be programmed to avoid dangerous driving behaviors, such as speeding, tailgating, and running red lights. Additionally, AVs can be equipped with sensors that detect and avoid obstacles, such as pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles.

Greener operations

AVs can also enhance sustainability by reducing fuel consumption and emissions, especially on-road gasoline and diesel consumption. This way, it can help reduce the environmental impact of the logistics industry. For example, AVs can be programmed to drive more efficiently than human drivers, and they can have features that improve fuel efficiency, such as aerodynamic designs and regenerative braking.

Enhanced customer service

Aside from these benefits, AVs can also improve customer service by providing more reliable and timely deliveries of goods and materials. This can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. Moreover, AVs can create new business opportunities for the logistics industry, such as the development of new delivery services and the provision of fleet management services.


AVs can revolutionize the logistics industry by improving efficiency, safety, and sustainability. Yet, before they can be widely adopted, we must address several challenges. Despite these challenges, the future of AVs in logistics is promising. With continued investment and development, AVs could transform the logistics industry and make it more efficient, safe, and sustainable.

workhound shippers logistics management

 Innovations in Logistics Management for Faster and More Efficient Global Trade


Logistics management is a critical component of global trade, ensuring that goods are delivered efficiently and on time. However, managing logistics can be complex, requiring coordination across multiple partners and modes of transportation. Innovations in logistics management have the potential to significantly improve supply chain efficiency and reduce costs for businesses. In this article, we’ll explore some of the latest innovations in logistics management and how they can help businesses achieve faster and more efficient global trade.

Section 1: Technology Innovations

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in modern logistics management. The Internet of Things (IoT) is enabling real-time tracking and monitoring of goods, while autonomous vehicles and drones are revolutionizing the way goods are transported. For example, the use of autonomous trucks can reduce transportation costs and increase efficiency by eliminating the need for drivers. In addition, drones can be used to deliver goods to remote or hard-to-reach locations, reducing transportation time and costs.

Some businesses are already leveraging these technologies to streamline their supply chain operations. For instance, Amazon is using drones to deliver packages to customers in some areas, while UPS is using autonomous delivery vehicles to transport packages in select locations. These technologies are also being used to optimize transportation routes and reduce transportation costs, improving the overall efficiency of the supply chain.

As the demand for technology innovations in logistics management grows, so does the need for skilled professionals who can develop and implement these solutions. This is where hiring Scala developers comes into play. Scala is a programming language that has gained popularity for its ability to handle large-scale data processing and real-time analytics, making it an ideal choice for companies looking to develop advanced logistics management solutions. By hiring Scala developers, businesses can tap into the expertise needed to develop cutting-edge logistics management solutions that leverage technologies such as IoT, autonomous vehicles, and drones. With the right team in place, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and improve their supply chain operations for faster and more efficient global trade.

Section 2: Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) are also playing an increasingly important role in logistics management. By analyzing large amounts of data, businesses can gain insights into their supply chain operations and identify areas for improvement. For example, predictive analytics can be used to forecast demand and optimize inventory levels, reducing the risk of stockouts or excess inventory.

AI is also being used to optimize supply chain operations. Machine learning algorithms can be used to analyze data and identify patterns that can be used to improve transportation routes or optimize delivery times. In addition, AI-powered chatbots are being used to improve customer service by providing real-time updates on the status of deliveries or answering customer queries.

Some businesses are already using data analytics and AI to optimize their supply chain operations. For example, DHL is using machine learning algorithms to optimize transportation routes and delivery times, while Walmart is using AI-powered chatbots to improve customer service.

Section 3: Collaboration and Integration

Collaboration and integration are key to optimizing logistics management. By working together, businesses can improve communication and coordination across their supply chains, reducing the risk of delays or errors. Collaborative logistics networks, which bring together multiple partners to share information and resources, are becoming increasingly popular.

Supply chain integration platforms are also being used to improve logistics management. These platforms enable businesses to integrate their supply chain operations, providing real-time visibility into the status of shipments and enabling better coordination across partners. For example, the GT Nexus platform is being used by several businesses to improve supply chain visibility and reduce transportation costs.


