We live in a digital world where customers expect a seamless, tech-enabled shopping experience, from the point of sale to the moment of delivery — and sometimes beyond to returns. They may not give much thought to what’s happening behind the scenes, where logistics, warehousing and transportation work hand-in-hand to meet delivery expectations. 

For businesses, those “behind the scenes” happenings are critical. They’re also an area where growing companies face challenges as they piece together systems, solutions and processes to ensure a smooth, seamless delivery process every time. When fulfillment, delivery and the final mile aren’t working from the same playbook, things can go awry quickly.

To avoid these problems, more companies are using digital logistics ecosystems that help optimize the flow of goods across the supply chain. 

Unfortunately, building and maintaining these platforms internally can consume significant resources. Not only are they expensive, but logistics ecosystems also require a huge volume of data. Training artificial intelligence (AI) models and getting granular supply chain details require a large volume of data that smaller organizations simply don’t have.

Better operational efficiency and happier customers 

The need for digital logistics ecosystems is real and growing. “Digital transformation in logistics has ushered in a new era of end-to-end visibility, where manual processes are replaced with automated operations,” Global Trade reports. “Real-time tracking and updates have grown crucial as customers seek smooth delivery experiences and become more educated.”

Companies that embrace digitization can discard their manual, paper-based processes in favor of modern solutions that support real-time shipping process execution. 

“By providing timely and accurate information throughout the supply chain journey,” the publication adds, “this change not only improves operational efficiency but also greatly increases customer satisfaction.”

5 Reasons why you need an integrated ecosystem 

At its core, an effective logistics platform involves one part fulfillment, one part parcel and one part last-mile logistics provider. Together, these three functions ensure prompt order fulfillment, efficient shipping and fast-as-possible delivery to the customer. 

By providing an integrated digital ecosystem, effective logistics platforms merge digital technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud computing onto a single platform. Using that platform, a warehousing provider, parcel shipping company, crowdsourced last-mile delivery partner or individual business can:

  • Increase efficiencies by automating tasks, optimizing tasks and freeing logistics employees up to spend time on more strategic projects.
  • Save money with reduced logistics and operational costs by, for example, using only the most efficient routes and carrier options; lowering inventory levels; and reducing errors that could result in mis-shipments and other problems.
  • Improve shipment visibility across the entire supply chain — from the time an order is received until the item reaches its final destination. When customers can track their deliveries in real time, it builds confidence and trust.
  • Resolve issues quickly with an ecosystem that supports good two-way communication across supply chain partners. Problems don’t have time to fester; they’re identified and addressed quickly. 
  • Cultivate a happier customer base that comes back to place more orders. Faster delivery times translate into a more positive customer experience. 

We’ll do the heavy lifting for you 

Customer demand for fast deliveries isn’t going away. In fact, the company that started it all with its Prime offering is now promising to up the ante further this year. By Amazon’s own count, the company delivered more than 7 billion packages globally the same or next day in 2023 and wants to get “even faster” in 2024. 

Amazon’s relentless commitment to fast delivery times is just one sign that it’s time to tighten up companies’ logistics approach and tap into the power of UPS’ integrated digital ecosystem. 

Where larger companies may have their own digital logistics ecosystems and partnerships in place, integrated logistics providers will do the heavy lifting for you. You’ll be up and running quickly with a complete platform that helps you efficiently and effectively expand your digital capabilities. Click here to learn how you can get more out of your logistics ecosystem with Roadie.