Logistics’ Information and Communication Technologies


This research paper presents different means of communication used in the logistics or transport sector. Fast and effective communication in logistics ensures the accurate movement of goods and services from one point to another. Information communication technology plays an important role in providing effective means of communication that are now largely applied in logistics. They include; teleconferencing, RFID, CRM, and emails, the internet is the major engine that facilitates these means of communication.

The paper structure starts by first looking at the overview of the logistics industry and then the various means of communication used in logistics. The supply chain has been undergoing fast restructuring and revolution by adopting ICT tools to facilitate faster and reliable delivery of goods and services to customers and other members within the supply chain.

Overview of the logistics

Information communications technology has developed and taken the position of a leading economic pillar in the world economy. Besides its enormous contributions to the economy, the industry facilitates efficient, fast and accurate business operations. It is because of this that most countries across the world have been continuously increasing the budgetary allocations to the sector. The largest share of this budget is often spent on improving telecommunication infrastructure and software development. Various industries shifted their operations to ICT-enabled platforms, the logistics industry has not been left behind in this shift.

The global logistics industry has been experiencing what Shaligram refers to as “a deepening phase of globalization which has largely affected operations in the industry” (p. 139). The opening up of international boundaries to allow operations of the industry at international levels presents industry players with both opportunities and growth disadvantages. Global opportunities have enabled many logistics companies to grow their profits and expand to as many nations of the world as possible. Companies such as DHL have seized this opportunity to develop branches in other countries through acquisitions and mergers.

Threats to industry growth resulting from globalization include; global recessions, language barriers in some countries and large operation capital required to venture into a global business. Recent trends have seen many logistics companies embrace outsourcing as a means to capture large international business opportunities. Studies have indicated that logistics companies have been raking in more profits from outsourcing. This has been seen as a means to expand into other geographic regions to capture more business opportunities and increase profits.

The logistics industry has in recent years been facing problems of piracy especially cargo on transit across the sea. The Somali pirates have been notorious for capturing cargo and asking for ransom from the cargo owners. Technology has been able to provide some solutions to cargo theft through geo-tracking systems to locate trucks that have been kidnapped. The piracy problem however remains a sticky issue both to technology and governments.

Information communication technology has been used to develop tools that are proving to be handy in the logistics industry. With ICT tools, management teams in logistics companies can easily optimize routes thereby increasing profits and reducing cost implications (Alvesson, p. 26). Employees in modern logistics companies have a choice to choose their working destinations without any worry of being inconvenienced on occasions when company meetings are to be held. With the use of teleconferencing, companies are able to hold virtual meetings with members from the comfort of their offices anywhere in the world.

Other ICT tools that are largely becoming part of the revolutionary force logistics industry include; RFID, emails and CRMs, the RFID, though expensive is largely being adopted by logistics companies as an accurate and faster way of operations (Shaligram, p. 142). These solutions facilitate information sharing among the stakeholders in the industry and integration of their operations. This focus largely describes the future trends in the logistics industry.

The industry has also grown to replace the traditional modes of communication all over the world. The internet provides cheaper communication profiles either through emails, social media and most recently the teleconferencing service that has become a common mode of holding meetings in modern business organizations (Alvesson, p. 17). The service enables meeting participants to share views from the comfort of their offices through a computer setup. The service is increasingly gaining popularity; it is being adopted as a way of reducing costs involved in organizing meetings especially those involving many people.


Internal communication in organizations is an important aspect of everyday activities. It enables the flow of information within the organization either from the management to the heads of departments, staff members or departmental heads to members. Vodafone hosts one of the state-of-the-art conferencing facilities comprising of “Cisco WebEx”. As the major provider of conferencing services worldwide, the company also utilizes conferencing facilities for its own internal communication purposes.

Vodafone runs branches in many countries in the world; teleconferencing helps the companies. Because of distributed branches around the world, it is challenging to get most of its employees in a single room for purposes of training, meeting and other important function of the company. To make communication efficient within the company, teleconferencing was adopted. Teleconferencing enhances real-time sharing and transmission of information between staff and other employees who work at different branches around the world.

By appreciating the use of teleconferencing, Vodafone is in a position to communicate effectively to its employees, hold company meetings, training, customer briefings and workshops in real-time either by use of phone or online without physically contacting the person. Teleconferencing at Vodafone entails the use of different methods; which includes online meetings and conference calls.


RFID is a technology that assists to capture automated objects with the aid of radio frequency to communicate. The technology comprises of two rudiments; a reader and a tag that pass information via radio transmission. A tag is made of a small chip and antenna which is inserted or placed on any to be transmitted. Information that is placed on these objects can be transmitted to an RFID reader over a certain (Patterson, p. 134).

RFID is increasingly gaining much appreciation in the logistics and transport industry. Its increase is attributed to its efficiency and reliability. RFID helps logistic industries to track their assets and know exactly where they are located in real-time. By incorporating real-time information, transport companies can significantly reduce the overheads that are needed to handle customer needs. The benefit of RFID to transport industries has culminated in inventory utilization, timely deliveries, reduction of operating costs such as fleets management and reliability (Patterson, p. 136). Moreover, RFID increases accuracy in locating the location of data that assists companies in confidently making bookings at the same time making deliveries on bills of landing. RFID technology facilitates surveillance of fleet operators to enhance equipment availability at terminals, customers and points out the exact equipment type and its time of availability.

RFID communication in the transport industry has facilitated automatic tracking of logistics right from the origin to manufacturing, distribution, retailing to producing immediate results which are efficient and less costly hence helping in streamlining processes of logistics.


Customer relationship management is a technology that encompasses methodologies hardware and software with internet capability that assists businesses to manage their customers in a more organized format.CRM plays an integral role in streamlining logistics operations in transport industries.CRM software allows logistics companies to organize, track and align their customer’s contacts (Zalabak, p. 78). The software helps to facilitate employees to store vital information about its customers and provides a platform for interaction within the departments of the company.

The CRM provides a point of interaction in various ways which include business contacts and back and front office contacts. CRM core functions such as customer service, sales automation and campaign management have accelerated logistics business to thrive hence providing a competitive edge in the logistic business. Communication with the customers and offering after-sales services has been made possible with the help of CRM technology (Zalabak, p. 110). This is because the customer’s information that is achieved by the interaction by the technology is stored by the system and it can be retrieved by the company if need be and acted upon.


E-mailing is a growing form of communication not only in the logistics industry but in other sectors of the economy. It is a fast and reliable form of communication. Costs of sending and receiving emails are too low compared to cost implications from other forms of communication. Stakeholders in the logistics industry use emails to send bulky information on order details.


Internal communication plays a central role in helping organizations shape their information needs thereby easing decision making. The elaborate and efficient method adopted should be able to timely disseminate information, reports which can be used by the top management and senior decision-makers to analyze and execute the appropriate decision. Teleconferencing facilitates organizations to disseminate video, voice and text in real-time hence enhancing the reliable flow of information. Consequently, management reporting enhances the production of timely reports within the organization making it efficient to pass required information internally to the intended recipients.

Works Cited

  1. Alvesson, Mats. Communication, power and organization. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1996.
  2. Shaligram, Pokharel. “Perception on information and communication technology perspectives in logistics: A study of transportation and warehouses sectors in Singapore”, Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 18. 2 (2005) pp.136 – 149 (2005)
  3. Zalabak, Pamela S. Fundamentals of Organizational Communication: Knowledge, Sensitivity, Skills, Values. 7th Ed. California: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon, 2006.
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