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Transportation and Warehousing
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The transportation industry moves goods in a number of ways: via land, ocean, or air. As the product is moved from location to final destination, successful delivery operations are vital for an organization’s financial bottom line. The link between the organization’s warehouse and its transportation operations need to be well coordinated for efficient product movement. Processes in the transportation industry must accurately reflect the scope of its customers’ needs and accommodate changes to those needs according to market trends and consumer behavior.
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Warehouse operations can involve either a third-party organization holding the inventory of a company to make up for a lack of storage space, to reduce the overall cost of warehouse operations, or to allow the company to focus on its core competencies. Warehouses are designed to move and store goods—whether finished goods or semi-finished products such as components or parts—and transact these goods in and out of the physical location to a final destination (or to another warehouse). For successful product delivery, the transportation and warehouse sides of a business need to be robust enough to handle any kind of disturbance within the organization’s production to distribution processes.

As in any industry, companies in the transportation and warehouse industry have their own unique challenges to tackle:
  • Having end-to-end visibility and communication in order to fulfill customer demand and meet customer expectations is more vital than ever, as the operations of many companies are now on a global scale.
  • Staying compliant with international regulations is more and more essential as boundaries for moving materials are extended geographically.
  • Increasing efficiency and minimizing waste within warehouse and transportation operations is crucial, in order to minimize direct impact on the bottom line.
  • Defining operations well in order to provide leading-edge services to customers and stay competitive.
  • Maintaining and updating documentation at the source and at the delivery location is important for maintaining customer satisfaction and complying with governmental regulations.
  • Having the flexibility to change routing or create a new pickup route for items based on changes in the delivery plan is not possible for many transportation organizations.
  • Rising fuel costs will impact profits if the most efficient and fastest routes from the warehouse or distribution center to the final destination are not planned.
  • Needing to communicate to all parties involved information related to freight, shipment durations, and the conditions of items on the move.
  • Avoiding complications in the supply chain, which requires new tools with functionality that most companies have never had in place before, such as global positioning system (GPS) navigation and tracking; load visibility; and computerized or “manless” conveyor systems in storage facilities for the movement of goods.
In short, the above challenges for transportation and warehousing businesses can be handled with appropriate business solutions. By using these solutions, an organization can optimize its operations, provide end-to-end visibility, and acquire the ability to collaborate with production facilities, customers, suppliers, and vendors. Business solutions designed with the functionality to help transportation and warehousing operations achieve their business objectives can be used alone or in combination, including: enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems; warehouse management systems (WMSs); and transportation management systems (TMSs).

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