Innovations in logistics management are helping businesses achieve faster and more efficient global trade. Technologies such as autonomous vehicles and drones are revolutionizing the way goods are transported, while data analytics and AI are providing insights into supply chain operations and improving decision-making. Collaboration and integration are also becoming increasingly important, enabling businesses to work together to optimize their supply chain operations. As businesses continue to explore new innovations in logistics management, they will be better positioned to succeed in the global marketplace.



Futuristic Technologies That Are Skyrocketing Warehouse Efficiency In 2023


Warehouse efficiency is increasingly important in the modern economy, as companies look to optimize operations and deliver goods faster than ever before. In the coming years, technological advancements are expected to revolutionize warehouse operations, leading to unprecedented efficiency gains. From artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics to advanced data analytics and automated systems, here’s a look at some of the futuristic technologies that are skyrocketing warehouse efficiency in 2023.

AI and Robotics

Robots have been used to automate processes in warehouses for years, but their capabilities are becoming more sophisticated each year. In 2023, robotics and AI will be used to streamline operations by automating mundane tasks such as sorting and organizing inventory, picking orders, labeling packages and more!

Artificial intelligence is also being used to help warehouses become more efficient. AI-powered systems can analyze data in real time and make decisions based on past performance, allowing warehouses to identify and address issues quickly.

The future of market leaders like Amazon will be driven by robots, AI and the integration of both. Amazon’s director of robotics fulfillment Scott Anderson said fully automated warehouses will be commonplace within the next 10 years, as the use of robots and advanced AI enables orders to be packed in a fraction of the time it takes with human hands.

Radio Frequency Identification Systems (RFID)

Although RFIDs are relatively new it seems like they are being used everywhere from small-scale E-commerce operations to the huge warehouses of industry leaders like Amazon.

RFIDs can be used to quickly identify and track items as they move through the warehouse, allowing employees to locate products faster than ever before!

Radio-frequency identification tags are undoubtedly one of the most important advancements for the warehousing industry, and when you integrate them with some of the other warehouse automation systems available in 2023, it’s easy to see why they are so important.

Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics

Machine learning and predictive analytics are being used to enhance warehouse efficiency in 2023. By leveraging data from sensors, RFID tags, and other sources, warehouses can gain valuable insights into their operations.

This data can be used to identify areas of inefficiency, predict future demand for products, optimize storage layouts and more. Additionally, predictive analytics can help warehouses anticipate customer needs and stock the right inventory at the right time.

Advanced logistics software is an invaluable tool that helps warehouses stay ahead of the competition, organized and efficient In 2023.

Automated Labour Planning Systems

Labour is one of the biggest costs in any warehouse and automating labor planning can help reduce these costs. Automated systems are being used to optimize staffing levels and shift patterns, helping warehouses reduce their total labor costs while still delivering a high level of customer service.

In addition, automated systems can be used to ensure that employees are working efficiently by tracking their performance and providing them with feedback when needed. This helps streamline operations and lower costs.

Data Analytics

Data analytics has become an essential tool for managing warehouse operations. In 2023, companies will integrate advanced data analytics into their operations to gain insights into inventory, customer demand and other aspects of the business. 

This data can then be used to optimize processes, reduce costs and increase efficiency, in every aspect from customer service to product storage.

Electric Vehicles And Renewable Energy

The warehousing industry is experiencing a surge in investments towards electric vehicles and renewable energy. The trend began in 2021 and 2022, and there’s no sign of it slowing down in 2023.

One of the major reasons for this shift is cost savings. Electric vehicles offer significant long-term savings in fuel and maintenance costs compared to traditional vehicles.

Renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, are also gaining popularity in the warehousing industry. These sources provide a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to traditional energy sources, further reducing operating costs.

The role of batteries in this transformational shift cannot be understated. There are multiple types of batteries available for use in electric vehicles, such as lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, and lithium-ion batteries. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, making it vitally important to choose the most appropriate for specific applications in the warehouse.

