Bringing Technology into the Present
These days, when customers order something online, they have come to expect to receive it in two days or less. Most are willing to pay the cost to get it faster, too. Even large manufacturers who count on freight companies to handle their logistics are demanding faster deliveries.
That demand combined with advanced technology is creating new and exciting ways to provide better customer service, faster deliveries, and more. Here are 5 ways app technology impacts the American Logistics Industry:
#1: Better Customer Service
In an industry that accounts for more than a trillion dollars in spending and makes up more than 8% of the GDP of the U.S., continued growth relies on great customer service. With global markets opening up in the most remote parts of the world, new apps are making it easier.
In fact, this report highlighted two technologies that are changing the way small and large firms do business: electronic data exchange (EDI and business intelligence (BI).
With EDI businesses are able to more effectively streamline their operations providing a uniform platform for sharing and processing information. For complex logistics, that means being able to coordinate shipments between air, ground, and sea seamlessly from top to bottom.
By the same token business intelligence apps allows for better business allows for real-time analysis while cargo is in transit. That allows recipients to view the status of their packages, logistics companies to anticipate delays and make on-the-fly adjustments.
#2: Faster Deliveries
Instead of dropping off a load of cargo and then going back to the warehouse for more, apps like Drivewyze are reducing empty returns for truckers. The app allows drivers to alert area shippers that they have space in their truck to complete their deliveries faster.
This type of app is mutually beneficial. It saves on fuel costs for the trucking company and enables the shipper to provide even faster deliveries. Particularly for small businesses with LTL cargo, they no longer have to wait to schedule a delivery, the freighter comes to them.
Drivewyze also helps drivers save money on weigh station fees by running their information through the Department of Transportation database so that they can bypass weigh stations. They provide this service through 35 different states.
#3: Leverage for Small Firms
Cargomatic is another app that is making it easier for small trucking firms to compete. This app is modeled after the well-known “Uber” app. It works similarly to Drivewyze allowing last minute pickups that are requested right on their Smartphone.
Cloud technology is giving more leverage for small trucking firms. Smartphones allow them to scan and access information using a “Cam Scanner.” Just like major carriers like UPS and FedEx, even independent trucking firms have access to advanced technology now that gives them the same edge as their big name competitors.
#4: Cost Effective Transportation
As more and more of these apps come onto the market, it is becoming an industry unto itself. Recently Trucker Path secured $20 million in investment funds for its app for truckers. This app has many functions and more are being added including:
- Finding Nearby Weigh Stations (All 50 States)
- Reviews of Area Truck Stops and Repair Shops
- Connects Truck Drivers with Shippers
Trucker Path plans to integrate all freight functions in the near future, saving truckers an estimated $100 per load in negotiated fees. Instead of searching hundreds of loadboards and negotiating over the phone, truckers will be able to find cargo much more efficiently and cost effectively.
#5: Real-Time Logistics
Out of all of the ways that app technology is impacting the U.S. logistics industry, the most compelling and sought after apps allow for real-team logistics management. ABI Research estimates that by 2017 80% of all new cars produced in the U.S. will be “connected” or “telematic.”
Right now having GPS, Sirius radio, and dashboard calling are just the beginning. That same technology is fast becoming a feature of the newest big rigs as well. Being able to get real-time information, to see where traffic accidents or detours will slow deliveries, and more will have an even bigger impact on the logistics industry in years to come.
Business headquarters will be able to be in touch with their drivers and see where they are in route to their destination. If there is a problem in pickup, delivery, or even to suggest a new route, dispatchers will be able to coordinate their drivers much better.
At the same time, truckers themselves will have that same amount of control to anticipate any delays and make adjustments in real-time. For independent truck drivers these types of apps are leveling the playing field in this highly competitive industry.