Those in transportation and logistics are facing an interesting dichotomy when it comes to the future of their industry. On the one hand, demand is growing leaps and bounds as more consumers order goods from home. On the other, the industry is struggling to keep pace due to some very unique challenges.
The invention of smart cars and drone carriers may be in the distant horizon but integrating more automation into the daily tasks from logistics specialists to long-haul drivers is essential for turning a profit on razor thin margins. Electronic logging devices (ELDs) were just the beginning of the automation that needs to be implemented to keep pace in the transportation industry.
As these new technologies are released to the public, employees in the transportation and logistics industry will need to become more tech savvy. Time keeping and workforce management software are two pieces of automation businesses can introduce today that will not only help employees become more comfortable with technology but also start collecting business data to assess whether future technology will help your company.
The transportation and logistics industry has faced more than its fair share of regulations. The 2013 regulations for Hours of Service forced a decrease in productivity while the more recent mandates on ELDs improved safety but also required additional training to transition from paper to electronic logging. While increased regulations often make the industry safer, the short term ramifications are decreased productivity for training and implementation.
Keeping up-to-date with those regulations can be a hassle even for the most skilled logistic specialist and more businesses have turned towards workforce management systems to ensure compliance with state, federal, and local laws. Rather than requiring every manager to be well-versed in regulations, a workforce management system can alert managers when they risk non-compliance. Ensuring compliance with laws as they are implemented is absolutely essential and one of the unique challenges
Purchasing for Energy Efficiency
The Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have handed down strong mandates for those in the transportation industry to start reducing greenhouse emissions. This will require most companies to purchase energy efficient vehicles in a relatively short period of time and optimizing the timing of these purchases can make or break a company. By assessing your business data to determine the best timing of your vehicle and equipment purchases, you can prevent shortages when it comes to inventory and capacity.
Less Available Space
With more consumers relying on the transportation industry for everything from specialty goods to groceries, demand for space is increasing. Yet with tighter regulations and a decrease in federal spending for maintaining infrastructure, supply is faltering. Making due with less is something that those in the transportation and logistics industry not only has to face but embrace to make the most use out of limited space. Logistics specialists know the value of transporting more product with less space. As the industry grows, so will the necessity of more logistical minds to help determine the best way to transport goods as well as standardization to ensure that every shipment is optimized.
The transportation and logistics industry is booming but at the same time faces a variety of challenges in the coming years. These four unique challenges are only a handful of those facing the industry yet all can be addressed in some respect by gaining business data and optimizing workflow using a workforce management system.