Five things to consider when choosing a courier company in SA
These are the five main considerations for you, and your company to help choose an effective
courier company in a South African context.
Track record of the courier company
When choosing a courier company, it’s important to do your research on the company to ensure, they have a reliable service that you and your company can rely upon them going forward.
The Specific requirements of your company
This is important, as larger shipments of items i.e., bulk quantity may require you to use a more specific courier companythat meets your demands.
Cost of business
Consider the main cost of the service you will be using and the fact that part of this cost will need to be passed onto the end consumer.
Scale of their network
The size of the company’s courier network may also play quite a large role depending on your distribution needs.
You may want to rely on a company who owns a larger courier network, and which is able to transport your items to a wider variety of locations in South Africa.
How does the company mitigate risks?
It is worth considering what measures each service takes to assure the safety and security of your items.
Given the South African context, where the situation on the ground could at times be considered unstable in certain areas, routes or times.
The risk mitigation services of the courier companyin question, is an important element to consider guaranteeing the safety of your items going forward.
These are some of the main considerations you may want to make to take, in order to ensure your items, get to their intended destinations stress free.
What Is The Future of Artificial Intelligence In Logistics?
The future of artificial Intelligence is both incredibly exciting and incredibly promising. Much like the logistics world, the world of AI is fast-paced and ever-changing.
In this article, we will discuss today’s applications and the future potential of artificial intelligence in the logistics world and which areas AI is expected to make the most significant contributions to.
Transport and autonomous vehicles
Today’s example of AI in transport and autonomous vehicles
AI already plays a crucial role in the implementation of autonomous vehicles and drones. Primarily to direct these automated vehicles also known as AGVs or AMRS on which paths to take to reach their destination most quickly and efficiently. AI is also used today on a much smaller scale on large vehicles such as driverless trucks.
In the future: a wider variety of transport applications & cost reductions.
In the future, we could see this being applied to larger vehicles such as trucks in a more widespread way reducing costs and cutting down delivery timeframes and increasing overall supply chain efficiency.
This can be especially important to warehousing, to continue the flow of stock to and from destinations with the least delays and at a reduced cost as these vehicles would not require drivers. This would allow warehousing solutions using AI to have a competitive cost and time advantage over their competition.
Risk management and prediction
Today’s example of AI in risk management
AI can analyse historical data, weather conditions, traffic patterns, and other relevant factors to identify potential risks and mitigate them proactively. It can help logistics companies optimise routes, avoid disruptions, and respond swiftly to unexpected events. AI can also create predictions for possible future risk situations such as stockouts.
We see this today in the form of demand forecasts where an AI will analyse the level of stock in a warehouse and the historical sales data to make demand predictions and suggestions on what to stock up on to mitigate the risk of a stockout situation.
In the future: more accurate, and quicker decision-making.
In the future, we can expect to see AI become more accurate with the predictions it makes. As AI gets better at using the data at its disposal the quality of its suggestions may improve dramatically.
Data analysis and pattern recognition are already one of AI’s strongest areas and as such we can expect its ability to learn from that data and make higher-quality decisions and suggestions to improve.
AI chatbots & GPT 3 and the effects on customer satisfaction.
Today’s example of AI in chatbots
Companies are already using AI technology such as Chat GPT 3 for services such as customer support. How this process works is Chat GPT is used as an intermediary between, the time a customer contacts support, to the time a human can address the customer’s concern. In this post by TechTarget, we can see a deeper insight into exactly how this works.
In the future: Improved chatbot customer support
AI such as chatbots may advance to the point where they can address a wider variety of customer service needs. This would reduce the wait time for the customer to resolve their initial issue and save companies time and money investing in a large customer support network.
This is especially useful for larger companies as they may have hundreds of thousands of users or even millions of users. When you consider that 90% of customers in the US use customer support as a metric to decide whether or not to keep doing business with a company, customer support cannot be overlooked and neither can the quality of that support from a business perspective.
Data Analytics and Insights
Today’s example of AI on data analytics
AI algorithms can process the vast amounts of data which is generated by logistics operations and provide actionable insights for decision-making. By analysing data from various sources, including IoT (Internet of Things) devices, sensors, and customer feedback, AI can optimise operations, improve efficiency, and identify areas for improvement.
In the future: AI that can read for context & create data models.
In the future, we can expect to see AI improve the capacity and speed with which AI can analyse data. The main problem today is that AI struggles to read into the data for deeper context. This means that tasks such as cleaning, validating, and creating data models from this data are primarily done by humans. In future, we can expect to see AI branching out into these areas typically done by humans.
In the complex and fast-paced world of logistics, it is critical to adapt, use new technology, and capitalise on AI’s increased efficiency. This strategy ultimately provides logistics companies with a competitive advantage
While AI offers immense potential, there are challenges to address, such as data privacy, ethics, and the need for human oversight. However, with continued advancements, AI is expected to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of logistics, making it more efficient, reliable, and customer centric.
Logistics Management: The Importance of Supply Chain Visibility
In the fast-paced world of logistics, supply chain visibility is becoming an ever more crucial aspect for effective and productive management. Having the ability to track and monitor materials products, and information across the supply chain is invaluable and has become a way of life for many.
