The global pandemic has been the cause of great upheaval for many industries, including transportation logistics. On the one hand, global manufacturing and distribution has faced some major disruptions, which in turn has reduced or delayed cross-border shipments. On the other hand, more people have been shopping online and buying essential (and not-so-essential) goods, which has increased food and medicine deliveries to grocery stores and pharmacies, as well as residential home deliveries. Many companies have had to pivot their operations in order to meet changes in demand and, in some cases, in order to survive.
Now that restrictions are starting to ease and the economy is set to reopen, the question becomes one of preparedness. Is the transportation logistics industry ready to shift into high gear again when the borders reopen, and both the retail and manufacturing sectors are back in full swing? Faced with driver shortages, high insurance premiums and stiff competition, trucking companies, in particular, could face a tough road ahead. It will be critical for businesses to find ways to operate more efficiently in order to continue to meet demand and remain competitive.
Technology can help – if it’s fully utilized
While many companies have already started adopting technology to help improve their day-to-day operations, many reports from the last few years suggest that the technology solutions are being underutilized, meaning companies aren’t taking advantage of the full benefits.
Nowadays, fleet management technologies are about much more than just a vehicle’s GPS location. Although location plays an important part, it doesn’t provide the full picture or a clear sense of what is actually happening with your vehicles. That’s why fleet management solutions have evolved to include IoT sensors, ELD software, dashcams, and more. Together, these components provide companies with the insight needed to reduce empty drive miles, increase driver and cargo safety, and reduce operating costs.
Plus, businesses can now monitor their vehicles from the engine to trailer door and everything in between, including cargo, assets, and trailer temperatures, and door position. With this level of visibility, businesses can identify inefficient practices and better streamline their operations.
Ease of use is an important factor when adopting new technology
Technology can seem daunting to businesses that have relied on mostly manual practices. The good news is that many fleet management solutions are quick to deploy and easy to use. Some hardware is plug-and-go ready and can simply connect to a vehicle’s OBDII port, while cloud-based software is accessible anytime and from anywhere. Oftentimes the solution’s data can even be integrated into a businesses’ existing systems through the use of APIs.
Technology can drive businesses forward
As the pandemic has taught us, the unexpected can happen and businesses need to be nimble even to pivot operations and make the best of the resources they have. Going forward, technology is set to be an important part of improving the way transportation logistics companies operate, providing the visibility and insights needed to improve business efficiency and meet ever-changing demands.
There is a multitude of available technologies that you can choose to adopt. Find out more about the solutions that might be a good fit for your business by reading up on some of our other blog posts!