The shipping industry has been evolving at record speed and this trend will continue with a rapid pace in 2018. Just like the days of telex machines (teleprinters/point-to-point teleprinters) in the 1980’s came to an end, and the industry adopted the fast track communication methods of the Internet age, we are experiencing a dramatic transformation in the ways transportation companies, shippers, and third-party vendors all communicate with each other.
The new trend is the digital, web-based online shipping management platforms that bring all task management elements into one portal. The days of using simple technologies and manual processes are over, and shippers must evolve to maintain a competitive advantage and provide superior customer service. Shipping & transportation management platforms are, by far, the most highly-adopted new trend in shipping industry. This will continue to be the case in 2018. Now, let us take a look at what is in it for shippers and transportation providers with the introduction of this new technology.
1. Scalable and Connected Technology is Available for Shippers
Not all transportation managers easily adopt new technology – we all have our ways of doing business and have a sense of comfort in our habits. However, new technology now offers us the ability to manage most shipping-related tasks through a variety of digital platforms. Choosing to use one of these digital platforms, or online portals, may take off the pressure of managing daily shipping tasks. As a manager, you may have limitations and time constraints, but adding a set of digital tools in your arsenal can increase your efficiency. Shipment processing, tracking, auditing, invoice handling, purchase order management, and plenty of other tasks can now be handled with a few clicks instead of countless e-mail exchanges.
2. Visibility, Reliability, Transparency, and Easy Access to Information
These new platforms help managers gather information objectively through standardized algorithms. You can now access live information via a web or cloud-based platform. You can give yourself ability to work with full visibility in your transportation processes. Transportation information, important documents, and commercial details are now stored and protected for the individual use of transportation professionals. This increases the reliability of transportation companies, shippers, and all who are involved in customer service, on both sides of the supply chain.
3. Collaboration Gets Easier, Focused, and More Integrated
These online platforms can offer ease of communication. You may communicate through your new digital platform and see each line of information exchange on the same page regarding a certain shipment. The ease of communication, and collaboration, is being supported through these platforms and stored for future use. Being able to log in to confirm, track, download documents, and communicate with your provider on the same platform, cuts all the time it takes to process requests and wait for a response. These time savings are extremely valuable. New technology now also allows these platforms to be integrated with a shipper’s internal system and orders can be streamlined accordingly.
4. Transportation Analytics is Now Easier
Technology gave us the ability to access data and how to use the date in a meaningful way. With state-of-the-art platform management systems, you can now run reports based on certain criteria, filter information, and work towards a certain strategy to improve areas in your supply chain. At the end of the day, a manager’s role is to also take a step back and run the numbers so he or she can adopt better practices. New technology now allows plenty of functions in the analytics area.
With this new digital infrastructure in transportation management, shippers are now confident in the future.
Transportation and supply-chain professionals who adopt new technology will work with better information, fuller visibility, and be able to manage most of shipping tasks at ease. But, like any smart executive, when investing the time, effort, and resources to adopt this new technology, one should also pay closer attention to choosing a provider that can provide this level of infrastructure to their clients. New technology is developing so quickly that businesses already find it challenging to keep up with innovations and best practices. Businesses recognize the benefits of information technologies, but organizational challenges may be the roadblocks to adoption.
I am glad to let our readers know that MTS Logistics provides a state-of-the-art online platform that covers all of the above aspects of this new trend. We are proud to lead the way in this industry and will continue to do so. You can reach out to us to learn more about our transportation management platform and start benefiting from it immediately.