The digital world has been growing gradually since the beginning of the millennium. Nonetheless, the COVID-19 pandemic escalated the growth to the next level. Consequently, automation, artificial intelligence and digitally empowered solutions have taken the centre stage. This powerful technological transformation has permeated into all the sectors including logistics.
Definitely, automation has become key to logistics efficiency. Real-time tracking of shipments and deliveries, instant sharing of info regarding replenishments, and efficient and productive performance have been the most evident advantages of automated systems.
How Does Automation Benefit Logistics Services?
Integration of advanced automation systems offers several benefits to the logistics service provider as well as the client. It acts as an interface between both parties and enables seamless communication and transparent data.
Constant Tracking of the Shipment
Visibility of the cargo or the shipment was an impossible thing earlier. The consignee had to wait until the shipper sent a message confirming the status. Of course, the probable ETA has also changed several times due to complications during transportation or unforeseen geopolitical scenarios. In either case, the client could not ascertain the real status. Nevertheless, we had to rely on the info shared by the logistics service provider. Automation powered by digital technology changed the scenario entirely. Logistics services utilizing automation offer real-time tracking of the shipment and all the activities are transparent and clear throughout.
Stage-wise Shipment Info
The Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are the crucial technical evolutions that have fortified the digital world. Both the technologies are being further developed at a rapid pace. Of course, the enhancements would soon be reflected in human lives and would make life easier and more productive. Automation systems used in logistics provide stage-wise shipment info. It would help in business analytics, planning-related activities and so on.
Lower the Logistics Expenses
Automation will aid in monitoring the shipment constantly. This would be useful in evading unwarranted budget overheads and expenses due to erroneous activities at hubs. The logistics services can institute corrective measures to alleviate the lacunae and ensure further movement of the shipment. The money saved will in turn reduce the overall expenses. It will aid the shipping company to lower the shipment charges. They can obtain more clients with cheaper logistics services.
Improve Productivity of the Logistics Team
Automated systems and IoT will help reduce human efforts for monitoring, scheduling, and planning. In fact, once the flawless system is in place the freight management softwares will function as well-oiled machinery without the need for human interference. A person may be appointed to track the shipment and update the client if necessary. That’s all you may have to do. As a result, errors will come down significantly, manpower costs will be reduced, and profit will increase.
Optimize the Logistics Route
You are going to have two great benefits when you optimize the route; the first one is that you will be having a budget-friendly route, and then the quick delivery will get you more clients. Identifying the best route by undertaking physical evaluation is a herculean task. That itself would require a mammoth budget. Nevertheless, the digital revolution and automation supported by state-of-the-art algorithms have been useful in calculating the routes to optimize logistics support.
Enhance the Safety of the cargo as well as the Team
As we have said before, automation will reduce the requirement for human intervention phenomenally. Consequently, the staff doesn’t have to be involved in any of the shipment activities physically. Even if they had to intervene at times, the requirement would be minimal. Therefore, the probabilities of accidents and damage to the cargo, and related problems will be evaded.
Go Green, Reduce Paperwork
Reducing paperwork and physical financial transactions are the two other advantages of digital technology. The pandemic has played a role in elevating the number of digital transactions. Digital financial transactions have been in millions a couple of years ago, now it is in billions. Further, the reduction in paperwork will help reduce deforestation, even though minimal. It will also be helpful for the employees to focus on business activities instead of spending much time writing down everything in a ledger.
Geofencing is Another Prominent Factor
Geofencing is a location-based marking system. Technology allows you to mark specific points in an area and connect those to make a virtual boundary called geofencing. All the activities happening in the marked region would be intimated to the responsible persons in real-time. This will alert the client’s warehouse team, the driver of the logistics service, the team assigned to make the necessary documentation and provide assistance etc. Imagine how useful it would be to have geofencing activated. With this, none of the parties has to wait impatiently for the shipment. The automated alert will reach them whenever the shipment reaches their location.
These are some of the main benefits of automation in the logistics sector. Undoubtedly, it is the key to logistics efficiency.
Although automation is key to logistics efficiency, many companies are yet to switch to a completely automated system. Only a few have taken the plunge and implemented advanced digital technology in their systems. The remaining are still leaning on physical labour and manual ledgers. We are hoping that they would also take this futuristic route soon.
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