Freight forwarders in Germany move many millions of tons of goods every year - and still do so in an analog and manual way. At the same time, they benefit enormously from digitizing the handling of goods. Mobile apps help them record data faster, keep their employees in the hall well informed, and avoid searching for packages.
Well-done logistics means providing the right goods at the right place in the desired quantity and condition. This is standard practice in industry and commerce as well as among service providers. In order to fulfill this task, transportation plays an important role. For a great many goods, this also means that they are handled at a freight forwarder's terminal on their way to the recipient. This is a process that makes value chains efficient and requires a great deal of coordination. This is because logistics companies consolidate shipments for their distribution logistics and procurement logistics orders in order to optimize truck capacity utilization. By transferring from local transport to their regular transports in the main run, they create the appropriate solution for a sustainable supply chain. Mobile apps help them manage the complex tasks and processes in each area, keeping them flexible and freeing up space.
Paperless processes simplify goods handling
Knowing what needs to be done: With mobile terminals, information and work instructions in cargo handling get to where they are needed. Directly at the individual packages, they not only replace paper loading lists in the cargo handling hall. They also display the current status in real time. A target/actual comparison enables logistics service providers to actively monitor the timely loading of scheduled shipments. In doing so, they benefit from:
- digital unloading reports
- dynamic loading lists
- interactive area maps
- mobile video search functions
A virtual control center in the mobile app also shows the progress of all orders with a simple traffic light system. Shipments that have not yet been unloaded are displayed in red. Orders where individual packages have not yet been loaded appear in yellow. Fully unloaded shipments are displayed in green. This makes it possible to see at a glance where action is required.
Opening up new potential with mobile apps
Digitized processes for cargo handling are convincing because of their dynamism. With real-time data, they make it possible to process orders received late, even during ongoing production. They also provide the option of better timing for unloading and handling. For this purpose, the hall management can monitor the estimated time of arrival (ETA) of incoming traffic and compare it with the cut-off time of outgoing lines. This makes it possible to quickly identify whether it is worth delaying the departure of the truck for a particular route until the arrival of a scheduled shipment. In addition, shippers can use the app to track where they can find a particular package in the transshipment hall: via an area map as well as by accessing the video search system and the inbound scan recordings it captures. The apps also speed up another time-consuming process: for damage processing, an employee can not only take photos of the damage directly in the hall. If he also enters a short description, a damage report can be created automatically and sent to all relevant recipients. It is also directly linked to the order concerned and automatically archived.
Digitized cargo handling creates space
Freight forwarders with limited space in particular benefit from interactive digital handling processes. This is because mobile apps offer them the opportunity to reallocate handling areas several times during handling - as soon as the previous order has been completed. This gives them new space to handle additional shipments. The software solutions help them to clearly structure routes in the hall so that packages can be quickly staged in the clearly marked areas in front of the correct loading gate. Especially in areas with high land and real estate prices, this becomes an important advantage. Even if a package should stop during loading, the warehouse staff can directly identify which order it belongs to with a scan in the app, thus ensuring speedy transport on the following day.
Cargo handling benefits from direct communication through mobile apps
Real-time communication and mobile devices significantly accelerate freight handling. Apps in conjunction with connected software solutions allow employees to keep track of time slots and deadline shipments with confidence. They can orient themselves more quickly between different orders and shipments in the handling hall and have to search significantly less for individual packages. Precise information on the arrival and departure times of individual trucks rounds off the efficient process: mobile apps significantly improve handling quality and speed.