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International Forwarding Association Blog » European Logistics Network » How the advent of technology has completely changed the logistics industry
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How the advent of technology has completely changed the logistics industry

Just three decades ago, logistics and the services provided by international freight forwarders was part of the supply chain which was never fully transparent, clear and predictable. The reason why the international freight services in the 1970s and 1980s were so uncertain and not straightforward was the lack of means to keep track of the shipments, their exact location, and condition in real time.

Thanks to the rapid development in technology in the past few decades, today the list of logistics companies from IFA and all freight forwarders around the world have the technological and communication means to track all shipments and goods no matter whether they are subject to small shipments, complete loads or specialized transportation.

With the advent of the new technologies, communication systems and information management systems, the companies from the European logistics network now do not need to perform most tasks manually, as most of them are almost completely automated, streamlined and much easier and simpler to complete.

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Here are some of the recent innovations which have had a particular impact on the development of the logistics, storage and distribution and international forwarding services provided by the members of the International Forwarding Association:

The Internet

No doubt, the Internet has completely changed all of our lives, which includes the main processes of the supply chain, the storage, and distribution of goods, the international freight services and all other aspects of international and national commerce.

Today, the companies from the freight forwarders network readily share the data regarding the movement of the goods, and other relevant information with the producers, vendors and all other groups along the supply chain.

The Internet has allowed for much faster commercial transactions and shortened time periods between the actual purchase of the goods and their final delivery.

Thanks to the Internet, today the European network for transportation is successfully implementing new programs such as point of sale data sharing, just in time delivery, electronic information exchange and others.

Robotics and Automation

The rapid developments in the robotics and automation sphere have no doubt improved the efficiency of the services offered by the list of logistics companies from the European logistics network. Thanks to the automated cranes, robots and drones, the storage and distribution and the warehouse management have become much easier to manage, cheaper, requiring less human labor and time, faster and more efficient.

More companies from the freight forwarders network are implementing robots for preparing goods for pallet shipping, packaging, order picking, and others.

Also, there are modern automated sorting systems which allow for a much faster and more precise sorting of packages, goods, and small shipments, as compared to the times when the process was done manually.

Radio technology installed in the trucks allows for real-time tracking of each and every package onboard, even when intermodal transport in Europe or European groupage services are being offered.

The Tech-savvy generation

Today’s logistics professionals who are just entering the business have grown up using computers, mobile phones and other modern technology, which makes them more prepared to work with the latest logistics hardware and software being introduced by more and more of the forwarders throughout Europe.

As you can see, in the last several decades, there has been a major boost and improvement in the services provided by the international freight forwarding companies, which is largely due to the rapid growth of technological improvements and innovations which we are all witnessing in the last 20-30 years or so.