From the ancient trading ports of Greece and Rome, to the Industrial Revolution to the modern day, Freight logistics companies have been around in one form or another as long as people have been trading with each other. If history has taught freight and logistics companies one thing, it is that failure to adjust to social, political and technological changes could be a recipe for business disaster. As one of South Africa’s leading freight and logistics companies, we know just how important it is to continuously be striving to improve their clients’ experience, whether it is by giving them extensive reports on their cargo as it moves or by getting it to its destination just a little ahead of schedule. With technology moving at the pace it is today, every industry is being affected drastically, and the freight and logistics industry is no exception. Cloud technology has been called one of the great “disruptive” technologies that are influencing the way we work and live. Here are a few ways the freight logistics game is being affected:
In-depth data analysis used to require people to enter the data and more people to analyse it. The Cloud, in conjunction with the increased mobility of internet usage due to smart phones and other mobile technologies, has made possible extremely rapid and extensive collection of data, and Big Data analysis tools are able to process it more efficiently than any person could. As a result, logistics businesses are able to analyse their operations in extreme detail and improve them as the opportunity presents itself, both in their own business and in the coordinated movement of their clients’ cargo.
Flexibility and Scalability
Today, most businesses are all too aware that market volatility is a serious risk. Less than a decade ago we saw the greatest economic recession since the Great Depression, and supply chain management companies need to be wary of how their resources will be used in case the worst happens. Cloud technology is one of the most affordable solutions for data collection and processing, and another of its benefits is that agreements between Cloud service providers and logistics businesses are easily renegotiated if business suddenly declines.
Similarly, the easy scalability of Cloud solutions means that if a business is booming and expanding rapidly, they can adjust their service levels immediately, without a worry about the extra IT capabilities, digital storage or bandwidth that would have been needed without Cloud in the picture.
The biggest benefit of Cloud technology to supply chain managers is that it reduces operational costs through automation. For example, Cloud technology can be used to automatically generate a report, trigger a shipment, issue a receipt, and account for the product when it arrives at its destination.
As a result of the minimal need for human input to run these complicated tasks, efficiency is improved and fewer employees are needed in many aspects of the supply chain.
As the world becomes more dependent on the Cloud, more and more freight and logistics companies are beginning to realise the associated benefits. Its ability to provide storage, analytics and automation in the logistics process is already revolutionising the traditional supply chain management process, and will undoubtedly continue to do so in the future.
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