How COVID-19 Revolutionized the Logistics Industry
During the COVID-19 pandemic, transportation companies, courier services, and logistics businesses have had to shift their focus to providing “contactless delivery.” In this case, the immediate need is driving technological innovation. However, these changes are a sign that the future of transportation will be one of continuous innovation as the market continues to change.
The current impacts have been wide-reaching. Everything from small, local courier services to delivery giants like Dominoes, have had to institute policies of “contactless delivery.” Rapid changes in the social and business climates have put processes like Amazon’s In-Home Delivery and Amazon Shipping on hold. Until the COVID crisis, avoiding face-to-face deliveries was never a priority in the transportation industry. Now, this is just another technological requirement that the providers of transportation and logistics planning must get on board with.
However, even before the current situation, transportation businesses were seeing the market evolve in front of them. Technology has been steadily transforming delivery methods, turnaround times, freight tracking, shipping data, and everything in between.
One of the most important ways technology is impacting this industry is through real-time data integration. Companies, large and small, now have ways to record real-time data and can analyze it to make predictions for the future. Big data has empowered delivery businesses with new insights into the overall strategy, driver allocation, vehicle maintenance, and more.
“Companies can track speeding, harsh braking/acceleration, excessive idling, and other conditions and take action to reduce fuel consumption, save costs, and improve safety,” according to Quest Solution, a specialty systems integrator based out of Salt Lake City. “Some insurance companies now offer discounts for fleet operators that use these solutions.”
From the ease of access to improved timing to insurance discounts for operators using best practices, there are more incentives than ever to use real-time data. The two categories of technology that derive the most benefit from powerful data are Shipment Sensors and GPS Tracking.
“During transport, trucks can monitor temperature, vibration, and other elements that affect digital transformationthe condition of the load… monitors can stay with a shipment across multiple international transportation methods, from shipping to a truck to rail to steamship to yard storage to rail to truck to delivery,” reports Quest Solution.
The ability to track shipments of all types gives companies and customers unprecedented transparency into the process. For example, companies like Fish People are tracking their products from boat to table.
Like the power of the technology, consumer expectations are always growing and companies (whether they have been around for one year or 100 years) have found they must continue to adapt or be left behind.
Many innovative technologies are on the horizon. Drone delivery is an anticipated service for companies like Amazon and is already in use for businesses like Zipline. What’s more, the technology for connected or autonomous vehicles is advancing as is the demand and comfort people have with the idea.
Whatever the future brings, the reality remains that humans innately want to improve. Making transportation faster and more efficient will always be the goal. Whether it is the market pushing deliverers to adopt new safety measures, or your next Uber driver is the vehicle itself, companies involved in transportation will continually use technology to gain competitive advantages and grow the industry.