Package shipments continue to rise in the U.S.
“The number of packages delivered annually is expected to rise to 16 billion by 2020 - up 45% from 2018. The rise in eCommerce is creating significantly more work for logistics companies. But with fewer truck drivers than ever, they’re struggling to keep up with demand,” explained Sophie Thompson, director of solution delivery at Catalytic, a company dedicated to working toward augmenting human capabilities with technology.
According to Thompson, this growth in package deliveries means logistics companies are overwhelmed with the influx of shipments and are looking for any way they can save time to keep pace with increasing delivery demands.
Get More Efficient
There are a few areas where fleets can become more efficient during the holidays and save time.
“Supplier onboarding, for example, can be a tedious process with lots of back and forth and information collecting. By streamlining the process with automation, logistics managers can get valuable time back instead of worrying about contract facilitation,” Thompson shared.
Similarly, creating an open stream of communication can improve efficiency as well.
“Sending automatic package and tracking updates allows logistics managers to know what’s going on within their organization. Additionally, it allows them to communicate more effectively with customers. This communication then leads to improved planning. With real-time updates, logistics managers can better coordinate their team and plan for what’s ahead,” she said.
Tech to the Rescue
By adopting advanced technology such as automation, AI, and machine learning, logistics companies can streamline operations. Streamlined operations saves time companies can re-allocate back to where they need it most: supporting their drivers and ensuring smooth deliveries.
“With these technologies, logistics managers can streamline the supplier onboarding process, allowing them to get to work faster. They can share automatic package and tracking updates, which significantly improves communication across the board, And, they can improve overall planning, assisting managers to stay on top of their team and shipments,” Thompson said.
To get started on saving time during the hectic holiday season, Thompson had two top recommendations:
- Begin digitizing processes. So many of the processes in the shipping industry still take place on pen and paper. By just moving some of that activity to Excel or another technology, the next transition to automation can be made so much easier.
- Provide more accessible access to tracking data. One of the biggest problems end-user customers face having the ability to view the tracking information for their loads. Where that data is available, exposing it to end customers will not only improve customer relationships but also streamline the entire process.