The Path Forward with Automated Logistics

When broadly applied, autonomous logistics considers the entire supply chain as a logistics continuum, combining transportation planning with workflow effectiveness to maximize efficiencies across your whole network.

Often automated logistics is associated with route planning, but in reality, it encompasses much more.

When broadly applied, autonomous logistics considers the entire supply chain as a logistics continuum, combining transportation planning with workflow effectiveness to maximize efficiencies across your whole network.

Autonomous logistics also furthers the concept of supply chain visibility, moving beyond simply the location of goods to visibility over operational process efficiency.

Here, we examine how to apply automated logistics in four key supply chain processes: first mile compliance, route planning, final mile optimization, and claims settlement.

1. First Mile Compliance

No matter the industry, the sourcing validation of products is a vital upstream process that directly influences the performance of a shipment lifecycle and brand perception among customers. However, investments have historically lacked in the “first mile” – or the initial 90 days between ordering an item and the item’s shipment.
While the role of the first mile is still overlooked in the supply chain, it benefits significantly from advances in autonomous technology that collects data and applies information to improve performance and efficiency.
Supplier and order compliance means validating that suppliers are meeting various regulations, abiding by local and international laws, and manufacturing products to the organization’s ethical performance, quality, and safety benchmarks.

By integrating first mile compliance updates into an autonomous, unified platform, organizations can realize increasing returns through:

  • Improved efficiency.
  • Increased agility to unanticipated events.
  • Cost savings.
  • Higher quality, safer products.
  • Improved scalability.
  • Data-driven decision making.
Organizations that harness the power of autonomous technologies and visibility across their first mile operations stand to best chance to adapt and compete in this ever-changing environment.

2. Route Planning

Shippers should consider all available options to achieve the optimal move for every order.
This means looking at every mode – ocean, air, over-the-road, last mile, LTL, or parcel. Optimized logistics planning also considers every leg of the journey to get the maximum combination of order consolidations or options like cross-docking, zone-skipping, multimodal moves, and multi-pick and drop.
Of course, achieving this level of comparison is incredibly complex, especially for an organization with a high volume of orders and shipments.
The complexity of planning doesn’t just involve the company’s shipment type but rather the constraints around those shipments. Complexity goes up with factors like hours of operation, drive times, need-by dates, driver hours of service, and potential operational disruptions.

With so much to consider in multimodal optimization, the importance of having the ability to plan, replan, and continually fine-tune moves becomes clear.

Shippers often think that logistics optimization needs to be simplified. Maybe a company’s supply chain staff lacks the skill to optimize routing efficiently. Autonomous technology eliminates those concerns by providing the tools teams need to run multiple optimization models in real-time.

3. Autonomous Final Mile Optimization

Meeting the dynamic demands of final mile service is critical in today’s consumer-driven market.

The shift to e-commerce has escalated logistics volumes and complexity, with many more on-demand stops intertwined with increasing customer expectations for service and reliability. Carriers can only meet these demands by adapting and updating delivery requests in real-time.

Dynamic routing is the solution for this complex last mile environment. It allows instant, automated rerouting when conditions change in the delivery route. Dynamic routing can navigate add-on stops, cancellations, and delivery time requests, as well as real-time changes in traffic patterns, road closures, or weather conditions.

Autonomous logistics solutions for the final mile recognize that every company is different and requires a high level of customization and personalization to achieve complete optimization.

4. Autonomous Logistics in Claims Settlement

With more packages going to more places, there is an increased potential for shipments to be damaged or lost in transit. Unfortunately, traditional methods for managing claims and settlements are tedious and often result in loss of revenue due to a lack of procedure and adequate follow-up.

Autonomous logistics provides an opportunity to better navigate freight claims processes by getting claims documents in front of carriers and insurance providers as quickly as possible.

There are a lot of steps in the freight claims process. Organizations must obtain appropriate documentation of damage or loss, input that into a system, and pass everything on to the carrier. From there, multiple follow-ups may be required with the carrier for acknowledgment of the claim. Countless updates regarding claim acceptance, denial, dispute, and payment status may occur along the way.
Automation solutions allow shippers to resolve claims more quickly by digitizing filing processes and tracking claim status updates throughout the lifecycle.
Additionally, data collection and analytics help reduce claims in the long term. Information allows users to identify patterns and hone in on specific carriers, lanes, or products with the most claim incidence in order to implement strategic changes and minimize risks.

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Navigate the Changing Logistics Landscape with MercuryGate

Automated logistics goes beyond a linear process of following a shipment through the lifecycle. It relies on historical shipment data to inform future decisions on everything from carrier and mode selection to dynamic route planning. Automated logistics means doing more with less, on time, and with little or no human intervention.

MercuryGate’s suite of automated solutions allows organizations to continuously optimize, predict, and adapt operations at every level of the supply chain.

To learn more about how MercuryGate is changing the game in automated logistics, see how we’re applying technology to solve freight claims management challenges.

Our webinar details how automating your freight claims can reduce costs to protect your bottom line. Watch it today by clicking the button below.

See how automation reduces costs & protects your bottom line.


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