How to Transition into a Digital Tracking Solution

Although we live in the digital age, there are still a lot of organizations that are weary about making the transition to using digital and mobile solutions to help run their businesses. Many of these organization are still relying on outdated paper based solutions and even RF (radio frequency) devices to manage their inventory and shipment tracking. These old systems require additional labour and work hours put into manual filing and paperwork that can slow down organizational efficiency and be costly for the business. In today’s world we have so much technology available at our fingertips that can help us with logistics management and organizational operations that it doesn’t make sense to anyone to not use it.
The big questions is, “How do I transition my business into the digital world?” And the answer to this question can vary from business to business, and from industry to industry, but there are several points that always remain the same.

Adapting your existing business model to a digital one can be difficult – there are a lot of moving parts that need to be aligned and this can take time, and require some additional tinkering to perfect. It can also be a costly venture off the start, but it will save your business a lot of time and money in the long run, so updating your logistics management system is crucial for businesses.

One key thing for anyone, who is looking to upgrade their systems is to capitalize on technology. Smartphones are universal today – everyone has one, and for the most part people are either using Android or IOS run phones. Business managers should look to seize this opportunity and integrate an app based logistics management solution that can help with their inventory and shipping needs.

One thing that all operations managers need to keep in mind when updating their TMS or other shipping management systems to a new digital platform is that it’s not just about replacing what you currently have, but about taking the opportunity to have your system take care of more tasks and help your business run more efficiently. It will take time and patience to fully adapt a new digital system in your business, but in the end it will pay itself back and your business will be better off for it.

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E-Van on the Road: StreetScooter Has Street Smarts

The move towards electric delivery vehicles took a step closer last month with the unveiling of an e-van, produced in collaboration by Ford and Deutsche Post DHL Group, in the German city of Cologne. The launch of the StreetScooter WORK XL has been heralded as an innovative and environmentally friendly response to the challenge of increasing parcel deliveries, with 2,500 e-vans expected to be ready for service by the end of 2018. So what are the features and benefits of this potential game-changer?
Capacity Clout

The WORK XL is made up of a Ford Transit chassis, a body which has been built to Deutsche Post DHL specifications, and a battery-electric drivetrain. Boasting a load volume of 20 cubic metres and enough space to carry over 200 parcels, the WORK XL is certainly a significant upgrade in this regard from its predecessors: the WORK and WORK L have a load volume of only 4 and 8 cubic metres respectively. Shelves are installed in the load area, which has been designed to be entirely accessible from the cab. Loading is possible through the tailgate as well as the kerb-side sliding door. Thanks to a fitted modular battery system which provides 30 kWh to 90 kWh of power, it also has a range of between 80 and 200km.

In the past electric delivery vehicles have been criticised for high charge times. This issue has clearly been addressed by the makers; the WORK XL has a charging capacity of as much as 22 kW however, meaning charging times are typically only three hours.

Cutting out Emissions

Running on electricity means that each WORK XL is estimated to make an annual saving of approximately five tonnes in CO2 emissions and 1,900 litres of diesel fuel. As Jürgen Gerdes, a member of Deutsche Post’s executive board, put it: “It [the StreetScooter WORK XL] is the perfect vehicle for parcel deliveries in major cities and large urban areas, and will enable us to cope with the rising parcel volumes in an even more environmentally friendly and quieter manner. With this commitment, we are also underlining our claim of being the market leader in green logistics.”

Agreeing with Mr Gerdes in his endorsement of electric delivery vehicles, Steven Armstrong, group vice president and president, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Ford Motor Company, added: “We’re really proud of this ambitious project, and of the strong partnership we’ve developed with Deutsche Post DHL Group and StreetScooter. This joint project will be Europe’s largest manufacturer of emission-free, medium-sized e-vans, and it doesn’t come a moment too soon. Buses, cars, and of course, delivery vans play vital roles in our daily lives, but we have to find a way to make them cleaner. This project is a great step along this path.”

Author Plate

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world’s largest neutral trading hub for same day courier work in the in the express freight exchange industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Courier Exchange provides a valuable service, updating members with the latest information from the transport industry, including electric delivery vehicles road safety, fuel costs and other news. Over 4,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe ‘wholesale’ environment.