logistics industry

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Visibility in the supply chain a prerogative in the logistics industry

For the logistics industry, the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical tensions between China and the US as well as the war in Ukraine have all contributed to the challenges. Yet, apart from these, one of the biggest challenges in logistics today is catering to growing customer expectations.

For most companies, keeping costs low, especially in the last mile is key to ensuring they can remain profitable and meet customer expectations. With cross-border logistics becoming increasingly complex, is imperative that businesses, especially those in the e-commerce industry leverage the most advance intelligent logistics management tools.

While many tools enable this, the most important component would be visibility. In the logistics industry, visibility is pretty much the key ingredient in ensuring a safe and seamless journey for a product. Be it cross-border shipments or even quick commerce, visibility tools enable logistic companies to not only optimize route journeys and manage their fleet but also provide the necessary information to their customers.

To help businesses enhance their visibility to manage their supply chain and logistics, Shipsy provides organizations with a smart end-to-end global logistics management platform. Speaking to Tech Wire Asia during Tech Week Singapore, Dhruv Agrawal, Chief Operating Office and co-founder of Shipsy explained that their intuitive platform provides complete visibility of first, middle, and last mile operations, unlocks operational efficiency, and leverages real-time analytics to make informed decisions.

“We work with a few of the largest exporters and importers, helping them manage their imports, as well as exports of goods across global carriers. And in the export-import space, the carriers can remain consistent across the world, because you have more global carriers rather than localized carriers for domestic modes,” commented Agrawal.

It’s all about visibility in the logistics industry 

Dhruv Agrawal, Chief Operating Office and co-founder of Shipsy

According to Agrawal, the idea of helping businesses deal with these visibility issues started back in India, whereby he and his team decided to build out a platform to solve the basic problems in logistics. In India, the logistics industry is massive, relying on almost every mode of transport available. But there were still problems with managing the first-mile and last-mile delivery, especially in getting the visibility status of a delivery.

“We are solving the basic problems in logistics. We want to help customers manage their first and last-mile deliveries. This included understanding how they can optime their first attempt delivery and how they can address challenges in the last mile of delivery so that the overall customer experience is world-class,” said Agrawal.

From a technology standpoint, Agrawal explained that Shipsy has a very holistic platform. Whether it is domestic or international logistics, small or large parcels for e-commerce of enterprises, the Shipsy platform can manage it.

“If you look at cross-border logistics, you will need to rely on multiple players. The first mile will be one player while the last mile is another. How can you stitch that journey together and give the best experience to your customer? For them, it’s just a single journey. We had to solve these problems initially. Today, logistics have changed. You have people doing hyperlocal deliveries on the same platform like quick commerce and such. So we enable businesses to offer customers the visibility of how and where it is coming from. Be it from the same warehouse for express delivery or somewhere further, depending on the product,” added Agrawal.

Visibility on logistics, be it local or cross-border is also critical for sensitive deliveries. For example, when it comes to logistics for pharmaceutical products, visibility is very important in ensuring a product reaches its destination on time. The trust deficits are particularly stronger when it comes to cross-border logistics because it involves different countries.

“There are a lot of those use cases. While we haven’t really gone too deep into them, we definitely see some of the future scopes of work for us, in terms of building solutions based on blockchain for a product in the international trade logistics platform. We’re bringing a lot of learnings from around the world to this region. These include how we can use blockchain to make the experience for international goods movement better,” concluded Agrawal.

Shipsy has already expanded from India to the Middle East and is continuing to build its presence in Indonesia and the rest of Asia Pacific. For Agrawal, each country provides its unique set of challenges which they will have to sort out first to ensure they can deliver the best in service.

“We definitely have to localize a bit more because we’re still relatively new to this part of the world. We realized that the local language is a bigger thing here (Indonesia). In a lot of countries, you need to have a language layer. Our platform fundamentally has multilingualism capabilities. Because a lot of our systems are based on machine learning, so it uses external users’ data to suggest what is better. We try to build that critical data for us in terms of being able to give the right recommendations, be it in route planning and so on. We have external APIs for a lot of these datasets, but having our own internal experience with data here kind of really helps,”

For Agrawal, it is all about empowering businesses to optimize costs and boost profitability through state-of-the-art solutions in the logistics industry. And this can only be achieved by having sufficient information on visibility on the supply chain for both organizations and their customers.