In the logisctics industry, quantum computing is also earmarked as a key trand within the next five to ten years. With Quantum Computers, logistics providers can optimize supply chain processes with real-time dynamism that is not achievable by regular desktop computers or supercomputers.
For instance, the fast and dynamic optimization of routes continues to be an issue troubling the industry where expectations of speed and cost-effectiveness are high. Quantum computers will allow an improvement at this stage very soon.
Quantum computers will also be important to build a new generation of supply chain which will be more resilient. Quantum computers will allow more efficient reallocation and planning of assets in the event of unexpected events (shutdowns, late shipments or order cancellations).
Quantum computers and the ‘traveling salesman problem’
First formulated in 1930, the ‘Traveling Salesman Problem’ (TSP) is an algorithmic problem used to calculate the most efficient path between a set of points. The more points there are, the higher the number of possible unique paths. It is an NP-hard problem in combinatorial optimization, important in theoretical computer science and operations research.
While trying all possibilities is an option, it is also the most time-consuming and expensive method. Quantum computers will be faster than conventional computers in picking the optimal route.
In logistics, the application of quantum computing would be a good fit since the last-mile delivery process requires an optimized route that allows for the delivery of a series of packages to different addresses in the shortest time possible.