Digital Pickup & Delivery: Is It Right for Your Business?

Bottlenecks can — and do — happen all along supply chains, but two of the biggest headaches are pickup and delivery processes. Old-school logistics could be slowing down your business and ruining lives (or at least adding frustration). Digitization can remove the paper trail and streamline your operations. Here are the pros and cons of digital pickup and delivery so you can decide if it’s time to rip the bandaid off to treat the real issues once and for all.

Old-School Ways vs. Digital Logistics

Different companies — even within the same supply chain — typically have their own systems to handle operations. Unfortunately, they are often disjointed and don’t cover all needs end-to-end. If software is used at all, it’s old and process-specific with no way to organize jumbled data across applications and systems. It’s a mess even the most veteran managers can’t clean up on their own. Then there are the companies who are still using paper to track everything.

Honestly, considering the inability to standardize digitalization across logistics, it’s no wonder that many organizations still make do with handwritten documentation. Though there is some comfort in knowing that the process works — some of the time. But have hope, there is a new cool kid on the block.

Some cloud-based logistics software has integrations and features that can help with delivery and pickup challenges. “What challenges?” you ask? Oh, we’re glad you inquired:


Historic Pickup & Delivery Challenges


Lack of Visibility & Tracking

Not knowing what’s going on in real time makes it impossible to accurately plan ahead. Legacy systems and coms are unreliable when it comes to seeing the information you need now. If you don’t know that a driver is arriving early, it’s safe to say you’ll have a delayed pickup time because that driver will have to wait until your team is available.

Handwritten BOLs That Delay the Process

Paperwork is a manual process that makes anyone having to deal with it wish they could set the whole paper trail on fire. For example, writing out a Bill of Lading (BOL) by hand that must be updated and delivered down the supply chain eats up everyone’s time. Handwritten BOLs can cause a mountain of mistakes which makes the idea of meeting deadlines laughable.


Increased Dwell Times

An old-school process for delivery is when drivers — and their hauls — have to sit around and wait until the paperwork is processed. In fact, an article by MIT CTL suggests that one of the primary reasons for the ongoing driver shortage is that, “Surprising amounts of time are spent waiting to be loaded and unloaded by shippers and consignees.” This equates to less paid driving hours per day — in many cases, Uber drivers get better pay without the hassle (ouch).

Drivers waiting around for paperwork takes up space in your yard and increases dwell times to the point where fees you charge can’t solve yard revenue loss any better than throwing water on a gas fire (don’t do it).


General Congestion and Bottlenecks

It’s no secret that supply chains have become increasingly snarled as inland hubs experience delays and a lack of capacity. Without a streamlined pickup and delivery method, a tiny problem snowballs into a congestion nightmare.


Disparate Systems

Digitization is hard, not because it isn’t wanted, but because the current systems out there are so different both in their capabilities and the way they handle data. It’s almost impossible to digitize BOLs, the pick up process, and the delivery process because these old legacy and slapped-on systems aren’t designed to work together. The struggle is real.

Also, driver app fatigue occurs when drivers are expected to use multiple applications for different parts of the process. In some cases, mismanaged and under-developed applications and systems are so backward they are nearly as bad as traditional paper trails.

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What Is Digital Delivery & Pickup in Logistics?

Simply put, a seamless digital delivery and pickup model uses interconnected applications in place of paper. These applications are accessed through a central platform to provide maximum visibility and efficiency.

Increased Yard Reputation and Revenue

Digitized front and end processes can reduce dwell time and increase pickup and delivery times. Frankly, it’s faster because you won’t have a lot of people running around trying to make sense of paper documents — or in some cases, where those paper documents went. Efficiency has another benefit: increased yard capacity. When you have real-time traceability, you won’t have to cushion pickup and delivery times to account for manual processing.

Increased Accuracy and Flexibility

Digitized documentation means fewer mistakes and less time spent correcting errors. You’ll also have the ability to make changes and communicate directly with associated parties whether that be the driver, carrier, or third-party interest. When you make a last-minute change, everyone can see it instantly, allowing for accurate flexibility for all.


Increased Visibility and Tracking

Guessing when a load is ready for pickup or delivery is a frustrating experience. Digitization of the process takes the guesswork out of the equation with real-time tracking so you know who is where.

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Reduced Labor Costs

Automated pickup and delivery processing saves time. This translates to reduced manual labor costs and can directly address labor shortages so that your employees can do what they need to do — and not have to work overtime just to get things done.


Improvement in the Driver & Carrier Experience

Like everyone else, drivers want to make money. Many of them don’t get paid for sitting around and waiting for processing. Digitization results in less waiting around for drivers and reduced clerical backlogs for the yard. These morale-boosting benefits can improve the yard’s reputation and encourage shipping carriers to pick you over the competition.

No Paper Hassle and Storage

With digitized documents including BOLs that can be scanned and accessed online, you won’t need a backroom full of papers that the intern refuses to organize.

Digital Pickup and Delivery: Yes, You Need It

The benefits speak for themselves. A digital pickup and delivery solution can revolutionize your business and bring you light-years ahead.
To explore the possibilities, contact us.

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