There has been a sea change in carriage management in the last twenty years. The advent and subsequent phenomenal popularity of eCommerce has transformed logistics like never before. Today, carriage management is as much about technology as it is about logistics, such as the physical infrastructure including warehousing, specialised services such as inventory management or order fulfilment and definitely the fleet of vehicles. Logistics has always relied on various technologies to remain relevant and efficient. Very little is left to chance and everything is planned extensively. Carriage management is no longer just about logistics. You could have the best warehousing practices and the most reliable order fulfilment centres, yet fail to live up to the expectations of the consumers.
It is not necessary to consider the entire spectrum of carriage management. Something as simple as the basic demand of eCommerce, such as doorstep delivery, can emphasise on the need of state of the art technology. Online shoppers expect doorstep delivery. Many may prefer to pick up their purchased goods from a nearby store. In either scenario, a company attending to carriage management will have to deal with diverse demands simultaneously. Before eCommerce, carriage management was mostly about predetermined origins and destinations, preset routes and completely predictable routines throughout the year. Only when a new route would become necessary did any carriage management company make an appropriate change. Today, routes and destinations change every minute and every day. It is not possible to predict which routes would become busier and which destinations would become irrelevant for the time being.
Carriage management has to be planned in real time today. As the orders come in and the fulfilment centres complete their job, carriage management should have already factored in the specific details of shipments and planned the delivery accordingly. It is no longer sufficient to have a vehicle on standby, sizeable enough to carry the purchased goods and to hit the road steadfastly. It is necessary to map the route that will be most relevant for a given set of recipients. Since there can be hundreds of orders, different destinations and varying expectations on any given day, it is not as simple as charting one course or mapping a few routes in a region. Carriage management has to rely on state of the art technology, mostly software that would be able to facilitate timely order fulfilment while ensuring impeccable efficiency and reliability.