It is fascinating. You place an order and get it delivered to your doorstep the next day, even before your morning tea. And the delivery was made from a location thousands of kilometres away. As routine as it sounds now, this was nearly impossible a few years back. So what has made this possible?
A change agent called technology.
A decade ago, an out-of-station package would get delivered in 14 to 21 days. This was accompanied by additional postage and handling charges that jacked up costs for the customer. Yet, it was a luxury enjoyed by those living in big cities. Such barriers have, however, disappeared with technology and logistics in a firm embrace. Now, as we plan to make deliveries through drones and droids, the future is only going to be remarkable.
Intermediaries in the logistics business, including warehouse owners, mid-transport operators, and intra-city players, now transfer packages between 7 am and 12 am. Today, we use everything from radio frequency identification device (RFID) tags to other technological marvels to track logistics operations. Critical packages can be easily identified, and if a service-level agreement is breached due to slow shipment movement, it can also be fast-tracked through timely intervention. This helps logistics operators reduce considerable financial liability while ensuring seamless processes.
This increased visibility brings several advantages. Packages added midway can be put in semi-loaded vehicles en route to their destinations. Also, the forward supply chain is notified in advance about the upcoming shipment, thereby decreasing the detention time at individual stops. This, as a result, decreases the overall trip time and enables resource utilisation at full potential. Geo-fencing ensures that no carriage vehicle deters off the path, eliminating the room for errors.
Epicentre of change
If you carefully analyse the whole scenario, the changes largely point towards one direction, i.e., new-age technology-driven startups. The advent of startups in the global business landscape has made possible what was earlier perceived as unimaginable. Take last-mile delivery for instance, which is one of the biggest challenges that the logistics sector faces. It contributes about 28% of the overall logistics costs, especially as we move down towards Tier 2 and 3 geographies. Today, new-age startups are leveraging geocoding, reverse geocoding, and even big data to counter this long-standing challenge. Thanks to tech-driven startups, such developments are increasing the technological footprint of the logistics sector.
Technology is playing a pivotal role in bringing about the desired transformation to the realm of logistics, and startups are serving as the perfect medium to channel these changes. Their unconventional approach is making it possible to do away with the current challenges, while taking us closer to ultra-modern notions such as droid and drone-led deliveries.
Aditya Poddar is founder and chief executive of TYGR, a B2B and B2C road transport marketplace.
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