Historically, the transportation & logistics (T&L) industry has been dominated by only a few major players. However, smart logistics technology has given startups the competitive edge in last mile delivery. Today, there are dozens of small to mid-sized T&L companies. Think appliance delivery contractors for big box stores, or third parties that deliver groceries. The democratization of logistics software has lowered the barrier to entry into the space. As a consequence, over the past five years, funding for T&L startups was above 75% .
Consumer interests are mostly responsible for pushing the trend of this surge towards last-mile deliveries. Of almost $11.1 billion invested, nearly 90% was allocated to startups in last-mile delivery . These days, consumers expect to track goods and services as they arrive in real time. Customers also expect more flexible delivery options. Same day, delivery lockers, and curb-side pickup are just a few examples of more ways customers can receive goods today.
Clearly, investors saw the need for T&L companies in last-mile delivery. However, established T&L companies will not benefit from these investments. Many see the cost of upgrading an entire fleet with new equipment as a huge investment. On the other hand, there is the fear of purchasing the wrong equipment. Or, that it will become outdated before it returns any meaningful profit. The truth is, many T&L companies lack a sufficient technology culture required to make an informed decision. As a result, the lack of the understanding in the solution can lead to no decision.
There are several factors that limit an emerging T&L company’s ability to succeed. The industry is highly competitive. Competitors may even operate at a loss to prevent their competition from getting a foothold. Adoption of modern technology may prove to be the only way to level the playing field. Contemporary T&L software has the ability to lower the cost of operations and improve the operational efficiency by integrating with an existing fleet.
A Smart Approach
Bridgera works with T&L providers to give better services to customers by creating custom smart logistics solutions. For example, a fleet can use the Bridgera TrackMe app on drivers’ smartphones. The app uses the phone’s native GPS and data connection to connect to Bridgera’s Cloud. With the data gathered, there is almost no limit to the application potential. Also, with hundreds of various sensors available, T&L clients have unlimited potential to create a truly custom solution.
By using their existing tools, Bridgera gives T&L providers visibility throughout the last-mile. At the same time, this keeps the upgrade cost low. Access to just a few basic data can allow for powerful solutions. For instance, just having GPS data can enable real time route tracking and optimization. Dispatchers can also use the app to ensure that drivers are taking breaks as scheduled. GPS data can also allow for dispatchers to receive alerts upon departure, arrival or other waypoints. Finally, Bridgera’s AI can analyze the data from all vehicles in the fleet. Over time, these data have the potential to become a secondary revenue stream.
An End-to-End Solution
Transport management systems (TMS) are at the core of smart logistics solutions. However, Bridgera goes in a direction that TMS do not. Bridgera has created a smart logistics technology enablement platform. With this groundwork in place, Bridgera is able to quickly adapt a solution based on a T&L client’s needs. With focus on end-to-end integration, there is no need to replace the current TMS. One example can be seen in cold chain logistics. It is important to keep a specific temperature range for perishable goods. Information may start from the existing TMS and identify the truck, its destination, cargo, etc. Then, location and temperature data from the truck. Next, an overlay can show dispatchers vital information at a glance. Finally, the company can analyze data trends with AI to reduce operational costs and improve efficiency.
With hundreds of unique sensors available today, Bridgera is able to consult on a range of smart logistic solutions. With a wholistic view of assets, companies can reduce costs by improving operational efficiency. At the same time, these tools can also provide a better user experience in last-mile delivery. En-route tracking and delivery updates are standard across the industry.
All New Possibilities
There are several reasons for T&L providers to add new smart logistics solutions. Though, cost and scalability are major factors to consider. Using existing equipment is one way to keep the cost of upgrading to a smart logistics solution low. At the core of the solution is Bridgera’s platform. As an app, the TrackMe solution can scale very easily. Later, additional sensors can improve data for a better customer experience in last-mile delivery.
By using the latest devices, there is almost no limit for these solutions. For instance, light sensors can serve as tamper evidence. Connected thermometers can ensure cold deliveries stay cold. Cameras can even monitor high value goods throughout transport. As customers push demand, T&L providers that adopt smart logistics solutions will have the advantage.
However, dispatchers don’t want another tool to manage. This is another area where Bridgera is able to increase efficiency. The custom UI provides a complete overview of all vehicle’s vitals at a glance. Logistic data from the TMS are combine with the truck’s real time sensors to provide a wholistic overview. This allows a single dashboard for dispatchers to interface with.
Connect with Experts
Some T&L companies may have a reputation for being resistant to new technology. However, even a simple solution, like a GPS tracking app, has huge potential to increase efficiencies at a relatively low cost. In such a competitive industry, players must use smart logistics solutions to increase revenue by optimizing costs. So what are you waiting for? Contact us today for a free consultation.