Major Challenges Facing Transportation and Logistics

Transportation costs can account for a sizable portion of a company's overall logistics budget. Consumers pay the toll as the price of fuel rises by having to pay more for shipping

Fremont, CA: Transportation and logistics are constantly under pressure to remain competitive, provide quality customer service, as well as find innovative ways to optimize their operations in today's customer-centric, digitized society. Let's have a look at the industry's current challenges as well as the strategic technologies that can help overcome these challenges and inevitably augment the supply chain for businesses moving forward.

Cutting Transportation Costs

Transportation costs can account for a sizable portion of a company's overall logistics budget. Consumers pay the toll as the price of fuel rises by having to pay more for shipping. To address this issue, businesses have implemented better strategies that will aid in the identification of transportation issues and the development of appropriate solutions.

To reduce transportation costs, the logistics industry has begun to incorporate autonomous tracking as well as artificial intelligence into its vehicles to monitor potential real-time data with routes as well as possible alternative routes. Companies can use Autonomous Tracking to create an intelligent vehicle that can evaluate road conditions, improve fuel efficiency, and observe how the human operator responds along routes. Companies like FedEx have started to utilize autonomous tracking technology into their daily logistics, gathering data from vehicles as well as fleets to run routes to optimize efficiency.

Monitoring, Inventory Visibility, and Management

Inventory is a foundational component of many businesses; one of the critical competencies for transportation and logistics is the capability of successfully understanding and controlling a company's inventory. If a company does not have detailed, real-time visibility into available inventory at a given location, it can hurt sales and/or customer satisfaction. Moreover, a supply chain is frequently required to track and manage inventory from multiple warehouses, stores, or locations, which is a difficult task, particularly if the business systems are not centrally connected.

In order to address these challenges, transportation and logistics are shifting away from on-premise software solutions and investing in integrated cloud-based technologies that provide real-time data to the entire organization, regardless of location or time – such as warehouse management systems and transportation management systems. Companies are also turning to predictive analytics, which optimizes and makes advanced supply chain forecasts by reading algorithms on both present and historical datasets. Companies such as Apple and Whole Foods are already using them, and Amazon could use predictive analytics to offer anticipatory shipping.

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