The logistics industry has benefited massively from the invention of smartphone technology. Long gone are the days where fitting each and every vehicle in your fleet with expensive pieces of hardware. Why would you spend money on new equipment when there’s a fairly high chance that your driver has a smartphone in their pocket – especially given that their phone can do exactly the same thing?
When you stop and think about what’s in the modern smartphone, you realise that you are worlds apart from the days of the Nokia 3210. By and large, the things which turn the smartphone into the ultimate tool in the logistics industry comes down to three major things – a robust internet connection, a GPS chip and the app store.
The mass proliferation of the smartphone and the subsequent app store boom is responsible for a sizable chunk of the way we live our lives in 2016. Apple’s old slogan “there’s an app for that” is truer today than ever before – there are countless apps taking care of any job you could possibly need in the logistics industry alone. If you’re a trucker looking to calculate fuel usage over time while taking care of your truck’s manifest, there’s an app for that. If you’re a delivery driver looking for the best route from A to B via C, there’s an app for that; if your boss at the warehouse decides you need to stop by D and pick up a parcel between C and B, there’s even an app for that. Judicious use of the right apps in the logistics industry not only makes the day to day bulk activities that many workers contend with that much more efficient, but they cut down on paperwork too. Long gone are the days of filing reams of paperwork at the end of a long shift; by saving everything electronically, from the manifests to the signatures at drop offs and pickups, the daily paperwork is as simple as syncing a device when you get back to the office.
While there has already been massive and undeniable improvement in the logistics industry through the use of mobile apps, there is still scope for improvement. One of the more interesting new features which has entered the market recently is up to date reports on where your delivery driver is, letting you plan your day around when your delivery is going to arrive. Certain apps will track the delivery driver’s smartphone, letting you see how far your package is from your house. From this, the app will calculate a rough ETA on your package, down to the nearest 15 minute slot. With applications like this becoming more and more popular, the days of staying at home from 9 to 9 for your fridge to be delivered are drawing to a close. 10 or 20 years from now when you tell your grandchildren that you used to have to do that, there’s a good chance that they won’t believe you.
The next logical step with these logistics apps lies in branching out to other similar industries such as home removals. While you may not the full suite of logistics functions when moving house, there is define crossover here which can be taken advantage of. Moving home is a notoriously stressful experience. Being able to see how far away the van is, whether or not it’s caught in traffic will make the experience that much smoother. By letting customers sign for their belongings electronically, the drivers are able to make the most of the same benefits that the logistics industry currently enjoy.
This is particularly important in the middle of large cities such as London, which was recently voted one of the most congested cities in the world. For example, a removal company in north London which could keep its clients up to date on where they are with your belongings using automated messages would stand head and shoulders above the competition. Personalised services like these have already redefined the logistics industry, because they are exactly what most people are looking for when it comes to feeling valued by the company they are using. When we see other B2C companies adopting systems and technology like this, everyone stands to win.