The most critical facet of transportation and logistics is communications. All the parts of the system must be in sync. While email, voice, and custom systems solve parts of the problem, only SMS offers the global coverage and cost-effectiveness logistics companies require. SMS is gaining a foothold in logistics because it solves communications problems and offers new solutions to important use cases.
Why SMS: Universal coverage, no internet required, immediate notifications
Email and other internet-enabled solutions require a mobile data connection to work. 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. SMS messages don’t require a connection to the internet--so don't worry about needing high speed data coverage. 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.
Most of all, SMS is instant. In all of the examples below, those messages get right to drivers or back to home base. Delivery received or delayed? Tap, send, and everyone gets the status report. Route updates, the drivers get them instantly. Unlike email or voice, SMS messages are sent without delay. They just go through and go through fast.
SMS works around the world on even the most basic devices. The same just can’t be said for email, apps, or other solutions.
There’s more to SMS than sending messages. Here are four ways SMS solves transportation and logistics challenges that go beyond keeping in touch.
4 Ways SMS bridges communications gaps
SMS easily bridges communications gaps faced by drivers, companies, and customers. SMS connects people to people, applications to people, and people to information more quickly and more effectively than email, voice, or apps alone.
Route updates delivered
Say a driver 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.
What if you get a last-minute contract for a pickup and delivery? 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. Not bad for 160 characters.
Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Maybe a driver had to detour far out of their way or had 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.
Customer service with less hassle
Speaking of customers, everyone 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, 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.
Sync 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.
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 isn’t local. Logistics and deliveries are global. You can’t have systems, like those that rely on mobile internet connections, that can’t span the globe. SMS is one of the few technologies where a single communications tool can reach nearly everyone, everywhere.
Global scale brings not just unparalleled connectivity, but cost savings as well. Nowhere else can you find global coverage, technical expertise, and cost-effective communications than SMS with Infobip.
Better Communication, Better Service, More revenue
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.
Better communications means 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.