Supply Chain

Technology is paving the way for a successful future in the logistics industry, despite the challenges of a global pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has tested supply chains like no other event in recent history. With disruptions continuing to plague the global supply chain, businesses are being tested. 

With entire populations isolating and quarantining, companies are seeing demand spike for certain items and diminish for others, while their access to parts and labor from around the world is being severely disrupted. Organizations have been forced to re-evaluate their end-to-end processes and seek new ways to re-invent the industry in a short period of time. 

As a result, 2020 has seen a soar in technological innovation, not just for security in remote working and data transfer, but also for traceability and supply chain visibility. This is on top of the necessity for safe working environments and contactless operations that companies have had to adhere to. If we were not quite in a digital age before, we certainly are now. 

Despite these obstacles, Transloop, the digital 3PL & Logistics Solutions provider, has experienced a staggering 400% growth during the pandemic. This has been a journey from being a startup to a multi-million company in a matter of a few months. Nicholas Reasoner, CEO, Transloop (transloop.io) comments, “This growth has been due to shippers wanting to select transparent, reliable, and collaborative carrier partners during an uncertain time, where visibility is key.” 

A principle component for supply chain disruption is a lack of communication. With fewer workers, more processes, and evolving legislation, it is inevitable that there will be congestion along the supply chain. However, without a clear view of when, where, or for how long freight will be delayed, companies are unable to prepare contingency plans and meet the growing consumer demands. Having that communication through visibility is imperative. 

Mitigating risk with technology

In the past, smaller manufacturers might have sought to stockpile inventory to ride out uncertainty, as seen with the build-up to Brexit, when trade between the United Kingdom and the European Union was undisclosed after the vote to leave the EU. But this strategy has fallen more out of favor, as most have determined it to be prohibitively expensive. Companies are now looking to technology to find the flexibility to weather supply-chain disruptions.

The year-over-year growth rate for the peak shopping season last year was 17%. Now, the e-commerce growth rate has achieved 77% within six months. We are now in the age of the consumer-led supply chain, where visibility is key not just to the manufacturers and retailers, but directly to the consumer. Many companies have yet to leverage big data analytics to transform their supply chain operations and are awash in data but are unsure how to use it to drive their supply chains. With the astonishing growth in demand, companies need more technology to work efficiently, therefore carriers that are leveraging technology will naturally see more gains. 

The implementation of end-to-end visibility technology has become the cornerstone for success in the industry. Logistics companies want to know the basics of track and trace, where their fleet is at any given time, and consumers want to be able to follow the journey their goods take. Today, that technology covers RFID, GPS, and EPOS, all of which aim to increase the efficiency of the supply chain throughout the life cycle. However, end-to-end visibility, over track and trace software, enables the company to gain a deeper understanding of the real-time data presented. Following a shipment when it is live means that the data is actionable, which provides the company to react quickly and know immediately when a problem has been fixed, in real-time. 

Similarly, IoT software platforms using cloud intelligence are also taking the market by storm, as seen with the success of Transloop. Not only does it track real-time movement of products through artificial intelligence, but it also allows for a secure communication network across the supply chain which is encrypted and protected. 

These capabilities further give supply chain leaders and professionals a way to communicate and collaborate. By sharing status updates and keeping everyone on the same page, supply chain partners, such as freight brokers, can help move more freight. And moving more freight is the only way to ensure stability amidst future disruptions.

Despite the challenges that COVID-19 has presented to the industry, logistics companies have continued to invigorate the market with technological advancements unparalleled to anything witnessed in recent years. The need for clear visibility and transparency across end-to-end supply chains has identified a distinct landscape for the future of the industry and its relationship with technology. Companies like Transloop, powered by the right technology and an effective partnership are pioneering the way to a bright, technological future through this current cloud of uncertainty, and others must follow to succeed.

 

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