Like any business, the transport and logistics industry has issues that it has to face. From traffic, to the cost of fuel, all the way through to ensuring that the customer is satisfied at every step of the way, transport companies are fighting a daily battle against a multitude of issues. We’ve looked into some of the biggest contenders when it comes to issues that companies face, as well as a few ideas on how to overcome them, or how they are being dealt with in the logistics industry today.
Despite the improvements in fuel costs over the past few years, fuel prices within the UK are still much higher than the rest of continental Europe. The duty that has been placed on fuel, while frozen at 57.95p per litre, is the largest component of diesel and petrol prices. With VAT on top, paying for the fuel required for the long-distance journeys that transport companies regularly take can quickly add up to quite the hefty outgoing cost. However, while there is no way of lowering the cost of fuel overall, there are ways to optimise the fuel that you do get. Avoiding rush hours if you can is a way of reducing how much time you spend with your vehicle running, but not moving. The engine running will ultimately use up more fuel, so crossing as much distance as you can on the petrol that you’re using will be more efficient than simply sitting in traffic. Similarly, driving carefully and in the right gear, and avoiding any harsh breaking can save you fuel usage in the long run as well. Taking the most efficient routes is also far easier now with GPS systems and TMS all making finding the easiest and quickest route simpler than ever.
Managing customer relationships and ensuring that their expectations are met can be just as difficult, if not more so, than organising the deliveries themselves. Plenty of companies offer Next Day Delivery now due to a customer expectation for a fast service, and the more companies that offer this next day delivery, the more that need to offer it to keep up with the demand of the market. But the expectations go beyond this. More and most consumers are expecting updates on where their packages and deliveries are, and when they’re estimated to arrive. Technology is constantly improving to make this easier, and transport companies all over the world can take advantage of the rise of the smart phone age, and how easily their customers can access information.
With more and more cars on the road and more and more built-up areas, congestion is a daily worry for everyone in the logistics industry. Navigating built-up towns and cities is difficult enough in big vehicles, but with traffic in addition it can make the whole experience not only unpleasant for the driver, but can also set them behind and risk them falling behind on schedule. However, some towns and cities are making routes for Lorries and trucks that are solely for the purpose of making transport easier for them. They won’t need to queue up behind domestic cars or commuters going to and from work, ultimately making the whole trip a little easier.