Technology is Revolutionizing the Logistics Industry
Published on Feb 20, 2020
In the logistics and supply chain industry, new inventions and advancements with technology range from custom-integrations of proven solutions (such as cryptocurrency AI platforms) to more industry-focused inventions (such as automated or self-driving vehicles). And it seems like, with every passing year, technology is revolutionizing the logistics industry in awe-inspiring ways.
These tech solutions attempt to solve all sorts of problems that can and do plague supply chains.
Whether it be an upgrade to improve communication or a brand new solution to improve the customer experience, technology is indeed the heartbeat of the modern logistics industry.
What Issues is the Industry Facing?
Whether it’s LTL, FTL, or multimodal transportation, one glaring problem supply chains face is finding more effective solutions for moving freight on roadways across the globe:
A shortage of qualified drivers
The 1,000-pound gorilla in the room with transportation companies is a quickly aging demographic of CDL drivers of semi-trucks.
There is a growing trend in logistics to reduce the dependence of fossil fuels in transportation and go a greener, more sustainable route.
Transportation companies spend millions every single year on research and development to come up with cleaner-burning solutions.
Improve Speed of Deliveries
Customers today expect deliveries to happen quickly.
However, new regulations on hours of service for drivers and the reduced pool of drivers are making this difficult.
How Technology can Help Resolve Those Issues
Autonomous driven commercial vehicles help to solve many of the current challenges the supply chain faces. As more self-driving vehicles are tested, the ability to reduce shipping lead time, improve hours of service, and better serve customers is closer to reality.
A recent cross-country, self-driving freight movement was completed. Hauling 40,000 pounds of butter, a Silicon Valley-based tech firm Plus.ai has shown that the self-driving solutions sought after by nearly all large transportation companies are closer to reality.
The test was completed in multiple weather conditions, on several highways and local roads, and navigated multiple hurdles with few problems.
Quicker Communication Through the Supply Chain
Amazon always sets the standard with eCommerce – that’s just a statement of fact they’ve proven over the past decade. One item that nearly all supply chain stakeholders are looking to duplicate is the methods Amazon and other leaders use to connect with customers, to fulfillment centers, suppliers and more.
There are several technology solutions such as cloud-based warehouse management systems, that can quickly send updates to customers (on status of their shipments), changes in order requests (to expedite fulfillment), and provide quicker notifications to shippers, carriers, and third parties.
Improved Commitment Service
Another customer standard that plagues logistics businesses is trying to improve white glove or last-mile logistics services.
Delivery commitments – meaning the ability to fulfill as promised, is an important customer service attribute that can make or break a modern supply chain entity.
To improve delivery commitment, many logistics and transportation companies are integrating Route Optimization Platforms that permit them to better schedule delivery and pick up routes, make quick changes and updates to drivers on the road, and ultimately – better serve the customer.
Additional technology solutions such as fleet management solutions help these logistics companies keep their equipment running in peak efficiency, reducing downtime, save money on maintenance and needless repairs, and more.
How a 3PL Can Help
Ultimately, technology within the supply chain can help to resolve many of the issues that this industry deals with today and tomorrow. One of the best resources available to companies involved in freight movement is a professional third-party logistics company – such as Redwood Logistics.
Professional 3PL’s are always on the cutting edge of technology solutions. However, their value is enhanced through the experience they have in every aspect of supply chain management. Whether it’s manufacturing, fulfillment, warehousing, shipping, eCommerce, or multimodal transportation, an expert like Redwood Logistics can help you discover areas of opportunity and recommend or customize the right technology to help you.