Guest Column | October 17, 2018

8 Reasons Why Shipping Businesses Must Embrace Logistics Automation

By Kevin Hill, Quality Scales Unlimited

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If you are in the shipping and transportation business and do not have logistics automation, you are missing out on a lot of action. Logistics automation improves quality, precision and accuracy in the business, and saves money on labor, materials and energy used. In this article, we will look at 8 ways your company can benefit from incorporating automation in the business.

8 Benefits of Logistics Automation

  1. Decreases Errors

Even the tiniest of errors can be extremely heavy on the business’s pockets. So, if you can cut down such costs in any way, it will prove to be beneficial. Logistics automation allows you to integrate inventory management through the ERP system and gives you access to automatic storage, address book, entry of fuel surcharges, etc. All the stored data ensures that you never make any mistake. Moreover, logistics automation minimizes the probability of manual data entry errors which have the potential to increase the shipping costs — for instance, having to pay a higher freight rate or paying shipping costs twice due to incorrect address entry or freight details.

  1. Improves Scalability

Automation, with its powerful tools, has benefitted the shipping industry in several ways. It has sped up processes and enabled businesses to expand easily. Unfortunately, few companies struggle to let go of their comfortable habits and keep working manually instead of embracing automation. This limits the business’s ability to scale at an increased pace. By incorporating logistics automation, not only will the shipping and transportation management get easier and cost-effective, but it will also enable you to improve scalability. 

  1. Real-time Freight Rates and Transportation Mode

Logistics automation fights the rising transportation costs and makes it easier for companies to implement policies that deliver freight savings. Automation has given the shippers clear visibility of the freight rates and available modes of transportation, which allows the shippers to make strategic decisions regarding transit time, rates, insurance and type of carrier ships they can use. This helps in predicting the savings and allowing the business to be deliberate about choices and savings. Since it can relay information from floor scales directly to the users, it also helps avoid overloading the carriers.

  1. Improves Customer Service

While it is critical to bring in new customers, it is equally important to retain the existing ones. Losing a customer can greatly impact the shipping and freight forward companies. Logistics automation allows you to track freight in real time, provides freight accounting, offers auto-pickup and proper insurance. Logistics automation allows you as well as your customer to know the exact cost of freight, when the shipped product would arrive and where the shipment is at any point of time through automatic notifications. You can apply automation in back-office tasks and front-line services.

  1. Access to Reports

Businesses can easily check the data and flow of shipping if they have easy access to reports. This aspect becomes easy with logistics automation in the picture. Automation provides historical information such as information on products weighed using industrial weighing scales in the past. This allows you to monitor the performances of various carriers and oversee the cost of production. This further helps in preventing future bad business decisions.

  1. Greater Transparency

Transparency is key in any business. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to pinpoint the exact reason why something is going wrong. Automation provides visibility into the usage of inventory and real-time data, thus allowing greater transparency in the business. When you have detailed information, thanks to transparency, you can make better decisions benefitting the company.

  1. Better Organizational Control

One effective logistics strategy is to incorporate logistics automation in your company as it allows you to gain better control over your business. You will be able to plan and manage freight management in a better way, optimize plans and routing guides, and track all the freight costs. Moreover, automation gives you the flexibility to accommodate changing rules when the need arises.

  1. Balanced Inventory

As a shipping company, it is crucial to have an up-to-date inventory. If you are struggling in this area, automation will definitely help you out. Logistics automation ensures that the inventory is used to its full potential and aids in minimizing wastage. It also offers improved record accuracy which can help you save costs and improve efficiency.

Ensure that the automation software you choose is compatible with your logistics processes. If you are unsure about which one to buy, try the trial version before making the purchase.

Author Bio

Kevin Hill heads up the marketing efforts at Quality Scales Unlimited in Byron, CA. Besides his day job, he loves to write about the different types of scales and their importance in various industries. He also writes about how to care for and get optimized performance from different scales in different situations. He enjoys spending time with family and going on camping trips.