Upcoming Intelligent Logistics Projects at DIAL with SF Express Fellowship

DIAL has recently signed projects with Scania Spare Parts Logistics in Belgium, and Glovoapp Inc in Spain. These projects, led by Maharshi Dhada, are aimed at cutting-edge and impactful research in logistics. The project with Scania Spare Parts Logistics (SPL) aims at optimising the logistics of spare parts for their operating trucks. Specifically, spare parts demand prediction algorithms are developed using a dataset of Scania’s global spare parts demands in the past 5 years. However, the unavailability of sufficient training data due to constant upgrades to the trucks - electric trucks for example giving rise to new components - or for rare failures pose a challenge. To that end, we are developing algorithms for cross learning within spare parts families for combining supporting information such as prognosis with demand prediction. 

In another project we partnered with Glovoapp Inc for restaurant and grocery deliveries. The project focuses on (1) forecasting consumer orders over a future horizon, and (2) matching the consumer orders with couriers in real-time. Local customer behaviour and demands vary significantly across the 200 cities Glovo operates in. Using hierarchical modelling technique the project develops prediction algorithms tailored for specific cities while learning delivery patterns from other similar cities in the Glovo network.

As part of the SF Express fellowship, Maharshi also collaborates with the forecasting team at SF Express in China for forecasting postal demand predictions in the Chinese postal network. With the Shoestring team, a workshop was conducted to identify challenges faced by SF Express Logistics to develop possible low-cost solutions to address the challenges. We are now working towards realising these solutions in the upcoming months.

Other interesting points:
•    We shall be hosting a guest lecturer from Glovo in late November as part of the Industrial Logistics module. Everyone in IfM is welcome to attend the same and know more about the very interesting data-driven logistics research at Glovo. 
•    DIAL researchers work on several logistics and related projects which shall be discussed in the upcoming DIAL Logistics Theme Meeting to showcase the research for identifying possible internal collaborations, the date of which shall be finalised soon, and everyone in DIAL are encouraged to join the same. 
•    We collaborate with the Alan Turing Institute (ATI) to develop hierarchical modelling solutions for various applications, primarily in line with time-series and events forecasting. We also host a reading group in Bayesian Data Analysis at the ATI, please get in touch as this is a great knowledge exchange opportunity with some of the best data scientists in the country!
•    We are also finalising collaborations with the Indian Institute of Technology Indore and Glasgow Caledonian University, that shall enable student projects and academic knowledge exchange programmes across these institutions.

*Maharshi continues to work with DIAL after finishing his PhD, now as the SF Express Research Fellow in Industrial Logistics at Darwin College and IfM since March 2022. 

For more information on this project, please contact Maharshi Dhada.

Date published

26 October 2022

For further information please contact:

Maharshi Dhada

E: mhd37@cam.ac.uk

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