How technology adds value to freight services – Lloyd’s Loading List

RT @PalletwaysUK: It is evident to us that technology adds value to freight services. Read more on @lloydsloading #s…

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When I first read this,I thought, “but we’ve been doing this for years”. The reality is perhaps more that certain industry segments have been doing this for years. I was involved in the development of the first courier track and trace system in New Zealand with Courier Post, probably around 20 years ago.

We used Casio Portable Data Terminals with touch screens and bar code readers to scan and capture customers’ signatures on delivery for the first time in this country. A modem in the cradle offered a choice of communication modes, which at that time was an exciting choice of CDPD wireless radio communications at 19.6bps, or the slower two-way radio. The savings were immense. Customers could go online and do their own track and trace. Couriers saved probably an hour a day of admin that was no longer required, less product dissapeared and more deliveries were being made a day. They got paid for every jo, which didn’t happen if they lost any of their job stickers.

Today with GPS and mobile data at high speeds, the same options are available for any form of freight and before too long it’s likely that instead of bar codes on consignment notes, everything from an envelope to a pallet will carry an RFID tag. Customers (with appropriate security) will be able to see that their piece of freight is on the truck and is the the third item to be delivered off the truck’s manifest for the day. With an app not dissimilar to the Uber or the new Domino Pizza app on their smartphone, customers will be able to see the location of their unique item, perhaps something a customer is standing in the store waiting for in real time.

Being able to see where the truck is, they could also see on the smartphone the current status of traffic congestion in the area as provided by the DOT or Travel Information Service data feed, whether traffic is flowing freely or perhaps a crash means that even though it is only a few miles away, it is not going to get there in a hurry. They can also see that the cause is not the fault of the driver or the freight company. One of the biggest frustrations for customers isn’t so much the delay itself, but not knowing what is going on and what to expect. We all know about those voice messages when we call the call centre that tell us our call is important.

I was visiting a friend recently and they were playing music from their phone in their holiday home. After about 40 minutes I offered them a really good old stereo that I no longer use and they said “Thanks, but that’s the on hold music from our power company that we have been trying to call for the last 3/4 of an hour!”

Secure transparency is going to make a big difference to the freight industry. I say secure because we obviously don’t want unauthorized shrinkage . Only those who are authorized to see the information should be able to receive it.That data can be encrypted such that only licensed users of the app can see the correct information.

The combination of real time travel information contributing to route optimization and a real view of the state and type of all freight could have a great impact on customer service, the first part of which is being able to tell the customer exactly where their consignment is, when they are likely to receive it, ensure it is going to the right location and anything unplanned that could interfere with it getting there.

Would you rather know your production line should shift to another JIT function, or have them hanging around waiting for something that was never going to arrive today?

Knowledge and the ability to act on it can have a huge impact on productivity and profit drains today.

See on Scoop.itLocation Is Everywhere

About Luigi Cappel

Writer for hire, marketing consultant specialising in Location Based Services. Futurist and Public Speaker Auckland, New Zealand
This entry was posted in Freight App, GPS, real time traffic, RFID, SmartPhone, Track and Trace and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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