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Recent studies suggest a vast majority of businesses expect to offer same-day shipping by 2025. Nevertheless, 65% of survey respondents reported feeling behind technologically since they still rely on a mix of manual and digital systems. While seeking to accelerate shipping, distribution centers must also navigate persistent labor shortages and high labor turnover. The American Trucking Association projects an absence of 82,000 drivers by 2024 despite expected economic growth. At the same time, distribution giants like Amazon continue to raise customer expectations by offering delivery in as little as two hours. While smaller delivery ETAs are often connected to a distributor’s proximity to customers, an expectation for fast, accurate shipments has become the norm, posing a challenge for modern-day distributors.

At least 165 billion packages are shipped yearly in the U.S., which means a 1% error rate can affect thousands of customers, deterring them from future transactions. Therefore, to preserve customer loyalty, distributors have chosen to also focus on optimizing truck loading. When done correctly, efficient truck loading can:

  • Minimize error rates
  • Accelerate delivery timeframes
  • Optimize delivery routes
  • Establish clear traceability

All of these factors work together to drive down operational costs, ultimately creating a cost-effective system that meets customer expectations, enables competitive prices, and secures profitability.

Three Technologies Optimizing Truck Loading

  1. Intelligent Scanning – While manual data capture may seem intuitive and familiar to most distribution centers, it is often prone to errors. On the other hand, automated data capture technologies such as Zebra’s ultra-rugged computers effortlessly connect to your WMS to verify barcodes match parcels assigned to a respective truck.
  2. Durable Barcodes – From receiving to shipping, inventory may pass through multiple checkpoints. Varying storage and shipment environments may call for maximized adhesive strength, which is why rugged enterprise labels are indispensable to protecting barcode legibility and accurate data capture. Zebra’s Certified Labels best exemplify durability since they are made from pretested materials to mitigate early fading, peeled edges, and premature printhead failure.
  3. Identifier Software – Since shipping docks can be busy and chaotic during peak seasons, it may be worth investing in tracking software to verify the correct parcels are loaded onto the truck. For example, LoadRight loudly identifies wrong parcels by sounding an alert. Moreover, missing packages are readily shown to the loading team, further curbing delays.

As supply chain challenges continue to develop and change, automation solutions continue to empower teams to overcome challenges with adaptable visibility. Empowered with the correct tools, businesses can expect to meet expectations and safeguard consumer loyalty by eliminating errors and delays. Learn additional ways you can optimize your shipment dock when you schedule a preliminary walkthrough of your operations with ProCat.

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