Dispatching is one of the key components when it comes to executing seamless delivery operations. But it is not as easy as it looks. Constantly changing customer demands, evolving business needs and priorities, driver shortages and more significantly impacts how an organization executes its dispatching activities. What made things worse was the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It simply exposed the vulnarabilities that businesses had in their supply chain operations. According to statista.com, during the coronavirus outbreak in the United States in April 2020, around 65 percent of consumers reported that their online grocery shopping took more than two days to be available for pickup or delivery.
While there are a plethora of challenges when it comes to modern-day dispatching, let’s first talk about how dispatch tracking is increasingly becoming a major concern.
Poor system interoperability with LTL or 3PL service providers, fast and same-day deliveries, lack of automation and poor routing are making dispatching and tracking delivery fleet a herculean task, especially for retailers and eCommerce companies.
1. Poor System Interoperability
Relying on 3PL partners, especially LTL providers, to meet growing demand for home deliveries have become increasingly common. But the problem shippers face is tracking goods and parcels once dispatching has been done. Where are the goods? How far is it from a delivery location? When will the parcel be delivered to the customer? Questions like these become difficult to answer because of poor system interoperability. We have frequently seen that a shipper’s dispatching system is absolutely disjointed from a 3PL or LTL provider’s system making it extremely difficult to track delivery fleets. Hence, even if businesses put in a lot of effort to get dispatching right, the end objective of delivering on time might not be met. This lack of connection between two disparate systems results in poor visibility and this is echoed in form of delayed deliveries, increasing chances of transportation risks, inefficient decision making, inaccurate KPI benchmarking and more.
An advanced logistics platform intelligently connects a shippers dispatching software with 3PL or LTL systems and immediately enables real-time tracking of fleet operations once dispatching is done.
2. Same-day Delivery Challenges
The demand for same-day deliveries has made dispatching not only an extremely critical aspect of delivery operations but also one of the most complex one. In technical terms same-day deliveries is defined as a distribution service that prepares, dispatches and delivers orders to the customer’s location on the same day the order from the customer is placed. Since, all the three needs to be done in a single day and order sizes are usually small, same day deliveries tend to become more costly and complex. With regards to dispatching, time selection for same-day services is often more challenging than traditional distribution, since vehicles may not be dispatched simultaneously at the beginning of the operating day (like it is done for delivery with a longer time period) and in many cases the same vehicles are used again to execute more same-day deliveries. This adds another layer of complexity in the guise of preparing highly efficient delivery routes. To keep things in perspective, same day deliveries make dispatching difficult owing to the brief allocation period, finding delivery partners who can fulfill same day delivery expectations and planning highly efficient routes.
A dispatching platform powered by tools that automated task allocation and multi-drop route planning, dynamic routing capabilities and intelligent crowdsourcing tools drastically enhances dispatching.
3. Dispatching and Routing Disconnect
Routing is one of the most important aspects of dispatch tracking. All effort to ensure a spot-on dispatch execution goes to vain if delivery routes associated with a dispatch is inefficient. This is also a major reason behind why manual or traditional dispatching and route planning processes should be completely eliminated. For instance, when executing something as demanding as same day deliveries, with primitive dispatching methods it’s absolutely impossible to assign delivery tasks based on historical driver KPIs, real-time fleet or vehicle location and route performance. Route planning itself is a complicated affair. It’s not just transporting packages from point A to point B. It entails so much more. Businesses need to consider factors like fuel costs, driver productivity, risks, one way windows, delivery urgency among other things. Unless an efficient route is chalked out, commencing with dispatching is not a good idea at all. On the other hand, with highly efficient delivery routes in place businesses can dispatch delivery tasks within seconds.
A dispatching platform that’s powered by real-time dynamic routing empowers businesses to optimize last-mile operations by optimizing fleet capacity, enhancing fleet tracking, control and visibility, reducing operational expenses, boosting delivery profitability and more.
FarEye’s logistics platform empowers you to optimize your dispatch operations by digitalising them. In addition to automation, businesses get real-time and predictive visibility of movement of orders and packages that are dispatched. FarEye’s highly available SaaS-based platform is powered by IoT and helps dispatchers track and transmit live location, state and ETA status to key stakeholders. It ensures timely delivery, real-time visibility, proactive delay mitigation and high operational efficiency. Hundreds of enterprises across 20+ are using FarEye’s platform to enhance, optimize and automate dispatching. If you would like to achieve the same, signup for a quick demo here.