Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mobile Technology Improve Freight Carrier Productivity and Cost-Effectiveness 

Today’s logistics services providers are facing tough business situation, such as increasing fuel costs, rising labor costs and other expensive operation costs. Revenues and freight volumes in many of the shipping industries plummeted. Moreover, there is an unbalanced supply and demand in the shipping industries. For example, from 2006-2012, global freight volumes grew by less than 25 percent, but over the same time  global shipping capacity grew by over 60 percent. This substantial mismatch in demand and supply has significantly hurt operators’ revenues1.   
In search for better ways to optimize their logistical operations to reduce operation costs and raise profit margins, it is important to add flexibility in the logistic supply chain. Allowing flexibility in the supply chain provides more satisfying customer experiences and minimizes waste of resources, because the company is able to respond changes in the market in a timely manner with new products that match to the needs of different customers. Mobile technology is definitely one of the important technologies that will change the logistic games. With a tablet or smart phone in hand, managers and customers alike can pull up the info wherever they can. The managers can access the most updated information about warehouse or road condition anytime he wants it with GPS technology, and they can provides immediate solutions to the real time logistics difficulties. In the meantime, the customers are able to place orders and monitor the status of their orders anywhere he likes.  Because mobiles are highly portable and easily obtained, they become a very common daily-used tool for people. Mobiles allow logistic companies to understand the needs of their customers. Mobile technology provides integration across physical locations with accurate and efficient information2.
A question we might ask is how mobile technology can be an effective tool for logistic companies to reach their customers, while customers agree logistic companies to have access into their information? 

1. “Weathering the Storm”, Supply Chain Asia Magazine. Volume November/December 2013. http://www.supplychainasia.org/members/magazine-archive/cat_view/2-sca-magazine/10-2013
2. http://www.supplychainasia.org/knowledge/innovation/item/6476-inventory-intelligence-key-to-unlocking-omnichannel-retailing

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