Autonomous Systems

Autonomous systems are increasingly being used in warehouses for tasks such as product scanning, order fulfillment and more. In 2023, these systems will become even more sophisticated, allowing robots to take on more complex tasks such as loading shelves with products or navigating tight warehouse aisles.

Autonomous systems are expected to greatly improve speed while reducing errors and boosting safety.

The Positive Impact Of New Warehouse Technology

As warehouse technology continues to evolve, it will become increasingly easier for companies to stay ahead of the competition and remain efficient. These new technologies are making warehouses smarter, more organized and more cost-effective, leading to greater efficiency and improved safety.

By investing in state-of-the-art technologies for their warehouses, companies can ensure that they are always operating at peak efficiency and remain competitive in 2023. The integration of innovative tools such as robotics, AI, predictive analytics and automated systems will help warehouses increase speed while reducing errors, costs and labor expenses.

In addition, data analytics can provide invaluable insights into customer demand, inventory levels and other aspects of the business. With these advancements leading the way to greater warehouse efficiency in 2023, companies around the world are sure to benefit greatly from these new

The Negative Impacts Of New Warehouse Technology

Although these new technologies have the potential to revolutionize warehouse operations, there are some drawbacks. For example, automated systems can be expensive to integrate and maintain, which can lead to increased costs for companies.

Additionally, incorporating new technology requires a significant amount of training for employees for them to use it effectively.

Lastly, warehouses may become overly dependent on automation, leading to problems if the technology fails or malfunctions.

Despite these potential issues, the benefits that come with implementing modern technologies outweigh the risks. 

By investing in innovative solutions such as autonomous systems and predictive analytics, companies can ensure that their warehouses remain competitive and efficient in 2023.

Final Thoughts

The advances in technology over the next few years are expected to revolutionize warehouse operations. With AI robotics, advanced data analytics and autonomous systems leading the way, warehouses will become increasingly efficient, leading to faster delivery times and lower costs. As these technologies continue to evolve, warehouse efficiency is sure to reach new heights in 2023 and beyond!


How to Utilize AI to Combat Counterfeiting

Counterfeiting is a serious problem that affects many industries, particularly those that rely heavily on supply chain management. In the manufacturing industry, counterfeiting involves the production and distribution of fake products that are intended to imitate legitimate goods. One of the biggest challenges with counterfeiting is that it can be difficult to detect. Often, counterfeit products will look and feel like the real thing and may only be discovered once they have been sold and used by consumers. This not only exposes consumers to potential harm, but it can also damage the reputation of legitimate companies and manufacturers.

There are many ways in which counterfeiting can occur within the supply chain. One common method is through the use of fraudulent identification, which allows counterfeiters to obtain unauthorized access to supply chain networks. Once inside the network, they can introduce counterfeit goods into the system, often under the guise of legitimate products. Another way that counterfeiting can occur is through the manipulation of existing products. This can involve the alteration of labels, packaging, or even the product itself in order to make it appear as though it is genuine. In some cases, counterfeiters may even go so far as to replicate entire products using inferior materials or components.

In order to effectively combat counterfeiting in the supply chain and manufacturing industry, it is important to take a proactive and comprehensive approach. This might involve implementing new technologies and processes, as well as building strong relationships with key stakeholders. By doing so, manufacturers can help to protect their customers, their reputation, and their bottom line. Advancements in technology have provided another strong element in the fight against counterfeiting. There are a variety of ways that technology can be used to allow both manufacturers and consumers ensure they are buying and selling authentic products. 

One strategy that manufacturers and supply chain managers can employ, to combat counterfeiting, is to invest in robust authentication and verification technologies that can help to detect counterfeit products. This might include using unique identifiers, such as serial numbers or barcodes, that can be tracked and verified throughout the supply chain. Another important strategy is to establish strong relationships with suppliers and other partners within the supply chain. By working closely with these stakeholders, manufacturers can gain greater visibility into their operations, and can more effectively identify and address potential risks related to counterfeiting. A third approach to combating counterfeiting is to educate consumers on how to identify and avoid counterfeit products. This can be done through various channels, such as product packaging, social media campaigns, and informational websites. Finally, manufacturers can work with law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute those involved in the production and distribution of counterfeit products. By taking legal action against counterfeiters, manufacturers can send a clear message that counterfeiting will not be tolerated.

