It’s crazy to think about how much the shipping industry has changed and evolved over the years. Shipping has been in practice longer than we could go back and track. There has always been a need to move goods from one location to another, but now that process has improved. Today we can order, ship, and track our packages from the comfort of our homes with a few clicks. This level of ease has become the new standard in shipping, but the process to get here was an exceptional one.
Development of supply chain and logistics
Let’s look at the evolution of the shipping industry. In the early days of mass shipping, horseback was one of the only viable options. The use of carts on wheels became a supplemental tool for horseback shipping. Although it could transport goods from one place to another, it was slow and had minimal capacity. This caused other issues in companies’ supply chains.
It was not until the 1800’s that boats and railroads came into the picture as viable shipping options. The invention of the steamboat in the early 1800s paved the way for transportation via water. This was especially useful for the transportation of crops at an early age. In the early to mid-1800s, railroad development began. By the late 1800s, the Transcontinental Railroad was complete. The expansive railway extended from California to Chicago. A never before seen connection through the country. This allowed for the transportation of goods at an unprecedented capacity and speed. Business owners felt relief that they no longer had to rely on slow, horse-drawn carriages.
In the 1900s, cars were becoming more popular among the wealthy. They then grew amongst the working class and businesses utilized trucks for shipping. In the mid to late 1900s, the interstate system developed connecting cities in a new way. This allowed for the boom of the trucking industry in the second half of the 1900s. The explosion of the trucking industry transformed shipping as we know it. This allowed dependable and efficient transportation that was unattainable in the past. As trucking grew, the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 was introduced to deregulate the industry. This reduced the government’s role and control of the industry. It also set regulations and protections in place for carriers.
In the mid to late 1900s, the cargo ship was becoming popularized as well. The development and growth in the industry allowed for a boom in international trade. Today, massive cargo ships can move as many as 24,000 containers.
Another triumph of the 1900s was air travel. The quick evolution of planes allowed the movement of freight never before imagined. Planes had a simple origin in Ohio with the flights remaining in-state. After much development, planes now play a massive role in international freight shipping. At its peak, cargo planes can carry up to almost 50,000 pounds in freight. These cargo planes, along with cargo ships, allow freight to be moved anywhere in the world.
Today, the shipping industry has come a long way from wooden carts to trucks, rail, planes, and cargo ships. Companies have always wanted the fastest, most cost-effective way to ship their goods. Due to progressions in freight industry technology, that is now a reality. Aside from capacity and speed, technology has allowed for much more growth. There is now advanced tracking, warehousing, third-party logistic firms, and more. It will be interesting to see how shipping transforms in the coming years.
Last changes in the shipping industry
Today, we can see many developments that have modernized and simplified shipping. With the advancement of shipping came the need to understand and improve logistics. A new development in the shipping industry is the rise of third-party logistic firms. For freight to move effectively, it needs to be organized, tracked and scheduled. This can be a tall task for a company moving high levels of freight consistently. Hence, the growth of third-party logistic firms to take care of that for organizations. These firms help reduce the time wasted finding supply chain solutions. Most of them have a vast network of carriers and can connect companies with them. Now, we see a budding curiosity about tracking, automated warehouses, and logistics software.
As technology advances, consumers are easily able to track track shipments. This includes exact shipment location, latest activity, delivery times, and more. This allows consumers and businesses to have a more active role in the shipping process. Shippers are now more empowered by the power of information. They are no longer helpless to unknown shipping delays or issues that may arise. They can act quickly to lower the impact of these delays, rather than allow the problem to worsen. Tracking allows consumers and businesses to be proactive in the shipping process.
Nowadays, the shipping industry tends to use more and more technology for automation. This is especially true when it comes to inventory management. Automated warehousing is a new development that reduces its manual, tedious nature. For example, supervising inventory and storage operations can be done remotely. This allows warehousing to be more effective and makes shipping out of them faster. It also cuts costs by needing fewer people for physical labor or repetitive data entry.
Successful businesses often opt for some kind of logistics software. By doing so, they reduce the need for manual intervention in their supply chain. The logistics software can organize the supply chain and detect potential problems. This frees up an organization’s time to focus on other areas of the business, that may be more important. In summation, modern logistics software eliminates manual efforts by automating them. These platforms are also great for consumers and can come in the form of shipping apps.
At GoShip, we can have connections with carriers who already optimize their process. This means simplifying your shipping! Use our free quote tool to book a shipment today!