Wow... Last mile logistics disruption is here. Ready or not, when we see new last mile logistics companies achieving $500M+ valuations then we know logistics disruption is here. If you are a 3PL then you are seeing disruptors in the news, at events and you are hearing about them when you are talking to your customers.
Are you worried?
Does this mean we are going to see 3PLs closing shop? Are you worried that once they get between you and your truck carriers, they will seek to replace you? When I look across the landscape of disruptors, I see they are focused on delivering “real-time” delivery data. Shippers wanting “real-time” delivery is nothing new. What is new is these disruptors have multimillion-dollar investments which they are using to drive a loud and persistent marketing message. The disruptors claim they can close the gap between your customers desire for real-time “digitized” delivery and your carrier’s ability to provide the data.
“What have they got that I ain’t got?”
The disruptors do not have patented or top-secret tech. “What have they got that I ain’t got?” asked the cowardly Lion. If you are a 3PL asking yourself this question, the answer is the same. It does not take secret technology to capture digitized delivery data... it takes courage. If you are willing to engage with your carriers and enforce the adoption of modern tech and update your processes to capture data in the delivery moment, then you become part of the disruption. In fact, logistics providers with existing networks of carriers have an advantage because you are building upon your existing carrier relationships. This is a big project and may take years to complete. But when done, you will have something that is valuable and difficult to copy. A network of carriers and drivers who are trained to capture last mile delivery data becomes your disruptive differentiator.
This isn’t a pipe dream.
Successful innovation has gotten easier with advanced, mobile technology. Truckers just want to get the job done. And today, they all carry (and use) powerful mobile phones. If an App works well and makes their job easier, they will use it because a digitized delivery means the driver can go home at the end of the day, eliminating the need to drive back just to hand-in paperwork or take time to scan documents. As drivers get the hang of it, they start to utilize advanced functions to deal with annoying problems like an unexpected accessorial or if the customer refuses the delivery. At Sensor Transport, we have seen this type of engagement across the drivers who are all using our fully branded 3PL App to control deliveries.
Don’t Cry in your Beer at TPM
The disruption is upon us! If you don’t take action it’s your fault. Don’t mope around the bars at TPM blaming over-funded disruptors. Now is the time to figure out how to deploy tools to capture a digitized delivery and then do the hard work to overcome driver resistance. Take ownership of the disruption and you will own last mile logistics of the future.
View the original article on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/disrupting-logistics-disruptors-robert-haney/