The world we know before COVID-19 is over and is not coming back.
One positive side of this black swan event is that it has pushed companies to appreciate and adopt technology at a much faster rate than otherwise would have happened. Without COVID-19, it’s not inconceivable that the technology shift would have been significantly delayed. According to research by McKinsey and Company, recent data shows that we have vaulted five years forward in consumer and business digital adoption in a matter of around eight weeks. Remote working would not be possible or even considered without a solid technology platform.
Customer expectations for every industry have changed overnight – and whether technology should or should not be embraced in the world of supply chain and logistics is no longer a question, but an absolute necessity. The logistics industry – particularly ocean freight logistics – has been notorious for being slow to embrace technology as it is one of the last industries in the world with the lowest technological developments and adaptation of technology.
Over the past few years, thanks to recent software and backend technology advances, the shipping and logistics industry has started to change.
Many start ups have popped up in the hopes of disrupting one of the oldest and least transparent industries in the world and many have understood that technology alone doesn’t mean anything without human touch. It is understood that in logistics and supply chains in general technological developments will only compliment overall service levels. What is a strong technological platform without superb customer service behind it?
Many of those start ups changed course and instead of competing within the freight forwarding industry, they ended up marketing their software to the rest of the market. At this point, visibility, track and trace, and full control over shipments are becoming a norm in the industry. However, there is still a long way to go.
When I first started working in the shipping industry 15 years ago, I remember calling a steamship line and waiting on hold 45 minutes just to get an accurate ETA of a container for my customers. Many times, the information provided wasn’t even clear. Whereabouts of vessels were a big mystery and many times, customer service staff at shipping carriers weren’t welcoming these type of questions. They wanted us to know “it will get here when it gets here.” We were lucky to get a rough ETA of a vessel. Those days are long gone. No more calling customer service departments, 800 numbers, and waiting on hold just to get the ETA of a container. Now, more than ever, most people want to see the status of their shipments with a click of a button on their smartphone.
MTS Logistics is leading the way in logistics and shipping state-of-the-art technology for our customers.
At MTS Logistics, we have been working on a special project for a long time and finally we are proud to announce that the wait is over. My MTS is an app developed by MTS Logistics to complement our current superb, best-in-industry customer service and existing online visibility capabilities. The My MTS App is currently available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and is provided to all our customers at no cost to them. Our customers now enjoy real-time satellite tracking, container milestones covering all major events, various reporting capabilities, shipment details, customs information, freight release status, container delivery status, and more. Simply put, all the information needed for a shipment is visible in our advanced app. With the help of our newly-deployed app, we are hoping to add more value to all stakeholders.
Technological disruption is coming to an industry that is one of the oldest in the world. Technology is and will be the main focus in shipping and logistics for many years to come and it will be a defining factor amongst companies. Just like mergers and consolidations affected shipping carriers, how technology is embraced and at what scale will affect NVOs and will be a defining factor in who is surviving and who is not. It is no longer about the cheapest rate – it is about the complete package. Generations and expectations are changing, and we are at a point in the logistics industry where companies either embrace technology or become irrelevant. There is simply no other way.