One key aspect of combatting counterfeiting is by utilizing technology. Many companies have been  implementing a robust tracking and tracing system in the supply chain, which can help to identify the source of counterfeit products and prevent them from entering the market. This can involve using serialization, unique identifiers, and other advanced technologies to track products from the point of origin to the end consumer. By implementing a comprehensive tracking system, manufacturers can quickly identify and isolate any counterfeit products that are detected in the supply chain, minimizing the potential impact on consumers and the company’s reputation.

Advancements in technology have also greatly impacted the ways that consumers themselves are able to authenticate products. For example, some brands now use blockchain technology to track the entire supply chain of their products, from raw materials to finished goods. This provides a secure and transparent way for consumers to verify the authenticity of their purchases. Additionally, some companies have developed smartphone apps that allow consumers to scan product codes or labels to instantly verify their authenticity. These tools make it easier than ever for consumers to make informed purchasing decisions and avoid counterfeit products. Another way that technology has impacted authentication is through the use of advanced security features, such as holograms, RFID tags, and smart labels. These features can be embedded within products or packaging to provide unique identifiers that are difficult for counterfeiters to replicate. Finally, some companies are exploring the use of digital fingerprints and other biometric data to further enhance product authentication. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more innovative solutions for authenticating products and protecting consumers from counterfeit goods.

Another important way that technology has impacted authentication is through the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning. There are several ways that AI can help consumers identify counterfeit goods. AI can help consumers identify counterfeit products by analyzing various data points and patterns to quickly and accurately distinguish authentic products from counterfeit ones. AI algorithms can also compare product codes or labels to instantly verify their authenticity. This can help brands and retailers to proactively detect and prevent the distribution of counterfeit goods. This also makes it easier for consumers to make informed purchasing decisions and avoid fake products that might be harmful or of inferior quality. 

Another method is to use machine learning algorithms to analyze product data and detect patterns that indicate counterfeit activity. This can involve analyzing product images, descriptions, and other data to identify anomalies that suggest a product is not genuine. 

Additionally, AI-powered chatbots can assist consumers in real-time by providing them with information about a product’s history, authenticity, and other key factors. AI-powered chatbots can use natural language processing (NLP) to understand and respond to consumer inquiries about a product’s authenticity. These chatbots can access a variety of data sources, including blockchain records, to provide consumers with real-time information about a product’s origin, production history, and other key details. By using AI-powered chatbots, consumers can quickly and easily get the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions, reducing their risk of buying counterfeit goods. Additionally, chatbots can provide personalized recommendations and deals based on a user’s shopping habits, further enhancing the shopping experience. By leveraging the power of AI, consumers can become more informed about the products they are buying, reducing their risk of falling victim to counterfeiters.

Overall, preventing and detecting counterfeiting requires a multifaceted approach that involves the use of technology, strong relationships with suppliers and partners, education for consumers, and collaboration with law enforcement agencies. With these strategies in place, manufacturers and supply chain managers can better safeguard their products and reputation from the negative effects of counterfeiting. Technology, specifically advancements in AI technology, has made it easier for consumers to verify the authenticity of products and has helped to protect both individuals and businesses from the harmful effects of counterfeiting. Utilizing all these resources and with increased help and sophistication of AI methods, manufacturers and consumers can be confident that they are buying genuine products and are protected from the risks associated with counterfeiting.

Bernard Klein is the president of Almont Group Inc. A dedicated father of three, he finds time to run and box while running a successful company that helps clients’ source goods overseas.


digital procurement

How to Choose the Right Procurement Software for Your Business

Quality procurement software is essential for running an efficient operation. Your business’s purchasing process could be made incredibly simple if you select the correct software type. Whether you’re seeking an improvement in supplier management, increased visibility into spending, or just simple cost reduction, procurement software can answer all of these problems and more.

