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Transport and logistics and the taxi industry have much in common. Both rely on effective movement from one place to another—and are set to experience major industry disruptions. Whether via truck, plane or ship, transport and logistics relies on a combination of supply chain management, warehousing and distribution planning. It’s the business of getting product—and sometimes people—from point of origin to destination. So what is the transportation and logistics industry doing that taxi companies can learn from?

1. Data-Driven Logistics

The Goods: The integration of data into the movement of goods and packages has changed the face of transport and logistics. Key concepts like big data, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence (AI) are becoming commonplace in the industry. United Parcel Service (UPS) is an industry leader when it comes to integrating data into a sophisticated dispatch system. UPS’ route-optimization system, called ORION, analyzes data to create efficient routes on a daily basis. ORION consists of over 250 million unique address points—which are analysed in concert with customers’ shipping requirements—and a customized set of compiled map data. The result of all of this data crunching? The ORION system recommends routes that save UPS 10 million gallons of gas and 100,000 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

The Takeaway: Taxi companies need to recognize the benefits that intelligent dispatch systems can offer. Not only can these systems increase efficiency, but they also greatly improve the service offered to customers. When it takes less time for taxis to pick up and transport customers, everyone benefits. Our PathFinder is a good example of software that can make this happen. Designed for larger fleets of between 50 and 5,000+ vehicles, it’s cloud-based and fully customizable, allowing companies to adapt the system to both the needs of their business and the needs of their drivers and passengers.

2. Prioritizing Customer Needs

The Goods: In transport and logistics, satisfying customer needs means quick delivery right to your door. Next-day—and, in some cases, same-day—delivery service is becoming an expectation rather than luxury. In the UK, for example, retail parcel delivery order volumes in August 2018 rose 10.3% over the year before, with next-day delivery accounting for over half of all deliveries.

Flexible and convenient delivery options are also a requirement. Customers want to be able to choose their own delivery time and to track the exact location of their shipment throughout the delivery process. With younger buyers on the hunt for the most user-friendly and convenient option, transport and logistics companies are finding innovative ways to meet these needs. Amazon Key, for example, allows Amazon delivery drivers to open a customer’s home or car and leave a package inside.   

The Takeaway: To meet customer needs and attract new clientele, especially when it comes to getting millennials on board, customer service is crucial. Delivering a great experience is obviously important, but tech expectations are also growing. When it comes to something like transport, customers now want a user-friendly app that allows them to quickly and easily hail a ride. Fairly or unfairly, every customer solution is being compared to what the tech giants are offering.   

3. Planning for Future Innovations

The Goods: On the leading edge of transport and logistics, startups across the world are experimenting with new, innovative ways to deliver packages and goods to your front door. In Iceland, a local startup called Aha is using drones to deliver hot food, groceries and electronics. Another startup, Udelv, is experimenting with the delivery of groceries by autonomous vehicles in Oklahoma City. Other companies are using simple innovations to overcome modern challenges. A company in London, England has launched a two-hour delivery service that uses cargo bicycles to deliver goods within the city, avoiding traffic issues.

The Takeaway: Taxi companies should be paying attention to innovation in their own industry—and others—when planning how to respond to upcoming disruptions. This incorporation of new ideas and technologies not only ensures your company will remain relevant in the future, but also allows your brand to gain the recognition associated with being an early adopter. Fully-electric fleets? Multi-modal integration? The opportunities are endless, and developing quickly. With autonomous vehicles, flying taxis, futuristic tunnels and more on the horizon, it’s the companies that remain flexible and adaptive that will continue to grow.

The transport and logistics industry and the taxi business are both on the brink of major changes. The two streams can learn a lot from each other when it comes to integrating data-driven fleet management, attracting a younger clientele and preparing for industry disruptions. DDS Wireless is here to help your company provide the best service, now and in the future.

Learn which of our leading software solutions is right for your fleet, and begin optimizing your taxi management today.

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