Food Distribution in the Digital Age

icecream on tabletIn this era where everything can be searched from the comfort of your recliner and at the touch of a screen, we often forget that merchandise still needs to travel from point A to point B in a more traditional fashion. Products are still transported by train or cargo ships and eventually on transports to reach their destination. The difference is that in today’s world, people want things to arrive to their front step faster, in excellent condition and at the lowest possible cost. These demands are not too problematic for most products, but when it comes to food, the process is more complex.

Fresh produces and other food item require refrigerated transport to arrive to their destination and still be edible. Some companies offer Internet Integration, which means that they can track shipments in real time and provide customers with accurate delivery information. They can also ensure that the temperature inside the containers is at the right degree for the food transported. This would not have been possible a few decades ago. Furthermore, refrigerated and monitored transportation help protect food from decaying, ensuring it is not contaminated by other products, and allows food to travel longer distances.

The digital revolution has helped local food producers have their product advertised in larger area, therefore increasing their client base. People can extend their local food community to an online group that will promote each brand through word of mouth and customer review. It is a new way of interacting with customers that was never accessible to food producers in the past as they mostly interacted with food distributors only instead of the consumers.

For other products, like food delivery from local restaurants to individual addresses, other considerations exist. Vehicles should be kept clean and have appropriate storage container to ensure the food stays warm during delivery. Insulated container with tight lids are excellent for this type of deliveries. Delivery routes should be well-planned, so the drivers do not waste any time looking for addresses or searching through food packages. This would also maximise each run. Computer software can help with this process, using the Internet to gather orders, assign them to the closest restaurant branch and organising delivery runs. Some software can also track the delivery in progress, letting the customer know when to expect his order.

With the dot com frenzy at the turn of the century, many apps and websites have explored a way to connect consumers with their food providers. The most effective ones are those that include client review, product review, connecting consumers and restaurants, order taking, as well as delivery. The applications that could not assimilate all the steps have fallen behind those that could, despite the numbers of members, likes or downloads for each of these apps. Consumers want the best products, that has the best reviews, from the most popular places and delivered in the shortest amount of time to their home.

The market has become a difficult place to compete and food providers as well as transport providers must unite to meet their clients’ needs.

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