The trouble comes down to ensuring that the software that you choose is the best for your business. Let’s go through a brief framework for selecting the right procurement software for your needs.

Understanding Your Unique Business Needs

The first step in choosing the right software lies in a thorough analysis of your existing procurement processes. Ask yourself questions about who is involved, what kind of tasks need to be performed, and what systems you currently use.

It’s also beneficial to define a list of solid pain points that you can spot in your current process. This can be several factors, including:

  • Time-consuming manual labor
  • Lack of spending insight
  • Difficulty managing supplier relationships

When you’ve deciphered these pain points, the next step is to evaluate what goals and objectives you have for your business, both short-term and long-term, for growth, cost reduction, and supplier management.

Finally, consider what kind of financial state your business is in. What budget do you potentially have for selecting this procurement software? There are many factors to consider when determining this number: upfront costs, ongoing maintenance, and potential savings, to name a few.

Key Features to Hunt For

There are many procurement software out there, and each has its own unique array of features and benefits. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, seek out software that is all-encompassing and features order management, supplier management, contact management, and e-sourcing. Match your business needs with these software features and see what makes the most sense to invest in.

An important feature to consider, particularly for start-ups or small businesses, is scalability and flexibility in software. A reason why someone might want to use ProcureDesk instead of software like, for example, is because it is better equipped to accommodate changes in your business over a long period of time. If your business is well-established and doesn’t expect much future growth, though, you may not consider this factor.

Vendor Evaluation and Selection

When selecting your procurement software, it is important to first spend some time shopping around. Don’t jump onto the first option you see. Take the time to research and shortlist potential vendors based on their compatibility with your business. While everyone has their own set of criteria for a quality vendor, things like reputation, functionality, support, and pricing are all fairly universally considered.

A good way to see not only if a system works for you but also if a vendor is respectful and trustworthy is by requesting demos and trials of the software you’ve narrowed down to. More often than not, the vendor will allow this, and you can see firsthand whether or not the software is a good match for you and your business.

The Importance of Implementation

Once you finally have selected a procurement system for your business, one that you feel fulfills all of your business needs and is vendored by someone respectable, the next thing to consider is how you plan to implement this software. Implementation is an incredibly important, sometimes overlooked, step in successful software adoption.

A few things that are typically done when new software is being implemented are setting up a knowledgeable project team, setting a hard timeline for the implementation, and ensuring that the software has been fully tested and checked for potential errors before go-live occurs.

To take additional measures, provide user training to ensure that employees use the software effectively and maximize its benefits. In the months following implementation, be sure to provide ongoing support, whether that be through the form or technical support, or training updates. When these steps are utilized, continual success is nearly guaranteed.

Build The Best Business You Can

Though finding and using procurement software is a process that has quite a few initial moving parts and complex considerations, it is something that will be incredibly worthwhile in the long run for the efficiency of your business. The amount you’ll save in reduced costs and spending visibility will make this software pay for itself tenfold. Just be sure to conduct the proper research and take the time to slowly implement the change. Then, sit back and watch as your procurement processes improve exponentially!

self-healing mobile business

Self-Healing Trucks and 3 Other Innovations Set to Change Supply Chain Operations

Global supply chains have struggled with labor shortages, material deficiencies, lack of transparency, safety hazards and many other challenges in the last few years. Modern problems require modern solutions. 

Self-healing commercial trucks and these three additional innovations could revolutionize operations and get the economy back on track.

The Science Behind Self-Healing Trucks

Self-healing materials traditionally consisted of small single-use capsules with healing agents inside, but new technology has emerged that can repair itself multiple times. It works through 3D vascular networks like a plant’s root system, sending the healing agent throughout the network to continuously repair damage.

Despite this recent advancement, it has proven difficult to create metals with self-healing properties due to their unique chemical composition. That’s why engineers are focusing all their efforts on polymer research. Self-healing polymers make it possible to create vehicles that can repair scratches, dents and other minor forms of damage.

