Like most industries, the transportation and logistics industry is currently going through change, mainly driven by new technologies, market entrants and evolving customer expectations. These aspects combined are disrupting and redefining it.

Technology that tracks shipments in real-time and monitor deliveries online has become the driving force behind the evolution. It is safe to say that we are living in age where the focus is on e-commerce and providing convenience, control and transparency to customers to ensure brand loyalty.

Today, consumers, especially millennials, expect goods/services to reach their doorsteps in no time. They want to be able to track their shipments online and know the exact time the goods/services will reach them. In addition, customers demand transparency and control through real-time tracking as well as a platform to provide feedback to voice their opinion on the entire delivery process.

There is an increased pressure on the logistics industry to adapt to customer demands and deliver better service at the same or lower costs. On the other hand, there is an increasing need for businesses to keep their costs low too, shorten the order fulfilment cycle, increase productivity and meet the dynamic demands of customers, while braving the intense competition in the industry.

Businesses have been propelled to adopt leading edge technology at the forefront and continuously look for solutions to increase efficacy and output while ensuring maximised revenue. For logistics companies to achieve the key deliverables, they need to re-assess business models to be up to speed with competitors and retain customers.

Additionally, logistics companies have to make maximum use of smart technology, be it robotics, data analytics or logistics management solutions that optimise resources and deliver the brand promise of real-time empowerment.

Companies such as Sharaf DG, Namshi and Century Express have already started adopting technology that help improve efficiency, reduce cost, increase revenue streams and empower customers.

In this era of smartphones, logistics focused web and mobile platforms for riders play an important role to optimise the last-mile delivery. Riders are using apps, which provide contextual information, navigation, customer information and digital payment to ensure a smooth delivery.

Features such as auto-broadcast and on-demand delivery ensure immediate responsiveness. For instance, riders are provided with exact geo-coordinates and automatically assigned delivery jobs that suit their route. On the other hand, these apps allow customers to track the rider in real-time and be informed of when the delivery will reach them. They can also change the time or location of delivery, subject to some restrictions.

Tapping into such technologies allows businesses to lower costs and make a breakthrough in a highly competitive industry. Implementing flexible, scalable and future-oriented solutions can improve connectivity’.

Coupled with the internet of Things (IoT), it is enabling a more collaborative environment in the industry. And these improvements will keep coming.

The writer is co-founder and CEO of FarEye.