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The Importance of Digital Technology in the Logistics Space

Standardization and automation of processes is more important than ever.

In 2019, the technology priorities for logistics companies are likely to shift towards building the resiliency of freight operations to trade tensions, currency exchange rate volatility and rising interest rates. Ultimately, logistics companies must utilize advanced technologies to automate their operations to handle data-heavy processes and stay flexible to meet rising consumer demands.

Several logistics companies are taking the lead to boost efficiency, utilizing the latest technologies. CKB Logistics, for example, is using Ramco Systems, a provider of cloud-based software, to digitize their supply chain and centralize their operations. CKB understands the importance of having a unified technology platform to automate their information flow and provide customers with consistent high service levels.

In addition, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services recently announced that they have become a member of TradeLens, a blockchain-enabled digital shipping solution to enable trust between multiple trading partners. This move supports their corporate vision to promote technological innovation in all aspects of its operations.

But there are still improvements to be made to ease digital transformation and enable more to benefit from advances in technology. The vast array of logistics solutions available with different standards inhibits communication and collaboration between supply chain partners, highlighting the ongoing need for more standardization and automation of processes.

Here are 3 ways to improve digital logistics processes:

1. Unify Formats
Freight forwarders face the big challenge of unifying various rate sheets. To add to the complexity, data comes in various file formats, with different naming conventions and different layouts, creating more confusion and extra work to consolidate the data. Standardization is needed to enable efficient collaboration. In addition, having rate management software will help to support and digitize operations in a way that could not be done before.

2. Leverage Digital Platforms
The key to a robust global trade network is connecting supply chain partners through technology that is easily accessible to everyone. Many digital solutions today are available as subscription-based models. For businesses of every size, cloud-based is synonymous with lower upfront costs and quicker set up and deployment centrally from the cloud. Within a unified platform, forwarders, suppliers and even customers can also leverage one open and collaborative environment which will offer new ways to share data.

3. Deliver Quality Service
Delivering a good customer experience is important to keep any business thriving. Logistics providers are turning to technologies that can confidently offer real value along the supply chain. An integrated, end-to-end solution that manages information consistently, accurately and effectively demonstrates a commitment to deliver service excellence.