Recent research on polymers has yielded promising results. They can heal rapidly and regain their previous properties, allowing vehicles to look and perform the same after being damaged. A unique intrinsic polymer can also repair itself automatically without any external influence.

Along with polymers, elastomer composites have also made self-healing cars possible. Elastomers consist of self-healing liquid metals that have proven effective in repairing small electronics. Engineers are working on applying elastomers to the two primary vehicle metals, steel and aluminum.

Self-Healing Truck Applications

These developments are encouraging, but supply chains have yet to see any self-healing truck applications on a wide scale. However, other industries can provide a glimpse of what these vehicles could do. For example, researchers are looking into self-healing polymer coatings for space and deep sea exploration, which are more dangerous environments.

If self-healing coatings can work in such extreme settings, it stands to reason they would be successful in commercial applications. Some have specific roles, such as corrosion protection or scratch resistance. Auto manufacturers could also incorporate these coatings into the existing polyamide compounds in engine covers, air bag containers and many other car parts.

Two other potential applications could be revolutionary: paint and rubber. Fixing paint scratches and blemishes can be expensive and time-consuming, costing up to $3,500 for professional repairs. Adding a self-healing polymer to the paint can help it withstand those scratches and blemishes, minimizing downtime and keeping fleet trucks on the road.

In 2017, researchers at Harvard University developed a self-healing rubber compound by combining covalent and reversible bonds. The result was a strong, flexible and transparent molecular rope that could repair itself and remain in good condition by evenly distributing damage.

Rubber tires typically crack or puncture because too much stress has built up at one small point. Spreading out the pressure makes the rubber much less likely to break under extreme stress. Adding self-healing rubber to commercial vehicles would reduce flats, accidents and delays.

Self-healing roads could be another application with a huge impact on supply chains and society. There is already an official patent for self-healing concrete that uses bacteria-induced calcite precipitation to fill cracks and prevent potholes. 

Other Innovative Supply Chain Technologies

Self-healing vehicles have great potential and get most of the spotlight because of their interesting applications, but other technologies could be equally important in the coming years. Here are three more innovations making waves.

Electronic Control Units

ECUs are a collection of small computers and sensors that can transfer information anywhere worldwide. Along with self-healing technology, they can help commercial vehicles become more independent and efficient. Fleet trucks have seen a major increase in ECUs in the last two decades, bringing people many small steps closer to autonomous vehicles.

As fleets implement more ECUs, each essential vehicle function will be under constant automated supervision. Remote diagnostics will get smarter, and so will the trucks. Once supply chain leaders master ECU technology, the next step toward autonomous cars will be to install multiple parts that can perform the same task when the original is damaged.

As of 2023, the highest level of vehicle automation that manufacturers have reached is Level 4 – high driving automation. Driverless taxis, automated public transportation and other commercial vehicles with limited applications fall under this category. They don’t need a human driver and can stop themselves if a system failure occurs. However, this technology is still in its infancy and is not ready for widespread adoption across the supply chain.

Self-healing technology and ECUs can work hand in hand to keep commercial vehicles on the road despite minor setbacks. Although completely autonomous cars might still be far away, these two advancements are big steps in the right direction.

Geospatial Technology

With material shortages and delivery delays plaguing the global supply chain, close monitoring has never been more important. Geospatial monitoring with GIS and GPS systems enables fleet managers to constantly supervise each vehicle, identify disruptions and mitigate them before they cause delays.

GPS also simplifies supply chains by helping managers identify the optimal drop-off and pickup locations, leading to quicker deliveries and lower shipping costs. Businesses can easily map their entire supply chains and find the best suppliers with the fastest routes. They can even monitor changing traffic patterns and other potential causes for delays.

Geospatial technology also plays a role in inventory management. Warehouse managers can see which units are ready for delivery and which vehicles would make the fastest delivery time. Remote geospatial sensors can also use their insights to predict buying surges and other supply chain trends, helping managers stay ahead of the curve.


