How Technology Is Impacting the Logistics Industry
Whether you’ve been working in the logistics field for years or even decades or have just joined the career, it’s vital to stay up to date on the latest trends.
In recent years, technology has had a major impact on how firms in areas such as shipping, freight and supply chain management operate and the kinds of profits they can make.
Here are some of the ways in which technology is impacting the logistics industry.
Today, consumers expect to receive their deliveries much more quickly, and on time. They also want to be able to enjoy more flexible deliveries. As a result, there is now increased pressure on those in the logistics field to find ways to reduce delays and ensure almost instantaneous delivery.
In addition, there’s the need to be more flexible with where deliveries can be made and making delivery location changes possible after shipments have left warehouses.
Businesses that thrive are those which are able to be exceptionally reliable and adaptable. Thankfully, though, technology has also improved supply chain processes, which makes it easier for freight firms and related carriers to get deliveries completed in less time.
Of course, another big expectation consumers have, related to shipments, is that they will be able to track them from start to finish. This relates not just to consumer clients, but also to companies.
Customers of all types want to be able to monitor their orders to get an idea of when delivery will occur and if there are any issues in transit.
Once, customers had to book a shipment and be satisfied with receiving an estimated delivery date before being left in the dark until their packages turned up. Today, software advances mean that 24/7 tracking is available and expected.
This change isn’t just a boon for consumers, either. For logistics firms, tracking enables cost and time savings.
Rather than having to answer constant questions and complaints from customers about what’s happening, clients can get information for themselves online. Plus, if there are changes to deliveries, firms can send out automated messages on the fly.
Due to the availability of vehicle tracking solutions now, there is also increased tracking of both parcels and vehicles. Most cars and trucks used for freight have GPS and other systems to track where they are and if they’re on time or held up somewhere.
This helps companies monitor and manage shipments.
With more information available for everyone involved, and better communication between drivers, vehicles, warehouses and head offices, plus customizable reporting, a lot of the headaches and bottlenecks have been removed. Information is updated and relayed in real-time.
Another big change in the logistics industry that’s come about because of technology is that routing is improved. With state-of-the-art GPS software, there’s no worry about drivers getting lost and consumers experiencing delays in delivery.
Plus, even better, technology can be used to improve routing, so drivers take the most efficient paths to get places.
Not only can this be worked out before they leave a destination, but they can also be advised of a better way to go once they’re en route, based on issues such as traffic accidents, road works or other unexpected delays .
This ability to enjoy more efficient routing also saves companies money as it means vehicles drive fewer miles and waste less gas.
Another benefit technology is giving logistics firms is that they can utilize predictive maintenance tools that analyze vehicles remotely.
By checking sensor data and equipment monitoring tools, companies can work out when any vehicle within their fleet, no matter the size of that fleet, requires maintenance.
This leads to various benefits. For instance, there is less downtime of vehicles because they’re maintained before big issues arise. In turn, costs are reduced and the reliability of services is increased for customers.
Driver behavior can now also be monitored closely with technology. Companies can get insights into how fast their drivers are going, if they break certain speed limits or road rules and how they consume fuel.
In addition, by using software to track driver behavior, freight businesses can keep track of the hours worked by drivers and be alerted to employees driving when they’re too tired to be safe (which can also potentially make companies liable, if accidents occur).