After Warehouse management, we continue to explore Digital Twin for Shipment, another sector of Logistics and Supply Chain.

Read more: Digital Twin Series Part 1: How Digital Twin help improve warehouse management

The Digital Twin concept is an emerging framework for the last two decades that brings efficiency and cost-saving. In the previous article, we explored the idea of Digital Twin and its application in Warehouse Management. We will continue to discuss its potential and application in Shipments.

Digital Twins for Shipment: A promising technology for asset-heavy sectors

Warehouse management technology

In one publication on Digital Twins in 2018, Deloitte predicted that Digital Twins’ global growth would reach 38% per year and obtain the value of $16 billion in 2023. Recently, Forbes indicates Digital Twinning is one of the technologies that drive strong ROI and other tangible benefits. 

In the same research, Deloitte also points out that Digital Twins is especially beneficial in asset-heavy sectors. It can update the most current state of the “real thing,” simulate multiple probabilities and analyze the impact of the action on different aspects without the actual operation of the entity. 

Especially in the shipping industry, Seanews indicates that “The virtual replica offers great assistance in optimizing maintenance, performance and designing procedures of the vessels. It can also be employed at ports to achieve better efficiency.”

Application of Digital Twins for Shipments

By and large, Digital Twins can improve Various aspects in the shipping industry. Some of them are

Item protection

According to DHL, creating a digital twin for the container that carries all the sensor-attached packages is the next logical step. The sensors will then connect to those of the digital container. The operators can now monitor the real container’s status and make timely adjustments when items’ conditions are threatened.

Even the shipments of sensitive, this manner can supervise high-value commodities like pharmaceuticals and delicate electronic components. With these practices, companies can optimize utilization and product protection, DHL indicates.

Port operation

port management

According to Hoffman and Branding, ports continuously switch between two undesirable passes in the operating system: understock and overstock. The underlying cause is the dispatchers’ decision-making process which may be affected by required lead-time and unpredictable factors. On the contrary, simulation-based decision support systems can evaluate various rule configurations, enabling sophisticated optimization and considering complex stochastic impacts.

Hoffman and Branding also explained the framework in which digital twins could assist in the decision-making process by forecasting the system performance and dispatching policy options.

This system directly relates to various levels of buffer parameters, based on which the detacher could communicate with other stakeholders for additional information. Ultimately, we can optimize the loading area space and the number of standby vehicles at the terminal.

Shipbuilding and Designing

According to Seanews, digital twinning can help firms and designers:

  • Illustrate technology performance
  • Check system quality insurance
  • Predict influences of the design in shipbuilding
  • Examine the practicality of the design in advance so that the building procedure can start more cost-effectively and smoothly. 

This movement can significantly benefit an asset-heavy industry like shipment, where construction costs and maintenance costs are high. It is also a better use of time and workforce when altering the designs digitally instead of physically. Thus, Digital Twin can drastically transform capital allocation in the shipping industry.

All in all, Digital Twinning can be a helpful tool for Shipment, a sector that depends profoundly on assets and has a high operational cost.