Like you know, technology keeps advancing, and anyone who has its own business knows that keeping up with the trends is one of the most important ways to stay ahead of the competition. However, some industries have been affected by recent developments just like the logistics and transportation business. If you think about cloud computing, that has really opened up the business. Small businesses that previously never had access to a supply chain can now compete with some bigger operations, and that brings lots of opportunities for logistics companies. Companies that decide not to follow the trend and upgrade their technology don’t stay relevant and have little hope of succeeding in the future.
Here are some of the current and future technologies you should be aware of.
Advanced Package Tracking
We’ve all heard of GPS, right? That is nothing new for the logistics industry. Most companies, if not all of them, have the ability to track their drivers, but the sophisticated features of this technology are on the way. Developers are currently learning how to develop a logistics app and want to fold new features in to future versions without having to rewrite codes.
Current GPS technologies have assisted communications with drivers. Some really convenient automated functions help drivers by sending them alerts when they’re approaching their destination, automatically suggesting other routes if the traffic is jammed, and record mileage and driver hours.
Besides the mentioned things, you have oversight on a whole fleet’s activities. The GPS information is stored in a centralized database, and managers can see when trucks need to be scheduled for maintenance or when a check engine pops up in a truck’s computer. This comes back to a more efficient fleet and prevents late deliveries and inconvenient breakdowns. On top of all that, managers can track behaviors of their drivers like speeding and quick stops. Not only do these functions improve fuel performance, but they also create safe conditions on the roads, and many insurance companies started offering discounts for companies that use this type of technology.
The Internet of Things
Logistics providers have a more advanced understanding of their warehouses and trucks than ever before. RFID tracking allows for an affordable approach to tracking packages and reduces human error. One of the good things is that warehouse workers can know exactly where all of the merchandise is located, and less effort has to be put into data entry and paperwork.
The internet of things can offer more robust control of freight tracking. Companies usually have to work with clients in different industries, and the type of freight they’re looking for requires specialized oversight. Yes, this requires logistics businesses to specialize in their client partners, but the solutions make shipping a lot easier. It doesn’t matter what you are shipping. It can be medical supplies that need to be maintained at a certain temperature or sensitive chemicals, all of this can be handled thanks to the central base of information.
Transportation Management Software
Management software apps are all over the market, and some of them offer amazing features. The biggest advantage of?management software?is that it joins all of the platforms into one interface. Usually, these software platforms unify employee scheduling, accounting, and customer relationship management into one package.
Luckily, there are a bunch of management apps made for the transportation and logistics industry. One of the things these platforms do is drawing from internal databases to make more accurate and quick estimates for clients, deliver proof of delivery, and create an interface for online booking requests. Some of them can even provide cargo tracking options.
Running operations is much easier for transportation companies now because they can get everything they need in a single and convenient package.
Machine Learning and Cloud Computing
You rarely run into a business today that doesn’t benefit from recent development in cloud computing and machine learning in some way. These disciplines rely on servers that store and process information and they get massive results that were previously available only with a server farm.
Cloud computing has its uses in a mobile app technology stack. The cloud is the most used method for delivering the information from warehouse to driver and back, but that’s just one small part of how these technologies can be implemented. The biggest advantage of these two technologies comes in the form of analytics. Big Data is on a good path to rule the future of the logistics industry because it provides companies with the means to run a better and more sophisticated business. In other words, administrators can see the decisions that were made and weaknesses that are causing them to lose money by just reading data from GPS and other sources. Machine learning goes a bit further and it allows for a deeper and better understanding of larger data patterns. Not only do these algorithms identify trends and patterns that would probably never be seen by human operators, but they also identify trends and opportunities for the company’s better future. It quite logical that the more information is available, the more accurate the results will be, and that’s one of the reasons why it’s important for logistics companies to start implementing this technology into their operations.
You may have heard that Amazon has started using flying drones in their shipment process, but that technology still isn’t ready to be implemented into logistics yet. You have to think about a number of safety questions, but the possibility that the current method of delivery will be swapped with driverless cars and drones will play a major role in the future of logistics. However, we are pretty sure that these automated vehicles won’t replace drivers anytime soon. Preferably, there will be some sort of assisted driving that can greatly reduce accidents and ensure the driver’s safety. This tech is still in development, but it’s worth thinking about implementing it in your company when it becomes available. You can only benefit from that technology, and you would stay ahead of the competition.