The entire transportation sector is transitioning to smart technologies, IoT monitoring and seamless data exchange. The contactless payment concept, which is gaining interest in the wake of the pandemic, is based on RFID technology. Consumers tap a debit, credit or chip card at a payment terminal instead of swiping it, and they don’t have to enter a PIN to complete the transaction.

Two billion people already use mobile wallets, another form of contactless payment. Digital transactions are becoming increasingly popular in the trucking industry, for the same reasons other industries have moved to contactless payments. This method is more convenient for both parties, especially when each is expected to socially distance themselves. The two required elements are a POS system and contactless payment software designed for businesses that perform several hundred transactions per day.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) reports a shortage of drivers in recent years, in part due to the rapid growth of e-commerce. It has created opportunities for new independent delivery services, especially companies that invest in IoT technology and create a carrier app for on-demand delivery services. The addition of a contactless payment system makes life even easier for delivery drivers.

Contactless payment system in road transport

There are different types of contactless payment systems and contactless payment strategies used by carriers. The concept was first used in the 1990s by a small percentage of transportation companies, but it was very primitive compared to today’s technology. Common options for existing contactless payment systems include contactless smart cards, contactless debit cards, wearables and smartphone-friendly systems.

Strategies that have proven effective for trucking companies in implementing contactless payment systems include automation, collaboration, and contactless freight payment systems with mobile wallets or cards. Many road transport companies have opted for automated solutions as a social distancing measure. Transportation companies are increasingly collaborating on last mile deliveries through partnerships, mergers and acquisitions.

Supporting the digital transformation of the trucking industry includes a driver app that provides drivers with all the information they need to make accurate and timely deliveries. Developing an application for drivers reduces stress and uncertainty. On the contrary, it increases drivers’ comfort and confidence in their work.

The move to a contactless payment system modernizes the company and allows drivers to avoid the inconvenience of a paper-based system. Over the past century, trucking companies have faced losses and late payments, while digital tracking technology has made paper traffic obsolete. It also allows the company to accept multiple payment methods.

How technology is changing logistics

  • Cargo Tracking Systems – Today, any type of cargo can be tracked in real time to determine the current location of the fleet and other delivery details. These systems use IoT devices that transmit data to a central location, and then make that information available to others in the supply chain.
  • Freight tracking and tracing technology – RFID technology enables transport companies to better manage their routes, deliveries and schedules. The entire supply chain can be improved by sharing real-time delivery data between suppliers. This improves transparency and enables decision-makers to plan deliveries more effectively.
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) – At the heart of the IoT revolution is the RFID chip, a tiny radio transmitter that can send data to a central database. These chips can be embedded in RFID tags applied to products, packaging, vehicles, cargo and containers to monitor activity. An RFID tag works in the same way as a barcode.
  • Autonomous trucks and drones – The advent of driverless cars and drones can help streamline supply chains and further simplify the delivery process. Some large companies have already started experimenting with camera and tracking-based delivery methods with drones.

The more freight transport is digitised, the more efficient it will be. The proliferation of 5G technology in the 2020s will play an important role for all industries that regularly transmit large amounts of data. This allows for much more data to be collected and shared within the supply chain. Because of this transmission expansion, cybersecurity must be strengthened. AI and machine learning software will help detect and block cyber threats.

Contactless mobile payment systems are already equipped with an encryption system that has so far proven to be very effective in repelling hackers. Since these systems recognise cards up to a distance of 10 cm, the cardholder must be in front of the payment terminal to carry out a transaction. Given the success of the smart card system during the COVID-19 crisis, this method and its variants are likely to be continued in the future. This system is certainly more efficient than a cash system.

Trucking companies will continue to shift to paperless solutions because digital solutions have already proven to save time, space, money and energy. One of the most promising developments in the industry is the use of biometric authentication methods. Fingerprint scanners and facial recognition software will become commonplace. The use of mobile points of sale, for example on mobile food trucks, is becoming more fluid. This will provide new opportunities for low-cost local start-ups targeting diverse neighborhoods.

The future of trucking technology will depend on the development of cloud computing and machine learning software. Cloud services are at the heart of digital transformation, as some trucking companies work with IT experts who develop or recommend digital platforms. They will continue to help companies reduce their infrastructure and computing costs. Providers that are not connected to the cloud are simply not as reliable as their cloud-based competitors.

Machine learning will also play an important role in shaping the future of transportation. It can already be used to recommend routing decisions based on various factors, such as road conditions and weather. Today’s technology is already powerful enough to provide supply chain participants with real-time data that can predict departure and arrival times with a high degree of accuracy.

Supplement

Transportation companies are pioneering a digital transformation that includes IoT, real-time freight tracking and contactless payments. This realignment brings more efficiency and convenience to the trucking industry. Modern automation technologies, such as self-driving cars and drones, will provide additional opportunities for safely transporting goods from one place to another. Companies that embrace this digital transformation will have an edge over competitors that resist technological change.

Summary

Name of the article

Tracking of shipments and contactless payment: How technology is changing logistics

frequently asked questions

How is technology changing the future of logistics?

Improved technology has also increased productivity in the supply chain, reducing costs and errors. This progress benefits all sectors of the logistics industry: Freight transportation, international transportation (by sea and air), supply chain management and freight tracking.

What technologies are used in logistics?

Logistics technologies such as robotic warehouse systems make automation a reality, while drones improve last-mile deliveries and better tracking using tools such as RFID tags increases visibility throughout the supply chain.

How has technology been used to improve logistics processes and supply chain management?

This technology has become a forerunner in making supply chain software faster and more efficient. Using technology, through warehouse and transportation systems, companies can collect data, improve workforce management, control resources, and reduce inventory decline through real-time inventory checks.

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