Logistics SMS Solutions You May Not Have Thought of

The most critical facet of transportation and logistics is communications. Logistics SMS solves key communication problems and meets a growing pool of use cases, so it’s little surprise that it’s gaining traction. Here’s what you need to know.

The benefits of logistics SMS

Key benefits of logistics SMS include:

  • Universal coverage: works around the world on even basic mobile devices
  • No internet required
  • Real-time notifications

Email and other internet-enabled solutions require a mobile data connection to work. But mobile data can be expensive, inconsistent, and, if drivers cross multiple international borders, complicated to administer.

Because SMS messages are short, they require less data to transmit, so are less susceptible to issues from poor cell service. They don’t require a connection to the internet, so you don’t need to worry about having high-speed data coverage.

What’s more, SMS messages get through when a voice call is impossible. When there is no internet connection and not enough bars to make a call, SMS cuts through and gets the message across.

Perhaps best of all, SMS is immediate and allows you to get messages to drivers in real time. Unlike email or voice, SMS messages are sent without delay. So if you need to get a route update to drivers asap, you just tap, send, and everyone gets the status update.

Let’s explore some of the key use cases for logistics SMS:

How logistics SMS bridges communications gaps

SMS easily bridges communications gaps faced by drivers, companies, and customers. It connects people to people, applications to people, and people to information – more quickly and more effectively than email, voice, or apps alone.

1. Deliver route updates

Picture this: one of your drivers is heading towards a massive storm. The driver might know it’s ahead, but not the best way around it. A simple SMS can alert the driver to the problem ahead and send an updated route straight to their GPS.

Here’s another scenario: you receive a last-minute contract for a pickup and delivery. What now? An SMS from dispatch can go to a driver on the route to make the pickup and delivery on their way. A simple route change that wins new business and generates revenue.

Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Sometimes a driver has to detour far out of their way or runs into some mechanical trouble. The on-board GPS can alert dispatch that a truck is off its planned route or making an unplanned stop. You can contact the driver to find out if there is a problem and be able to update customers if the shipment will be delayed.

2. Keep customers informed and supported

Eeryone likes to know when deliveries are coming. We usually think of getting updates for small packages coming to home or work. Many couriers and carriers already take advantage of SMS for sending customer updates, but what about bigger shipments? From route updates to customer queries, SMS messages keep customers in the loop and off the phone with agents.

Agents can juggle several SMS chats with different customers at once. Quotes, delivery updates, and basic information can be managed at the same time without skipping a beat.

3. Easily integrated with internal systems

Application-to-person (A2P) connections between your systems and SMS are simple and efficient ways to streamline communications between drivers, dispatch, and customers. Drivers can automatically receive updated delivery instructions, new orders, and updates straight from your logistics systems. Anything you need to communicate with drivers, customers, or the company can be connected through on-premise hardware or simple API integrations with cloud systems.

The same way you can get an alert from your bank or credit card via SMS, your entire logistics team can stay up to date with simple, concise messages.

4. Reliable communication with drivers

Even if you already have a smartphone app for logistics management, you can combine the push messages the app sends with SMS when your system detects that drivers don’t have data coverage. SMS is a standard for emergency and rapid communications. Whether it’s your primary channel or a fall back when data networks are clogged or unavailable, SMS keeps people connected.

What about cost and coverage?

Logistics and deliveries are global, not local. isn’t local. But you can’t have systems that work on a global scale if you’re reliant on mobile internet connections.

Thankfully, logistics SMS is one of the few technologies where a single communications tool can reach nearly anyone around the world. It offers unparalleled connectivity and global coverage, but it’s cost-effective too.

Better Communication, Better Service, More revenue

While email, voice, and custom systems solve parts of the problem, only SMS offers the global coverage and cost-effectiveness logistics companies require. Using SMS, either as your main communications channel or by augmenting existing channels, gives you flexible communications options you can use to reach drivers, customers, partners, and systems with less hassle and more reliability than email, voice, or push.

With better communications, it’s easier to run your business and meet the challenges of today’s global logistics industry. Simple improvements in communications, powered by SMS, can bring in new revenue opportunities and bring you to the forefront of technology.

Nov 29th, 2016
4 min read