According to Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), the export and import trade volumes for goods and services are estimated to plummet by 10% in 2020 and resuscitate with just 3-4% growth in 2021. In a post-COVID world, several unprecedented disruptions await to exact a revolutionary change in the realm of logistics. Several started to surface during the ongoing crisis, spurring up a new set of challenges along with new prospects for the sector. An e-commerce boom, a drying pool of drivers, and an already raging trade war were wreaking havoc. Behind the scenes, the COVID-induced changes (both psychosocial and business) were highlighting some underlying supply chain issues. For instance, online purchasing and e-commerce shot to fame as the world stayed back at home. And along with the buy online pick up in store (BOPIS) habit, it shifted the priorities all along the entire supply chain. It was time for the logistics fraternity to get their mobility moves right. Only mobility was the means to ensure complete visibility and seamless connectivity within a supply chain. All this to build a promising supply chain link that can cater to each need – from same-day to last-mile delivery, and everything.
However, it’s interesting to acknowledge that ‘mobility’ as a technology has always been there, but some innovators are just further along. For others, the recent time realigned their focus on creating visibility and agile infrastructure to support enterprise mobility framework. The framework will leverage smartphones or digital-handheld devices, and seamlessly connect all the dots present in a supply chain. All this will result in optimized workflows, improved communication, a flawless transportation network, and a promising asset tracking system with maximized fleet visibility.
Today, mobility is an indispensable component in any supply chain that allows businesses to pivot more freely while leveraging different fulfilment models. Let’s take a look into how mobility could disrupt the logistics sector:
The connected fleet evolves
Mobility changed an old story, rather the most tell-tale one in the logistics realm. Shippers would watch their goods leave on a truck from the source and lose track as they moved toward the destination. Once the goods hit the destination, shippers would gain back the visibility of their goods.
Enter the new world. With mobility, shippers now enjoy a continued ‘trace and track’ advantage, all along the way. The by-product of this mobility is the massive amount of data generated throughout the journey. This data proves instrumental in rendering insights that help shippers gauge accurate drive times. An always-connected fleet can relay information on demand and channel it to the relevant stakeholders.
Now, companies have also started integrating safety measures into their fleets. For example, a driver heading towards a COVID hotspot can be notified beforehand so that they can follow the required protocols. Shippers are innovating with mobility rather than just leveraging it as pure tracking capability.
An informed breed of drivers
Professional drivers know every twist and turn of their daily route. In cases of last-mile delivery, they need to possess local knowledge. An integrated mobility platform lets shippers seamlessly handle all the required processes on transit to ensure delivery. Not only with location accuracy, but also they can deal with low-height bridges, road blockages, and other delaying factors.
It acts as a hands-free platform for drivers providing them with job details and special instructions on the go. Furthermore, the platform also records signatures, PINs, photo IDs, and real-time GPS location. Even it automatically logs the necessary docs like proof of delivery or collection to mark jobs as complete.
Smarter work. Better planning
A mobility solution powers an entire community or user-base to cumulatively control, handle operations from a centralized platform. It allows the shippers and stakeholders to collaborate on a common platform to stand tall against a surge in volumes without impacting the bottom line.
Each user is bequeathed with a second chance to revisit their mistakes. Now, they have the liberty to fix any error before the delivery leaves for the destination. It side-lines the probability of a hefty penalty that is incurred once the delivery has arrived.
Better join the revolution
Today, arming the frontline workers with mobility tools and other digital capabilities has become the de-facto need in the land freight sector. Re-imagining the business model for a post-COVID world or for the long-term with advanced technology will offer resilience to businesses. To join the technology revolution for a better future, businesses need to fuse advanced tools and ‘lessons learned’ together – only this will future-proof their supply chain.