The warehousing and distribution industry has been a scene of rapid change in recent years. Companies have adapted to the digital age by offering cutting-edge freight management to an increasingly tech-savvy clientele. Discerning shippers would be well advised to keep pace with the latest industry developments and trends, in order to take full advantage of these new methods.
Digital Freight Management
One of the biggest advances in the shipping industry is Digital Freight Management (DFM). DFM was developed in response to the growing number of customers that are entirely comfortable and familiar with online purchasing, and who have subsequently come to expect goods and services almost instantaneously.
In order to find the right carrier capacity in a vast, fragmented field of operation, shippers must be more flexible and efficient. Traditional methods of communication, like phone calls and email, are being phased out, and replaced by more direct interactions. As an example, DFM provides a way for dispatchers to immediately locate drivers with the capacity to accommodate a particular size of load, and make sure that partial loads are properly routed and tracked to the right truck and destination.
With DFM, shippers can get accurate rate quotes before committing to anything, and have instant access to transit and delivery status 24/7. Faster payments are possible as well, because many aspects of shipping transactions, such as payment methods and proof-of-delivery, can now be immediately uploaded via smartphones.
Electronic Freight Management
Electronic Freight Management (EFM) is a United States Department of Transportation-sponsored research program that partners with freight-related industries to improve operating efficiency, safety, and security in the movement of goods. EFM strives to develop a universal standards-based system for tracking freight as it moves across borders and changes from one mode of transport to another. Ideally, it will provide near real-time information sharing, and be much cheaper, due to the elimination of having to use multiple shipping services en-route.
Potential Game Changers
Several trends in the freight-hauling industry have the potential to be game-changers:
- Trucks may soon have the ability to sense if they can take on more load, through the implementation of sensors in the trailer that assess space and weight, as well as how this extra load would impact the freight already on-board. Ultimately, with cloud-based technologies, goods sitting in warehouses will be able to directly communicate with trucks about their shipping requirements.
- Big Data analysis promises to streamline all the complicated logistics associated with shipping. This new method should result in valuable insight into areas that could use improvement.
- Driverless trucks and unmanned cargo ships could arrive by 2025, and possibly making shipping cheaper and safer by reducing human error.
Even though all this new technology and awareness of trends are wonderful tools to assist the prospective shipper, the movement of goods still come down to a binding contract between the sender and receiver. Port City Logistics is uniquely positioned to serve as a facilitator of high-tech shipping methods, while never forgetting the personal touch that makes them an industry leader. If you are looking for an established, reliable shipping brokerage company to manage your next logistics Savannah GA load, contact us today! It might just be the best move you make!