As the newest logistics company in the market, you cannot afford to make any mistakes. Hence, it is best to invest in technology right from the start, and make your way to the top. Otherwise, you might fall behind while your competitors outrun you.
So with that in mind, here are a few things that are worth investing in as a start-up logistics company.
High-Speed Labelling System
As a logistics company, you will have to deal with a lot of packaging. To keep track of every package, you need to label them properly. For that, you need an efficient and high-speed print and apply labeler. Such a label applicator will reduce the need for hiring more manpower to fix labels on your packages.
The machine itself will do all that. It will print out the details and then apply the label accordingly. Although it may have a high initial cost, you will be saving money in the long run, given that you need not hire more manpower for the job your label applicator will be doing.
Freezer Vans for More Diversity
While it might seem like a farfetched idea to go for freezer vans straight away, it is a good opportunity to expand your business right from the start. As long as you have the necessary funds, you can easily invest in a couple of vans and dedicate them for special deliveries.
On average, a new freezer van will cost you around $50,000. With two of these vans, you can handle local deliveries. From groceries to restaurants and pharmaceuticals, these vans can deliver all these goods and more. For starters, you can work with restaurants and supermarkets, and deliver fresh products or produce to them. Then, you can buy some more vans, and expand further into pharmaceuticals.
Fleet Management System
Since you are in the logistics business, one thing is for sure – you will have to deal with a lot of vehicles, mostly trucks. These vehicles will be on the move almost 24×7. You need to keep track of them, know where they are and what time they will be available for more cargo delivery, how much fuel they are using when they have to go for maintenance, and so on. Doing all this by yourself is not possible. Even with additional manpower, it gets difficult to keep track of all this.
This is where a Fleet Management System – FMS – comes into play. Costing around $3,000 to $6,000 a year for around 10 vehicles, an FMS can help you out with all those things. It brings your vehicle’s geolocation, management information, maintenance reports, and other such information under one umbrella.
That, in turn, allows you to get a bird’s eye view of how things are running. With a few clicks, you can know where your trucks are, who is in them, what they are delivering when they are due for maintenance, and so on. For running a smart logistics company, there is no alternative to having an FMS.
Companies like UPS, DHL, FedEx, etc. all use fleet management systems and are reaping their benefits. So you should start utilizing this piece of technology, even though it might cost you a little.
Vehicle/Package Tracking Solution
The FMS can help you pinpoint your vehicle location. However, you will have to provide that information to your clients. That means your clients would want to know where their products are at the moment. So you will have to integrate the geolocation tracking system for your customer profiles as well.
The best way to do so is by giving each client a unique code through which they can use to track their shipment. They simply have to insert the tracking code on your website and can access the vehicle’s present location in real-time. Usually, it is more difficult to track a package, unless you refer to all the packages in a shipment as a single unit, and give them a single tracking ID. Only then will it be less troubling for you to deal with their tracking.
A mobile app is a must if you are in the service industry. Be it for placing a delivery order, or for tracking the shipment, customers find mobile apps to be most convenient. Hiring developers to work on your website, as well as the app, can cost upwards of $5,000. Integrating a tracking API or having it custom-made can cost a little extra.
These investments, although hefty at times, are worth making, and you will not regret doing so. Only once the business starts profiting from these investments will you realize that you made the right choice.