Blockchain technology consists of decentralized, immutable digital ledgers that ensure complete transparency during online transactions. Nobody can change blockchain records once they are finalized. This technology started as a platform for cryptocurrency exchanges but can play the same role and improve visibility along supply chains. 

Blockchain records are ideal for establishing trust, traceability and continuity in supply chain management. During the height of the pandemic, hospitals in Britain used blockchain to secure vaccine shipments when people needed them most. This technology can bring the same value to other industries and products as it expands.

Strengthening Supply Chains One Innovation at a Time

The aftershock of COVID-19 is still apparent throughout the supply chain. Industry leaders face an uphill battle but can slowly strengthen it one innovation at a time. Self-healing trucks, ECUs, geospatial technology and blockchain are four such innovations. Look for them to play more important roles in the coming years.

smart port

Smart Ports Market is Predicted to Touch US$ 16 Billion by 2033

The global smart ports market is set to garner US$ 16 billion by 2033, surging ahead at 20.4% CAGR from 2023 to 2033. A smart port is an automated port that uses cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), and blockchain to improve its operation. Since the volume of trade is consistently expanding, adopting such advanced technologies has become vital to increase internal effectiveness and operations.

Growing trade activities and the rising trend of automation throughout industries are driving the worldwide smart ports market. Due to the increased national and international trade via maritime transport, numerous harbor authorities around the world are rapidly implementing smart technologies. Moreover, many shipping corporations have collaborated with tech firms to develop blockchain shipping solutions for enhancing maritime logistics.

Furthermore, rising government initiatives aimed at developing smart port infrastructure and upgrading existing ports are expected to provide enormous opportunities for market growth. The use of smart port technologies is increasing because they help provide optimized parking places, improve traffic systems, and gather and aggregate information on the port authority, pollution, weather, customer, and owner.


Key Takeaways from Market Study

  • The global smart ports market amounted to US$ 2.5 billion in 2022.
  • Worldwide demand for smart ports is expected to increase at a CAGR of 20.4% during the forecast period (2023 to 2033).
  • The global market is projected to achieve a valuation of US$ 16 billion by 2033.
  • Asia Pacific accounted for 37% share of the global market in 2022.
  • The process automation segment captured 34% of the worldwide market in 2022.
  • The extensively busy ports segment is predicted to witness substantial growth over the next ten years.

“Global smart ports market expected to grow significantly during the forecast period due to increasing need for port authorities to minimize operational costs, collect real-time data, and make data-driven decisions,” says a Fact.MR analyst.

Competitive Landscape

Key players in the smart ports market are actively implementing marketing tactics such as collaborations, investments, and acquisitions to gain market share. Furthermore, numerous start-ups are raising funds to focus on new developments.

  • As Per a 2019 Allianz safety and shipping research, 70% of marine mishaps are caused by human mistakes; therefore, Seadronix, a start-up based in South Korea, is working on eliminating this problem. The company received a US$ 5.8 million Series A extension in October 2022 to grow its AI-based ship berthing monitoring and navigation technologies, which would assist cargo ships in securely navigating and port operators in mooring their vehicles at the harbor.
  • ABB, a Swedish multinational firm based in Switzerland that runs smart ports, absorbed InCharge Energy in January 2022. This acquisition is planned to broaden ABB’s e-mobility division’s clientele in North America by delivering fleet electrification and digital services.

Regional Analysis

Asia Pacific is leading the worldwide smart ports market due to the presence of multiple ports with higher throughput capacity in the region. Furthermore, Japan and South Korea are significantly assisting regional market growth.

North America and Europe are also experiencing tremendous growth as a result of increased investments by local governments to improve port infrastructure. The United States is dominating the North American market. Germany is contributing massively to the European market.

More Valuable Insights on Offer

Fact.MR, in its new offering, presents an unbiased analysis of the global smart ports market, presenting historical demand data (2018 to 2022) and forecast statistics for the period (2023 to 2033).

The study divulges essential insights on the market on the basis of technology (process automation, artificial intelligence, internet of things, blockchain) and throughput capacity (extensively busy, moderately busy, scarcely busy), across five major regions of the world (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa).