Without a digital supply chain, there is no Logistics 4.0

Man with a tablet in the stock

Delivery notes on paper, obscure manual processes—if Logistics 4.0 is in your future, say goodbye to "manual.” For the IoT to become a reality in your organization, a digital supply chain is a basic requirement.

Last mile: Digitalization to the driver's cab

From a shipper's point of view, a mobile shipment visibility system is an easy way to integrate carriers into their own digital processes. The only hardware requirement necessary to extend the digital supply chain into the truck cab is a commercially available smartphone or tab­let connected to the shipper’s logistics platform that is set up for mobile shipment visibility.

Drivers receive the digital shipping papers via the mobile app, which can later be signed directly on the screen by the customer. Once signed, these will be automatically archived in the shipper's system. In addition, the mobile device's GPS function can be used to locate the truck's position in real time.

Individual systems vs. platforms

Shippers can usually implement some kind of homegrown mobile order management system. However, it can create tremendous challenges for transportation service providers to procure, install and maintain their own hardware and software for every customer, in addition to training the drivers to use the system.  Logistics platform solutions currently being utilized by a number of carriers are more viable.  Logistics 4.0 goes beyond an individualized digital supply chain for each company to a more global compatibility and network connectivity across the supply chain.

Digital disruptors for Logistics 4.0 supply chain management

Even today, a digitalized supply chain offers significant advantages in terms of customer service and increased efficiency, allowing shippers to create competitive advantages for themselves, their supply chain partners and their transportation providers. A digital supply chain is also becoming more and more important for companies that are concerned with the subject of Industry 4.0 and Logistics 4.0, and want to develop next-generation processes. As of now, this development is still in its infancy, which gives proactive companies the opportunity to take on a pioneering role here. The prospects for these technology leaders are promising.

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