October 10, 2018

5 Ways to Lessen your Logistics Risk and Improve your Supply Chain

The North American transport market is doing extremely well. According to McKinsey&Company, the surface-freight transport sector has recently added $309 billion in economic profit.
Despite that, it is important to keep track of structural shifts in the industry in order to maximize your profit pools and the assets you have and actively use now.
Every product made in North America relies on surface transport at one, several, or every point of its life cycle. It can, therefore, be a substantial cost for many companies. Despite all of the success, there are changes on the horizon with the ever-growing rise of technology, partnered with important risks to consider.
The future of rail freight lies in modernisation in computerisation and digital amenities.


Rail and logistics connect customers and supply chains, but what if they could do it better and more efficiently? Using today’s most advanced customer relationship management (CRM) systems that feature business mapping and supply chain integrations, companies are better able to plan shipments that serve many customers at once.
Find a good CRM tool that lets you map your customers and supply points based on location. Improvements in efficiency will pay off by decreasing the risk you carry.


From business-to-business to business-to-consumer, companies are being forced to restructure their supply chains with smaller shipments, more frequent service, and higher reliability. What this means for the rail industry is that trains are now too large, and often spend large amounts of time waiting around to be filled. Both the space the train is taking up as well as the time can be used far more efficiently. Experiment with more frequent and smaller trains.
Not only will this allow you to be more responsive to today’s supply chain needs, but it will also maximise the use of your assets.
Plan ahead for the future by starting to think about prognostic analytics and robotics learning. These railcars of the future can automate many of the processes taking up much of your time and resources that can be better used elsewhere, but there is still much ongoing research and testing necessary to find out what exactly we can expect to come in those areas.


When it comes to efficiency and cost, fuel is what comes to most rail experts’ minds first. There are not many fuel-efficient rail technologies, but some do exist and have come to fruition with success in places outside North America. As trucking fuel costs drop, it is important for upcoming generations of the locomotive business to be more fuel-efficient. This may mean hybrid locomotives with reformative braking energy, electrically-run locomotives, and hybrid energy cells. Try out these technologies first in low-threat environments nearer to you before climbing up to more sizeable loads and deliveries.
Using a hybrid locomotive might not be in the cards now, but explore alternative fuel options. Climate change is a very real concern right now, and it affects all aspects of our lives, including the transportation industry. Rapidly changing temperatures change the rail networks with expanding and buckling tracks under intense heat.
This leads to regular repairs, speed restrictions, delays, and disruptions. Stock manufacturers are exploring other fuel sources right now. The industry is re-positioning itself towards sustainability, and tech producers need to be going green.

The Internet of Things

IoT, The Internet of Things, is a hot topic in the rail industry, and logistics world at large, now. It uses sensors and a network of communication devices to connect machines to the Internet. Not only will it monitor equipment, but you will also be able to remotely control devices to receive alerts when machines need to be repaired or serviced- an important thing to note when working with transportation that is older.
During the actual transport, these sensors can monitor temperature, vibration, and a number of other outside elements that could possibly affect the condition of products being delivered. The information is recorded for you to keep and possibly act on, and can spread outside of the United States, need be for your business. The best part of this is that the availability of these low-cost sensors and Bluetooth wireless technology is widespread and widely available.


Automated trains are affecting both freight and passenger services across the globe. Self-driving units are a thing of the future, and for freight carriers, the potential is endless. In Germany, a technology has introduced for a vision for driverless cargo rail back in April of 2017. These trains can be automatically re-routed to avoid delays and automate loading and unloading procedures, saving on cost, money, and, of course, worry.
The likelihood of such positive developments in the efficiency and procedures of rail logistics are bound to increase exponentially with the rise of technology in its sphere. Be ahead of the game this decade by thinking forward and investing in technology as a means by which to pose yourself as an industry leader, while saving both time and money.

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