Drones- How Will They Effect The Industry?

 

Unmanned aerial vehicles could be coming to a town near you!

Calm down these aren’t going to be something out of a weird sci-fi movie, in more familiar terms, they’re drones. Drones in the last few years have made leaps and bounds in the technology industry from being basically remote controlled helicopters, to being able to fly around towns for cool aerial videos, to then delivering your online order in as little as 30 minutes. So, what could this mean in terms of the logistics industry?

Well, it could mean the possibility that having humans operating trucks, planes, and boats for transportation could be a thing of the past. Not to worry, as this is not something that will happen overnight. In more realistic terms, it’ll mean the prices for shipping can drop quite a lot, making it harder for companies to become competitive with this new technology update.

A tiny startup company in California has been working on a 30-foot long prototype drone to change the way we transport goods through the air. Being that it can completely cut out the need for a human crew on board, it also means it can fly at a slower rate. This means there’s a lower cost. How is this possible? You do not have to worry about paying for a crew or pilot fatigue. An example of how low their drone could drop prices by, can be understood with this example: a shipment that weighs 200,000 pounds from Los Angles to Shanghai would cost about $260,00 taking 11 hours using traditional methods, whereas if you used their drone it would be around $130,000 taking up to 30 hours.*

This change will not only influence air services, but on truckloads, ocean, and rail services as well. For truckload services, it’s not only drones, in the kind that fly up in the air, but with also the potential of being autonomous vehicles (like self-driving cars). Other than the cars being autonomous and saving time and space, there is also potential to give them the ability to self-load and unload. The cost will be much cheaper, and it allows for companies to be more accurate without having to worry about human error. As for ocean services, it allows for certain processes to be made simpler and more effective. Rail services can be improved by allowing drones to deploy from a train before it meets its destination to deliver cargo.

This information for logistics companies can be very helpful as they continue to grow and improve their businesses to compete with these new trends. Third party logistics companies will become a large part in helping them to continue to give their clients the best mode of transportation. While these new trends become more pronounced in the industry, it is just as important to remember that these will help to improve accountability and efficiency helping to keep the industry, as a whole, growing.

 

Tell us your thoughts on all of this!

 

 

*Fact sourced from (www.nbcnews.com)

Electronic Logging Devices

 

Starting in December 2017, all trucking companies will need to switch from paper logging to an electronic logging device (ELD). An ELD is a system that allows professional truck drivers and commercial motor carriers to track their hours of service faster and easier. Although most trucking companies are already compliant with this, some of them are dreading the impending switch over—mainly smaller businesses that have put off the switch for reasons such as price and a “wait-and-see” outlook on the situation.

The effect this switch could have on smaller businesses could be large. Their lack of sufficient funds to support the change is a huge factor in this. This change will give them less ability to be flexible on hours for their drivers that are on the road. This will help make them more honest on their logs, and potentially spending more money on paychecks. So, not only will they have to pay for ELD’s but they will also have to continue to pay for hours they may not be able to afford.

Another concern with the ELD switch is that there could be a potential loss of truck drivers and carriers in the industry. Why leave the industry if this digital upgrade is supposed to help things run smoother? Well, because the move from hand-done to digital, means that the drivers will have to be very honest about their hours. Not that all companies violate their hours to maximize their time, but it may make some of the ones who do, ultimately leave.

From the companies who have already made the switch, they have reported only a three to five percent loss in their productivity. However, to combat such situations as productivity loss, all the carriers and shippers need to improve things such as their communication, and to be able to collaborate more effectively. Working better as a team will not only make this system transfer easier on them, but it could help their carrier-friendly practices improve as well—helping to make them a better company in the long run.

Let us know your opinions on the ELD switch over!

What is Logistics?

 

Logistics—It is a word that originated in the military, with a similar meaning to what we consider
the modern definition of logistics today. In its rightful sense, it is a way for people and equipment
to be transported from one location to another. However, the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition
of the word logistics, means to “plan and organize a complicated activity or event that involves
many people
.”*

So, what in the world does this word have to do with your business? It could mean a few things for your company, but from a logistics provider’s standpoint, it means being the resource you need for your company to transport resources effectively and safety to its final destination.

A lot of planning goes into handling the transportation of your product, and we want it to be the best possible plan for it. Your product could be moved with one mode of transportation or with several. These modes of transportation can break down into three general categories: truck, air, and ocean services for overseas traveling through use of cargo. From there, it can breakdown into further categories depending on your business’s needs.

For some logistics needs, it is something that can be handled in house—such as inventory or warehousing. If your business has larger or more complicated procedures, reaching out to a third
party could be useful. There are benefits to handling logistics in-house, especially for start up companies. It allows for it to be used as a marketing tool to better connect with new customers and
to help make a lasting impression on them. Once your business becomes larger though, it would make more sense to start outsourcing to a 3PL (Third Party Logistics). Finically, it would be better because of the large amount of product you have to allow a 3PL to step in and help out.

Something to keep in mind: Logistics is not something solely kept in one specific location that you or your company resides in. Logistics is worldwide, and is a fantastic tool to help your company not only get the resources you need, but from a large dynamic of markets that can be valuable to you, wherever you are in the world.

Certain logistics providers, such as TalaTrans Worldwide, are there ready to help you make sure your business picks the correct plan of action for whatever needs you may have.

 

 

 

*Merriam-Webster Definition