Cloud technology offers supply chain professionals a full suite of cutting-edge solutions to key logistics needs.

In 2018, nearly 1.8 billion consumers are expected to make purchases online. For supply chain managers throughout the shipping and logistics landscape, meeting surging e-commerce demand calls for sophisticated capabilities designed to accommodate competitive fulfillment timetables.

However you invest in your supply chain, it’s essential that you understand how emerging technology can support your business. With cloud computing, for example, companies can leverage advanced software to gain greater visibility into their operations without having to make costly capital investments on their own.

If you’re considering bringing cloud technology into your business — or if you’re wondering how logistics providers use the cloud to drive value for your working relationship — check out these five ways that it can benefit the e-commerce supply chain.

1. Scalable Demand

With cloud technology, businesses have access to the benefits of software platforms, digital storage, and improved connectivity without having to permanently incorporate new tech throughout their systems. Indeed, the cloud allows you to use software as an internet-connected service that you pay for as you go.

Accordingly, it’s up to you how much of the cloud you use. Many cloud technology vendors allow you to pay for only the services that are useful for your business — and only for as much of those as you need. By scaling with your supply chain, the cloud helps you control costs with the short- and long-term in mind.

2. Outsourced Updates

In the past, it’s been up to shipping and logistics professionals to liaise with their internal IT team to keep their systems up to date. This may have caused delays throughout your supply chain as your network was updated piecemeal.

With the cloud, third-party vendors such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft handle updates on their end. Since cloud platforms are handled remotely, you can benefit from streamlined, off-site improvements without having to put your business on hold.

3. End-to-End Visibility

Whether you use transportation, warehouse, or labor-management systems — or all three — you need to be able to seamlessly integrate information in a way that offers you and your team insights into your supply chain’s performance. Cloud technology makes it possible for employees throughout your organization to access proprietary data from multiple platforms simultaneously, thus allowing you to be as informed as possible when it’s time to make key routing or personnel decisions.

4. Sophisticated Security

When cloud technology first arrived on the market, businesses were hesitant to move data off-site and rely on third-party vendors’ security systems. As more and more companies have moved onto the cloud, however, it’s become clear that the technology offers cutting-edge protection for sensitive information.

Plus, having important data on the cloud could protect your operation from information loss in the event of natural disaster or power failure. Since everything on the cloud is backed up and secured by third-parties, you’ll be able to get your supply chain back up and running without having to start from scratch.

5. Global Operations

In a shipping and logistics landscape increasingly dominated by e-commerce, companies with a global footprint have the best chance of succeeding. However, supporting international infrastructure can be resource-intensive, not to mention challenging to coordinate.

With the cloud, it’s easier for your team to be on the same page. Because the technology makes it easier than ever to share information across platforms — and across individual locations — your left hand will always know what your right is doing.

How Primary Freight Can Help

With more than two decades of experience in shipping and logistics, Primary Freight is uniquely positioned to drive value for businesses looking to scale in the e-commerce economy. Our award-winning customer service team, advanced technical infrastructure, and widespread industry contacts offer companies the support they need to thrive. If you’re looking to make an investment in your supply chain — whether that’s leveraging cloud technology to boost ROI or artificial intelligence to guide decision-making — our team is standing by.

To learn more about Primary Freight’s award-winning shipping and logistics services, call us today at (800)-635-0013.