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How is Technology Impacting the Logistics Business?

By Guest Contributor on March 19, 2020

Technology is like a restless being, always evolving. This evolution of technology has pushed the boundaries of and changed the way the world does business today.

Today, technology has ensured that it can receive items from thousands of kilometers away in a day – something unheard of less than a hundred years ago. Technology has also improved the way goods are transported.

From faster trucks to better roads to improved productivity in supply chains, all of these advances have impacted logistics in one way or the other.

Here are some examples of how technology has impacted the logistics industry in the last few years.

Tracking packages

As recently as the 1990s, all customers had was an estimate of the delivery date and needed to wait until their packages were delivered, or make expensive phone calls to the courier companies to know the status of their shipment.

Delays were the norm in those days and were accepted with a pinch of salt. With the advent of the internet, customers can track their packages in real-time, ensuring that they know exactly where their package is at a particular point in time.

This brought about a revolution in the shipping industry as truckers could no longer delay shipments they carried without reason, and neither could companies forward these shipments as the customer always knew where their package was and the reason for the delay.

Now, with the advent of mobile phones, customers can track their packages at any time, without having to call or open a website.

Navigation and GPS

Many years ago, the possibility of a GPS-enabled navigation device was limited to sci-fi movies. Truckers would frequently get lost or end up taking longer routes, increasing frustration for themselves, the logistics company and their customers.

The advent of mobile and GPS-enabled devices has ensured that truckers can now travel to unknown locations with ease, with near-zero chances of getting lost or taking longer routes.

Transportation companies end up saving more by optimizing routes and ensuring that drivers adhere to speed limits and use faster roads. These devices also allow companies to track their trucks, ensuring that their customers know where their shipment is at all times.

RFID and IOT for inventory and supply chain management

Tracking inventory and shipments was initially a manual process, involving phone calls or manual labour. With the advent of RFIDs, containers and packages can now be tracked and managed autonomously, removing the need for manual labour and delays or errors in data entry.

RFID tags ensure that data can be transmitted wirelessly, without requiring any inputs from individuals at each scanning site.

Coupling RFID with IoT has been a boon for the shipping industry. With sensors built into vehicles and processes being manned autonomously, IoT and RFID have become the next revolution for the logistics industry by leveraging this data to provide meaningful information that helps reduce costs, eliminate delays and avoiding risks that mar the logistics industry today.

Automating tracking and monitoring has been made possible by IoT and RFID, eliminating the chances of human error.

Leveraging Social Media for outreach

The advent of social media has been a boon for the logistics industry. With increased customer interactions and real-time responses, logistics companies today are leveraging the power of social media to enhance their customer response times and provide immediate customer service. Using social media also enhances business visibility and builds brand value.

Drone powered delivery

With the latter now being used by tech biggies like Amazon, drone delivery is now a reality. Prime Air reduces wait times to under an hour for customers who usually had to wait a day for delivery or at least until the end of the day.

Although marred by regulatory measures, drone delivery is currently being used to deliver packages within warehouses from storage to shipment and reducing delays by up to 90%.

Autonomous vehicles for long-haul delivery

Autonomous vehicles have been made a reality by companies like Tesla. With logistics companies like Uber already venturing into the autonomous long-haul delivery route, the day is not far when we begin to see unmanned vehicles powered by IoT and the internet delivering shipments to last-mile locations.

Technology, as we know it today has been enhancing and revolutionizing the logistics industry to ensure faster delivery and enhanced customer satisfaction.

This, coupled with unmanned vehicle technology has the potential to make deliveries completely human-error free.

As technology grows by leaps and bounds, we should soon see an automated pack, dispatch and delivery process become a reality.

Author Bio:- Shivam Gupta(Co-founder and Co-CEO at Volumetree) is a strong promoter of entrepreneurship having a demonstrated history of working with start-ups and companies across the globe, assisting them to execute digital solutions across different sectors such as Transportation, Healthcare, Logistics, Hospitality, and IoT.

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