Moving things from one place to another has been the backbone of the global economy pretty much since the agricultural revolution. Most major inventions had to do with improving that process in one form or another. Starting from the mere invention of the wheel some 5,500 years ago, to the invention of the steam turbine that revolutionized the sea and rail transportation, the logistics industry, even before it was named as such, was at the front seat of innovation.
Then why do we not take advantage of the massive technological advancements we have seen the last 30 years?
Of course, we have to some extent — we have improved loading of ships, we use satellites to track where each ship is at any point in time. Warehouses are getting smarter, using RFIDs and barcodes and tags and we have Amazon who is making the logistics industry ultra smart and efficient.
These examples, however, all have one thing in common: the process is owned by one company only. When DHL is tracking your parcel, a DHL driver picks up the parcel, scans it, takes it to the DHL hub, scanned again, goes the DHL plane, gets scanned one more time, and so on until you pick it up and sign the delivery receipt at the DHL driver’s machine. What would happen though if DHL gives to Company B, who hands it to Company C, before Company N delivers it?
The answer is somewhere between completely manual work and chaos and it happens in almost every large B2B order, such as container freight. In order to bring order to that chaos, you need to bring together all players involved in a shipment. It’s a challenge. But it’s the future and one way or another it will be done.
And this is what we are trying to solve here at Orderstate. In the next weeks, we will be sharing our thoughts and ideas on how to make this work. Stay in touch for more updates.