The Digital Transformation of Logistics

The Digital Transformation of Logistics

By Chris Crutchley on May 30, 2023
Read about the new technologies that are propelling the logistics industry forward.

Just a couple of decades ago, logistics management technology consisted primarily of email correspondence and Excel spreadsheets. 

Although many providers still rely on low-tech logistics management, those methods will not hold on for long. With this year’s percentage of total retail sales made online expected to hit 23%, the low-tech logistics of the past just won’t cut it anymore. 

Nowadays, expectations for efficiency and visibility in e-commerce shipping are sky-high. Customers are shopping in a highly saturated, global e-marketplace, and they look for perks like 2-day shipping and free returns to make their purchase decisions.

Digital transformation has been occurring throughout the past couple of decades, but adoption sped up considerably during COVID. In spite of a post-covid slowdown in demand, customer expectations have remained high, and the pressure on e-commerce businesses to optimize logistics continues to grow.

With that pressure to make e-commerce logistics better, smarter, and faster, it's key you remain up-to-date on the technologies industry leaders are using to get ahead. 

It’s not all robots and drones— digitizing your e-commerce business can be as simple as integrating software that saves you money and gives you info to make better business decisions.

Read about CBIP's Adaptable 4PL Logistics Services

What is logistics digitization, anyway?

You hear terms like digitization and digital transformation thrown around a lot in the logistics world, but what do they really mean?

Furthermore, why is digitization having such a transformative effect on how e-commerce logistics operate?

In the context of logistics, the term “digitization” generally refers to the integration of any digital tools that connect, track, and provide data on different parts of your logistics operation. The goal with any of these digital tools is typically to:

  • Reduce inefficiency in logistics operations
  • Cut cost and delivery time
  • Improve communication between different parts of the logistics chain
  • Identify areas where improvement can be made

Take a look at some of the key areas where digital transformation has made its mark on the logistics industry of late, and the tools businesses are using to optimize logistics.

Order tracking

Digitizing your order management process means integrating your sales platform with all other steps of your fulfillment. With fully integrated and digitized sales software, as soon as you receive an order, your fulfillment center does too.

You can then use tracking software to get real-time updates on the location and status of that order, and your customer can know right away when an order is processed, packed, and sent out.

Inventory Management

Apart from tracking orders, digital software can also help you track and replenish inventory levels. 

Most e-commerce business owners would probably agree that one of the greatest challenges to e-commerce inventory management is trying not to overstock or oversell your supply. 

Using automated inventory management software, you can track actual sales and use that data to predict future sales, forecasting demand to restock just the right amount of inventory.

RELATED: How RFID Asset Tracking Helps Manage E-Commerce Logistics

Route optimization

Using algorithms and information on factors like weather and traffic patterns, you can cut both time and cost down for the last mile of delivery. 

According to studies, route optimization can reduce fuel consumption by as much as 30%. At a time when fuel prices are high and volatile, cutting down your use can save you money and reduce your company’s exposure to sudden price fluctuations.

That translates to real revenue gains, as well as opportunities to attract new customers; when you save on last-mile shipping, you can use that time and money to offer attractive deals like free 2-day shipping to customers.

Data analytics

A big part of digitization is the adoption of technologies that collect, share, and analyze data to help businesses make smarter decisions.

Collecting and analyzing data on customer spending habits, delivery times, and inventory levels helps your e-commerce business figure out where improvements can be made. 

You can use data analytics software to do things like cut spending in places where data shows it isn’t needed, optimize noticeably inefficient areas of your logistics, and continually update what stock you keep on hand as a function of what customers are buying and when.

Warehouse automation

The large, remotely located, inefficient warehouse model of the past is slowly becoming obsolete thanks to warehouse automation tech.

Robotics, AI, wearable technologies and the like have been revolutionizing the way that warehouses operate and fulfill orders. 

Using automated machines that work both autonomously and in tandem with human employees not only improves efficiency, it also makes warehouses safer, reduces errors in order fulfillment, and completes small menial tasks, freeing up time for humans to do the more complex jobs.

Improve overall visibility by teaming up with CBIP

RFID tracking, warehouse management systems, route optimization software… the list goes on! 

All of those components are crucial for digitizing and optimizing your logistics, but just having all of those components isn’t enough; they also have to work well together.

To avoid issues with compatibility between software systems and logistics partners with processes stuck in the past, partner with CBIP. As a global 4PL, we have providers in our partner network located all over the world, east to west. 

The best part is that their software is all connected to us, and all the data and tracking info from their systems are available to you 24/7 from our easy-to-use, centralized platform.

Ready to catapult your e-commerce logistics into the future? Contact us today to get a free consultation on what’s best for your business. 

About Author

Chris Crutchley

Chris Crutchley is CBIP’s director of operations and finance. He has over a decade of corporate finance and operational expertise throughout the Asia Pacific.

In logistics, Chris strives to continuously innovate and challenge the industry’s norms in order to offer clients world-class service that emphasizes clear communication.


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Every e-commerce brand or seller is a little different. So, the best way for us to provide you with a detailed quote is to fill out our online questionnaire here and from here we can walk you through the various options available to you with CBIP Logistics.

No, we do not charge the higher fee associated with long-term storage. No matter how long the goods remain in our warehouse. They are charged the same rate for inventory storage.

Yes! We can store your inventory and replenish Amazon as necessary, helping you adhere to Amazon’s strict rules and regulations for packaging, labeling and shipping.

We charge for storage by either cubic meter, sqft or per pallet / racking space per week. It depends on the request from the customer as one-size doesn’t fit all. It would be better if you schedule a call with us

We provide a variety of services in the logistics landscape which includes Ocean Freight, Airfreight, Domestic Delivery, Warehouse & Distribution and Customs Clearance & Brokerage.

We offer several types of warehouses that are tailored to your requirements and vary among countries, e.g. Bonded Warehouse, General Warehouse, Consolidated Warehouse and Distribution Center.

Yes, you can track it from our platform by using the “Log In” function and access to “B2B” which is dedicated to track any shipment you have with us. This is a real-time platform which integrates with some major carriers so from here you can get the visibility of vessels on the globe map.

  • Origin Management: digital PO management and connected suppliers supported by agnostic 3PL vendor management capabilities.

  • Shipment Tracker: real time tracking also vessel tracking to let you know where the goods are.

  • Destination Management: platform manage the delivery to Distribution Centre and update frequently on platform.

  • Paperless Handling: we centralize the document hub on the platform for shipment-by-shipment. From here you can get the full documentation of a particular shipment within a click.

We offer the consulting services to enterprises who looking for either:

  • Optimizing their existing operations for cost, operation & performance effectiveness.

  • Scale their B2C or B2B business

Yes, our consulting services range from completing assessments on existing business, strategy & planning, tendering & RFP development, vendor selection and transitions & special projects.

Every business, we have a dedicated Account Manager who is the focal contact point that you can get in touch for daily operation.

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