This ability to keep track of products is essential for businesses aiming to reduce costs, increase efficiency and meet growing customer expectations. In this article our focus will be on the significance of supply chain visibility in logistics management and how it can revolutionise the way organisations operate.
The first benefit of supply chain visibility is the potential for operational optimisation to take place effectively. Using real-time tracking allows businesses to gain insights into the flow of goods as they move. This is important because it allows businesses to identify bottlenecks and take the appropriate actions necessary to streamline their services.
Effectively placing businesses in a position where they can begin making data-driven decisions quickly and efficiently. One example of this is inventory, having visibility into inventory levels helps prevent out-of-stock events as well as overstocking, resulting in improved inventory management.
Improved customer service
Delivering exceptional service should be one of the core goals of any business that deals with consumers, and supply chain visibility plays a pivotal role in this area. Today’s customers want their items, and they want them quickly, customer satisfaction is becoming increasingly competitive by providing accurate timely tracking data to customers consistently. Businesses can build the trust and very importantly, the loyalty of their new customers.
Risk mitigation/risk management
In the complex world of logistics, risks and uncertainties are inherent. However, supply chain visibility equips businesses with the tools to mitigate these risks effectively. By closely monitoring the movement of goods, companies can identify potential disruptions such as delays, weather-related issues, or transportation bottlenecks.
This early identification enables logistics managers to implement contingency plans, reroute shipments, or find alternative suppliers, reducing the impact of disruptions on the overall supply chain. With improved visibility, organisations can enhance their resilience and minimise the financial and reputational risks associated with unforeseen events.
Collaboration is a must.
Achieving supply chain visibility will at some point require collaboration to take place between suppliers, carriers, and customers. By growing collaborative partnerships business can create a robust network of interconnected data streams. This will enable the free flow of information across the various sectors of the supply chain and allow for real-time sharing of important information.
Using this data effectively allows suppliers to create accurate forecasts, such as demand forecasts which can be extremely useful from the perspective of keeping stock levels appropriate for the current demand.
In today’s fast-paced and interconnected business landscape, supply chain visibility has become a strategic imperative for logistics management. It empowers organisations with accurate and real-time information, allowing for improved operational efficiency, enhanced customer service, better risk mitigation, and collaborative partnerships.
Embracing supply chain visibility can transform logistics operations, enabling companies to stay competitive, adapt to market changes, and deliver value to their customers. As technology continues to advance, organisations that prioritise supply chain visibility will be well-positioned to navigate the complexities of the logistics industry and drive success in the future.
The Top Five Logistics Companies in Africa (2022-2023)
Based on a combination of revenue, employee count, network size as well as disqualifying any logistics companies which have no current operations or a small operation in Africa. The aim is to identify the largest logistics companies not simply by revenue or worker count but by the overall usefulness of their network and logistics services.
As of the latest data UPS has a total of 536,000 employees, and a total revenue of over $100 billion making UPS the largest logistics company on this list according to total value, and the second largest according to employee count. UPS offers services such as transportation management, customs brokerage, freight consolidation, supplier management, and industrial 3D printing as well as others making UPS a very versatile logistics partner.
UPS also boasts an impressive worldwide network, operating in 220 countries and territories across the globe as of 2023. What earns UPS the top spot however is the fact that in 2022 UPS delivered an astonishing average package count of 24 million packages per day and according to UPS a total of 6.2 billion packages were delivered during that same year.
DHL holds an impressive total package delivery count boasting 1.8 billion parcels delivered worldwide in total. In addition, DHL offers logistics services to both medium and large enterprises in sectors ranging from warehousing, transportation, distribution, freight services, and more. Finally, DHLs network stretches across over 220 countries making it one of the largest networks on this list.
The DHL group has 600,278 employees as of 2023 making this logistics company the largest by employee count. Additionally, the total value of the DHL group currently stands at an astounding $99 billion based on their latest 2023 data. The versatility of DHLs logistics services alone makes DHL a tempting choice for businesses wishing to choose DHL as a logistics partner.
3. Kuehne + Nagel
Kuehne + Nagel is a global transport logistics company their services include ground-based freight and sea freight. They have an impressive network size operating in a total of 106 countries worldwide and boast the impressive status of being 1# in terms of sea and airfreight services worldwide. The Kuehne + Nagel the group has an employee count of 73,516 as of the latest data provided and an impressive value of $35 Billion as of 2023. Their network size coupled with the overall value of the company earns Kuehne + Nagel the number three spot on our list.
4. DB Schenker
DB Schenker offers logistics and supply chain services in areas such as ocean freight, land freight, contract logistics, lead logistics, and air freight. They claim to operate in 2100 locations around the world and operate in a total of 140 countries 38 of these being in Africa alone.
DB Schenker’s employee count currently stands at 76100 as of the latest data provided in addition DB Schenker is valued at close to $20 Billion as of the latest data sources. Their network size ultimately helps DB Schenker take the number four spot on this list.
DSV provides logistics solutions on multiple fronts these include warehousing, land, sea, and air transportation as well as last-mile delivery services. Additionally, DSV has offices in over 80 countries and provides global logistics services to 24 countries. The total employee count stands at 76,283 as of 2022 additionally the value of DSV currently stands at 41 billion as of 2023. The main reason DSV does not rank higher on this list is the size of its network having offices in 80 countries is impressive however having global logistics services only available in 24 countries limits DSVs ranking on this list.
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