Visibility And Control In Logistics And Freight Forwarding is very important. A major activity in logistics is to monitor and control the movement of freight. This means that the status and position of goods should be known at all times. To achieve this, there must be visibility. This is the ability to identify the goods, know their exact location and their condition at any time during transit. This may also cover the people handling the goods as well as the transactions. Visibility enables timely and accurate information to be passed to all partners in the supply chain. Shippers, carriers, terminal operators, consignees and freight forwarders must exchange information regarding shipments as the goods move within the supply chain. This information enhances the control and monitoring of the goods.
For many years, planning and execution of freight transport operations were done manually, and there are still companies that carry out manual processes. With the advancement in technology, solutions are now available to help logistics companies efficiently and cost-effectively move goods from origin to destinations in a more reliable way. These solutions can assist managers to make decisions and better control logistics operations. Technologies such as Transportation Management System (TMS) are common for road transport operations. Others such as Barcodes and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and GPS (Global Positioning System) provide tracking and tracing capabilities. For example, information stored in an RFID tagged shipment can be used throughout the transportation process and during storage.
Some of these devices have been tagged Internet of Things ((IoT). The term IoT was first used in 1999 with no single standard definition. IoT related to the connection of technological devices to the internet. The data that the devices carry is passed on to users through the internet and this enhances the use of the internet. Although there is no standard definition for “Internet of Things”, in a survey conducted, 85% of the residents agreed that IoTs are “smart interconnected devices that business use to get more visibility into the identification, location and condition of products, assets, transactions or people to drive more effective and timely business decisions or to improve customers interactions”.
Businesses can gain real-time visibility into their operational processes using these technologies. This can then help them in better decision making. The key to successful use of IoT is connectivity through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) between a broad range of devices and applications. Devices such as Barcodes scanners can be connected to the web through local, remote or cloud-based applications in order to control and manage information. With these technologies which help to control and make goods visible at all times, companies can: reduce freight transportation costs, make better and informed decisions, optimise on-time service delivery, establish flexible logistics processes within their supply chains, improve transportation processes, improve performance of enterprise software applications.
Logistics activities are the primary functions of a freight forwarder.
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