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The use of SMS in logistics

Today, logistics and freight transportation play a key role in the global economy. 

This boom in transportation is due to a number of key factors that are transforming the way companies operate. First, the offshoring of manufacturing has led to a more globalized distribution of products, which has increased the need for efficient logistics to move goods around the world. 

17 minutes of reading
Publication: 09.15.2023

In addition, the trend toward "zero stock" has changed the dynamics of the supply chain, with smaller, customized orders requiring precise coordination in delivery. 

Finally, the explosive growth of e-commerce has driven both 100% online companies and traditional brands to adopt online sales strategies, which has intensified the demand for effective logistics. Therefore, sound logistics management has become an essential component for any company, business or store.

Communication in the logistics sector

In this context, communication plays a crucial role in logistics, especially when it comes to deliveries to consumers. Timely and accurate delivery of products is essential for customer satisfaction and, ultimately, for the company's success and turnover. It is in this context that the application of SMS becomes highly relevant. 

This article is primarily aimed at end-consumer parcel delivery companies, whether they are e-commerce businesses or traditional retailers that have adopted online selling. 

It is also relevant to last-mile delivery companies in urban areas, as well as couriers and express delivery services, as communication efficiency can make a difference to customer satisfaction and competitiveness in this evolving industry. 

In the next sections, we will explore how the application of SMS can improve logistics in these areas and provide practical tips for implementation.

Why SMS in the logistics industry

The use of SMS in the logistics sector offers a number of fundamental advantages that make it an invaluable tool for efficient communication and coordination in the supply chain. 

  • Its universality is a key factor. Virtually everyone has at least one mobile device, and SMS is compatible with any type of phone, without the need to install additional applications or make complicated configurations. Moreover, it works effectively in any country and with all telephone operators, guaranteeing global coverage without geographical restrictions.
  • The immediacy of SMS is another outstanding feature. Text messages are delivered in a matter of seconds, allowing logistics companies to choose the most appropriate time to send notifications, updates or reminders to their customers or employees. 
  • Delivered directly to the recipient's hand, SMS becomes a highly effective communication channel. Given that people check their cell phones constantly, with more than 30 checks per day according to statistics, the likelihood that the message will be seen and processed in a timely manner is significantly high.
  • It has established itself as the corporate channel par excellence. While personal communications have migrated to messaging apps such as WhatsApp, SMS has been reserved mainly for corporate communications and notifications. This means that SMS messages are perceived as more formal and trustworthy, and often receive special attention from recipients. For example, appointment reminders, logistical delivery updates or OTP authentication codes are widely accepted and expected through this channel.
  • The reduced and scalable cost of SMS is an essential economic factor for logistics transportation companies. The ability to communicate efficiently for a few cents per delivery or per package ensures effective cost management, which benefits both the companies sending and receiving the messages. Moreover, this cost is proportional to the number of sendings or transactions, making it accessible to companies of any size in the logistics sector. 

In summary, the use of SMS in logistics is based on its universality, immediacy, effectiveness, reliability and cost-effectiveness, making it an essential tool for improving communication and efficiency in this constantly evolving sector.

Benefits of SMS in the transportation sector

Effective implementation of the SMS channel in the transportation and logistics sector offers a number of notable benefits that positively impact all parties involved in a logistics transaction: the sender, the recipient and the logistics company itself. 

These benefits are crucial to improving efficiency and quality of service in this ever-evolving industry:

  1.  More efficient deliveries and pickups: more transactions can be completed in less time using the same personnel and equipment resources.
  2. Smoother communication and a significant reduction in incident resolution time: problems and challenges that may arise during the logistics process can be addressed more quickly and efficiently through text messaging. 
  3. Improved user experience: Both customers who ship goods and the recipients of those goods experience greater satisfaction when they receive timely and clear updates via SMS.
  4. Increased customer loyalty and recurrence. By providing high quality service and effective communication, logistics transportation companies can cultivate strong relationships with their customers, which in turn ensures higher turnover and long-term sustainable growth.

The application of SMS in the transport and logistics sector not only improves operational efficiency, but also strengthens communication, increases customer satisfaction and promotes customer loyalty, which has a positive impact on the turnover and growth of transport companies.

When and how to send SMS for logistics 

Sending SMS strategically in logistics and parcels is essential to maintain efficient and successful communication with customers. Here are some important guidelines to follow:

  1. Communicate frequently: it is crucial to keep the recipient informed at all times. Don't be afraid to send additional messages; it is preferable for the customer to receive too much information rather than not enough. 
  2. Personalize the sender: Use a personalized sender that clearly identifies your company. This helps messages to be grouped in the same conversation thread on the recipient's device, making it easier to follow up.
  3. Customized short links: this allows for maximum use of text space and increases the clarity of the message. In addition, the use of a custom domain adds a touch of professionalism.
  4. Appropriate sending times: send SMS messages during business hours and at times when recipients may be more attentive to their mobile devices. 
  5. Effective incident management: communicate these situations as early as possible and provide clear and realistic solutions. Transparency in problem management can help maintain customer confidence.
  6. Efficient returns: If order returns occur, ensure that the process is equally efficient. Provide clear instructions for pickup and delivery to the appropriate merchant or business.

Key use cases and examples

SMS offers a wide range of use cases in the logistics and parcel industry, improving communication and efficiency at all stages of the supply chain. Here are examples of some of the main use cases:

  1. Sending/pickup notification: an SMS message is sent to the recipient with a link or code to track in real time the status of the shipment. 

Example: "Your package has been shipped. Click on the following link to track your shipment: [Link]".

  1. Imminent delivery communication: A message is sent to the recipient with details about the approximate day and time of delivery, as well as the address. 

Example: "Your delivery is scheduled for tomorrow between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. at [Address]".

  1. Delivery Confirmation: Both the recipient and the sender receive a message confirming that the delivery was successful. 

Example: "Your package has been successfully delivered to [Address]". 

  1. Pickup communication and pickup confirmation: In the case of returns, messages are sent to schedule and confirm the pickup of the package. 

Example: "A courier will come to pick up your return on [Date] at [Address]. Reply CONFIRM to confirm the pickup".

  1. Change of status in a delivery: Messages are sent to inform about changes in the status of the shipment, such as delays, customs, warehouse acceptance, delivery route, among others. 

Example: "Your package is being held at customs. We will notify you when there are new developments".

  1. Sending documents: Important documents, such as delivery notes, invoices or information on customs costs, can be sent via SMS.

Example: "Please find enclosed your invoice for the sending [Tracking number]".

  1. Satisfaction surveys and ratings: After a successful delivery, a message can be sent requesting customer feedback on the experience. 

Example: "We would like to hear your feedback on your recent delivery. Please respond with a rating from 1 to 5, where 5 is the best score".

  1. Incident management: SMS is an effective channel for managing problems and resolving incidents. 

Example: "We have tried to deliver your package without success. Please call us at [Number] to arrange a new delivery".

Improve your logistics business with SMS and LabsMobile

Effective communication in the logistics business is essential to keep customers satisfied and to improve operational efficiency. As highlighted above, SMS presents itself as a key tool to achieve this. 

If you want to take your logistics business to the next level and take full advantage of SMS, we invite you to consider LabsMobile's platform. We have more than 14 years of experience implementing SMS in multiple sectors and thousands of companies.

By using LabsMobile, you will be able to notify shipments, manage deliveries, communicate changes in the status of shipments and much more, all quickly and efficiently through SMS and our services such as SMS API, Landing web, customized short links and much more.

We encourage you to contact LabsMobile to explore how your platform can be adapted to the specific needs of your logistics business!

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