New technologies are making a huge impact on all industries and the logistics business is by no means an exception. The rise of Artificial Intelligence and other smart technologies enabled transport and warehousing managers to enhance and optimize business operations across all verticals.
But the changes in this field are happening so rapidly that the majority of logistics companies are struggling to keep pace and combine traditional practices with the latest features. Only the most agile teams are able to react promptly and outperform competitors thanks to the wide range of professional novelties.
In this article, we will show you five ways of how advanced technologies are disrupting transport and logistics business models. Let’s take a look!
1. A Changing Freight Brokerage
The first thing we need to take into account is that the freight brokerage is changing due to the influence of smart technologies. The concept is known by many names such as:
- Digital freight matching
- On-demand trucking
- Smart logistics
How is the freight brokerage evolving?
The idea is simple – logistics companies create and launch apps that can handle orders more precisely in real-time. Instead of annoying and time-consuming phone arrangements, carriers and shippers can now control the process online in just a few clicks.
Jake Gardner, a friend of mine who analyzes business trends, explains that apps allow users to identify nearby suppliers: “It’s an all-around approach that makes it easy to complete the brokerage process. In other words, logistics operations are becoming better, faster, and more efficient.”
2. Virtual Logistics Teams Are a New Thing
Remote work is another trend that strongly impacts traditional logistics and transport businesses. Instead of hiring employees locally to plan and monitor thousands of shipments daily, you can now form a universal team of remote workers who will get the job done just as productively.
As a matter of fact, virtual logistics teams are even more productive because employees enjoy the privilege of working from their homes. There are no travel expenses, time-waste, real-estate changes, and so on.
What gives this trend a big boost is the rise of freelancing platforms.
A website like Upwork helps logistics managers to find thousands of talented professionals remotely and hire them as needed. Freelancing networks highlight users’ experiences and their past projects, so you can determine the quality of job applicants almost instantly.
3. Delivery Bots and Drones
A serious organization must appreciate and understand the value of bots already. After all, you get to see bots almost everywhere these days. For instance, companies like NSBroker use chatbots to interact with their clients.
However, the trend extends well beyond customer service. This is a crucial detail for transport and logistics businesses because they get to use delivery bots and drones. It’s not only a great way to reduce driving hours but also to reduce operational costs to the bare minimum.
UPS, the world’s largest package delivery company, believes it can save money and deliver more packages by launching drones from its trucks. They already rely on drones to deliver packages in remote areas as it doesn’t pay off to drive so many miles just to complete a minor delivery.
4. Self-Driving Trucks Are Reshaping the Industry
This trend goes hand in hand with the previous one. Namely, many transport companies are already experimenting with self-driving trucks as a way to cut expenses and provide clients with a much better experience.
According to some reports, the road to nearly fully autonomous fleets will not be much more than a decade long. It is clear that the new concept will require a lot of planning, preparations, and monitoring, but it is also evident that the trend is actively reshaping logistics as we know it.
Self-driving trucks influence the industry on so many levels, but the main conclusion is very simple – operational costs will go down. With full autonomy, operating costs would decline by about 45%, saving the US for-hire trucking industry between $85 billion and $125 billion.
5. Data Automation
Data automation is the last but definitely not the least important trend on our list. The trend is already alive and kicking, but it will keep growing and getting even more influential long-term.
It doesn’t require too many explanations because data accuracy represents a quintessence of every transport and logistics organization. What can a more powerful model of data analytics do for your business? There are several things to consider here:
- It can help you to reduce travel times and optimize route networks
- It can help you to minimize the number of active drivers and trucks
- It can help you to improve delivery times in the long run
Operating a logistics company is getting increasingly difficult in the last few years. With so many IT trends and state of the art technologies emerging every year, the only way to stay competitive is by acknowledging and embracing new models of work.
In this post, we analyzed five ways of how advanced technologies were disrupting transport and logistics business models. Have you already thought about using some of these trends in your organization?
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