Digitization in the Indian Road Logistics
Published By: LogiPe on September 30, 2022
The rise of logistics digitization in India
Logistics is a major player in the service sector of India. Road logistics contributes a significant portion of the GDP of the overall industry, yet it is mainly unorganised at a central level. As a result of this lack of organisation, there is a pressing need for the digitization of business.
Logistics digitization has increased in India, especially after the COVID-19 lockdown. Many startups have begun offering solutions to various industry pain points. Given the narrow profit margins and the logistics industry's high competitiveness, firms must adopt the latest trends in digitization. Such proactive and forward-thinking choices help companies stay profitable.
The digital solutions currently available involve modern tools and methods like data analysis, artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain to provide the best possible service to logistics firms. They promise increased efficiency and help cut costs where needed, serving specific niches in the operation of logistics.
The importance of digitization of road logistics in India
As we have discussed, road logistics in India is an unorganised sector. Most firms use traditional, pen-and-paper methods for operation. Even with the rise of digitization business, the transition is not smooth, with smaller firms very slowly adopting the latest digital trends in logistics. Despite that, the pressure to digitise is growing. Here we discuss some ways logistics digitization of business can help firms.
Digitization includes keeping bills, invoices and other necessary paperwork in an online form. These steps make the data more accessible to all stakeholders, from company executives to compliance officers and customers. This increased transparency also helps boost trust amongst the participants in the firm's operation. The firm benefits from the increased confidence, which reflects positively on its brand value.
Transparency also helps make settling disputes easier as and when they arise. The required information for resolving disputes is readily available and easy to access for all parties. The process is very streamlined and fast compared to traditional pen-and-paper methods.
Automation is key to increasing efficiency. Human involvement at specific steps in logistics operations can lead to avoidable delays and errors. Automation significantly reduces the risk of such issues arising. Further, automation streamlines the process, for example, when cloud storage is tied to billing processes.
The scope for automation is enormous. Starting from order selection and billing, automation can extend to warehouse management using robotics and drone delivery systems. Each step reduces the requirement for human labour and is an opportunity to increase digitization in logistics.
This advantage connects to the previously discussed ones of transparency and automation. Logistics firms must handle a range of compliance and regulation-related paperwork to stay operational. Digital solutions can keep this process streamlined and well-scheduled, reducing delays and errors. Regular alerts ensure that critical deadlines are adhered to. Automated logging in of details like driving hours and vehicle condition eases the burden on the firm to manually keep track of such information. As a result, compliance becomes more manageable.
Studying data from the services provided by a logistics firm can help it learn to improve its end product. Digitization offers several tools to analyse and draw conclusions from such data. Such information helps make better decisions for the future of the firm. Access to digital solutions that help in this regard is thus a game-changer for firms seeking growth.
Scope of digitization in Indian road logistics
We have seen a growing need for logistics digitization and various startups have formed to address this need. Many issues have beneficial resolutions when firms take a digital approach. A few prominent digital trends in logistics feature below.
Before the digitization of business, fleet tracking relied on direct contact with the driver to know the delivery status. This method runs into issues when network coverage is poor. Further, it requires regular, deliberate communication with the driver on the road. As a result, there is lower productivity since time is wasted in communication and providing changes in plans when needed.
Digitization helps solve the issue by using GPS tracking of the fleet. There is no longer a need to call the driver for regular updates, the GPS tracker provides real-time updates of the truck as it is on the road. The driver, too, can navigate with the help of instantaneous, up-to-date instructions relayed directly to an app they are using. This cuts down on time wasted in communication. At the same time, it boosts efficiency and transparency during deliveries.
Traditionally, inventory management is done with a mixture of manual and mechanical labour at the warehouse, keeping track of available stock units. Some technology, such as bar code scanners, can partially simplify the job. Yet, a significant amount of human resources is dedicated here, which takes time and money.
A digital solution involves using an inventory management system to automate many parts of the process. Techniques like RFID tags and warehouse robotics reduce the use of human labour. Digital inventory management unifies stock tracking across various warehouses and helps keep track of demand. Thus, the firm can allocate inventory space accordingly and ensure minimal waste.
Payments are traditionally cash or cheque-based in the road logistics sector. These pen-and-paper methods have issues with speed, further exacerbated by the inherent delays in traditional billing and invoicing methods.
Modern payment methods are strongly shifting to digital options such as smartphones and prepaid cards. These options are more flexible and much faster in operation. Further, these digital solutions also make keeping track of expenses much simpler. We at LogiPe provide a digital payment solution, LogiPe Prepaid Cards, to address this matter.
LogiPe Prepaid Cards - digitizing logistics payments
LogiPe Prepaid Cards provide drivers and fleet owners with a digital method of making business payments whenever required. Any establishment that accepts card payments can accept LogiPe Prepaid cards. This ensures that any expense along the delivery process, such as fuel, food and maintenance, can be completed digitally.
LogiPe Prepaid Cards have other benefits as well. At all payment outlets across the country, the payer gets 0.4% cashback on all transactions except fuel payments. Fuel transactions at HP and IOCL pumps ensure 0.4% cashback. Further, the fleet owner can use the site's central dashboard to track all expenses by drivers and limit them as necessary. Top-up of LogiPe Prepaid Card is also very simple. The fleet owner can perform it directly from the LogiPe app.
The road logistics sector in India is rapidly growing. Along with this growth, there is significant scope for digitization of various aspects of the operations. Embracing these opportunities and adopting the latest good practices can help a firm stay competitive and seek growth in the future.
At LogiPe, we seek to revolutionise payments in the logistics sector by helping digitise the process. Visit our site to learn about the variety of ways we can help take your payments to a digital mode and modernise your logistics firm.