Road freight logistics – automating workflows for ease of management

Ethan Scott

by Ethan Scott

With a global net worth of $4 trillion, time is money in the logistics industry. However, freight transportation, in particular, is being driven by optimization at every level. The deliveries need to be appropriately routed, competent drivers need to be assigned, and the cargo is supposed to be delivered at the right destination, and within due time. The level of expected quality thus demands minute-by-minute tracking systems, improved cost efficiencies, and a higher quality of reporting.  There are a variety of deliveries that need tracking, multiple reports that need to be maintained and filed with the concerned agencies, and a shifting of resources to account for varying road conditions.

To keep up with these industry demands, advances in management techniques are now permeating the arena of road freight logistics. For instance, capturing, storing, and distributing updates about the goods is now possible in real-time, irrespective of the location. In addition to this, process automation can further enable road freight organizations to take a notable leap in improving their overall productivity and efficiency:

 

Document Management

Any form of freight transport, be it road, rail, air, or sea; requires a significant degree of documentation. It might be in the form of Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs), shipping receipts, item lists, contracts, or miscellaneous bills. However, the documents can be maintained in a more streamlined manner by making them digital. There are many software solutions that enable firms to securely create, share, and collaborate on documents on a single server. Firms are now increasingly creating structured online document scanning and filing processes of their own that ensure that no documents are misplaced or lost. Not only does this allow them to create an internal document repository that is accessible to everyone in the team, but it also enables easy retrieval of documents for audit and review purposes. In addition to this, segregating documents based on their priority further makes the entire system more comprehensive.

 

Automation of Inventory Management

In the case of large organizations, automation of inventory management processes has now become crucial to ensure an efficient workflow. In an expansive warehouse that is extensively stocked, it is difficult for inventory personnel to assess the variety and quantity of different kinds of merchandise. Enterprises like 123FormBuilder help small and large organizations in automating their inventory and order management. Automation of inventory management eases workflow through maintenance of the available stock portfolio, automatic stockpiling, which in turn provide an opportunity for the development of cost-cutting processes. For instance, automatic stockpiling can make sure that the delivery is achieved as soon as the merchandise arrives, thus significantly shortening the overall delivery process.

 

Shipment Tracking

By far one of the most critical tasks in the road freight industry, efficient shipment tracking services significantly improves customer relations.  Whenever customers receive a text message or email notification about the current location of their shipment, their confidence in the logistics firm increases tenfold. Conversely, their assurance of the firm’s credibility also takes a significant blow if the status of their shipment has not been tracked or updated for a significant amount of time.

According to the records published by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, about 59 billion tonne-kilometres of freight transport took place in 2016. While this data is a clear indication of how long it can take for goods to be delivered, it also depicts the importance for customers to have an accurate picture of their shipment over long distances. By incorporating GPS-based tracking devices, barcodes, and other identifiers on delivery trucks, shipment updates can be accessed in real-time. The tracking devices can then be automated to send timely location updates to the company’s headquarters, from where there they can be forwarded to the customers.

Several shipment tracking services make tasks simpler by automatically retrieving shipment updates, sending them across the enterprise’s carrier network, and making them accessible in formats that are understandable to the customers. Not only do these systems ensure the delivery of regular updates to the customer, but they also do so without the need for extra logistical personnel.

 

Automatic Reports and Alerts

While it is difficult for employees with intervention rights and decision-making skills to perceive each step of the road freight transport process, automated alerts can solve this problem to some extent. Automatic reports and alerts can ensure that freight personnel always get the most relevant updates in real-time so that they can intervene and take action in advance in case of a possible malfunction. This simple practice would not only accelerate individual workflows, but it would also automate portions of manual work, thus making up for the growing skill gap in the logistics industry. There are software solutions that offer logistics enterprises with a deeply integrated platform that addresses all industry needs. Enterprise personnel can use them to manage operations on a single database.

The freight industry plays an essential role in shaping the economic health and quality of life of a country. Not only does it provide for the mobility of goods, but it also influences growth patterns by providing access to a variety of products and services. As a result, freight movement involves many aspects that work in a disjointed manner, and hence, is complex in nature. Right from the initial loading of goods to their final unloading, many workflows take place in the background that when streamlined, can eventually save a significant amount of time and money.

 

 

 

Ethan Scott

by Ethan Scott

I started my career in the publishing industry at a very young age. It was 2014 until I realized that I needed to explore the terrains of writing and seek my passion for it. I have worked, partnered and contributed to 20+ websites and blogs and constantly thrive to work on it.

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