The transport and logistics industry is undergoing a significant transformation.
Operational inefficiencies are driven by market trends, the newest technological trends are revolutionizing this sector. This is unprecedented: there has not been a time in recent history where transport and logistics has been transformed socially, economically, environmentally, and technologically.
These changes are exciting, but make it difficult to assess short- and long-term goals and investments. There is one area in which there is a clear and beneficial outcome, however. Based on in-depth reports that carefully analyze change within the industry, digitization and software-driven process changes are revitalizing the sector in remarkable ways. 54% of companies surveyed in the PwC Global Digital IQ Survey 2017 said that they expected digitalization to increase their revenues. And this isn’t the only benefit to automation: businesses can also utilize technology to simplify processes, remodel customer engagement and interaction, and redesign services and products.
The biggest challenges in the transport and logistics industry today are:
- Supply chain management
- Asset utilization
- Establishing digital business models
- Freight optimization and planning
- Improving operational efficiency
- Adoption of technology
We can see digitalization working within the industry already, aiding with administrative tasks, operations, and contracting. It is visible not simply as information and communications, but has broadened to include integrations and the ability to devise entirely new and innovative business models and processes and service provision.
Current trends in transportation and logistics include:
- Digital business models
- Big data analytics
- Location detection technologies
- Fraud detection technologies
- Digitization of vertical and horizontal value chain
- Digitization of products and services
As these technological tools advance and grow with the industry, we are expected to see changes such as:
- Robotic Process Automation
- Predictive solutions for deliveries and maintenance
- Intelligent Transportation Systems
- AI Solutions
- Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies
By embracing these technological advances, companies will reap benefits such as cost and quality, clearer insights into cargo flow and passenger information, and will enable their customers to have better convenience and updated information on transport services. These changes are leading a paradigm shift in the transportation and logistics industry, where the projected proportion of companies in the sector with an advanced level of digitization is expected to grow from 28% to 71% in the next five years.
Scheduling problems aren’t unique to transportation and logistics, appearing in several industries. But they remain one of the key issues to solve within transportation and logistics. Disruptions can be a huge factor in lost income; for example, delayed flights cost not only revenue, but also vouchers for customers and overtime for employees. Transportation companies need to determine which of the vehicles in its fleet to use during delivery as well as the sequence of deliveries.
Accessing secure, reliable methods of scheduling means effectively minimizing inventory costs (making sure to schedule orders to have the smallest inventory), flow times (the time it takes to make an order), makespan (the time it takes to complete a group of orders), and late deliveries. It also means maximizing the use of your resources.
Expenses within the transportation and logistics industry need to be continually reevaluated and analyzed to ensure best use of resources.
- 8-10% of total costs for a firm are typically made up of logistical expenses
- Adding technological tools to your arsenal is a great way to save time and money
- Automated systems are cost-effective and improve operational efficiency, as well as improving customer satisfaction and scalability, and reducing manual errors
- SaaS providers that provide logistics automation allow for affordable and seamless assistance for your business
The prevailing issues present within transportation and logistics are so pressing that they have been studied thoroughly by academics. Papers rigorously illuminate the need for solutions to scheduling problems, breaking down manufacturer and distributor into stages, how they can work together to find solutions, and where they are not compatible and need their own answers. There is a call to improve resource utilization and to reduce operational costs, where it seems some of the answers to these issues lay in algorithms and improved models for scheduling and transportation planning. It is clear that a strong optimization of a scheduling model that encompasses both production and transport is paramount to the efficient coordination of resources.
Route planning, fleet management, and vehicle routing are the main problems in transport planning. Some solutions go above and beyond those suggested by academic research, for real-world applications that can work for your business immediately. By understanding the problems from the perspective of someone who is actually in the industry, and then modeling the issue against its proposed solution, this is a much better and more useful way to reduce these complications.
Do you have an issue with the capacity of your delivery vehicles or understanding how to synchronize deliveries for best time and cost savings? Are there planning problems you aren’t sure how to solve, such as staff or machine scheduling, terminal optimization, or time tabling? Apply a software that has been created to assist with these problems, and see for yourself how quickly and effectively they help to solve these issues.
Route-planning, particularly in the case of coordinating intermodal routing, may require fixed selections of modes of transport. This can be aided with the use of GPS to enable best route times and the avoidance of hazards. Algorithms can contribute to reduced cost, more efficient deliveries, and improved travel times.
The great news is the innovation in the new wave of startups which are helping to shape a modern supply chain marketplace that wholly embraces game-changing technology. Some of the trends identified as gaining traction in transport and logistics for 2019 include:
- Data analytics
This is especially exciting, as the transportation and logistics industry has traditionally been considered less ‘digitally mature’ than other sectors, but now there are digital solutions specific to its needs. Payments, for example, have been revitalized with the introduction of modern, online payment systems. Faster and more accurate transactions is making room for the improvement of customer satisfaction and lowering costs for the business. As this sector grows and becomes more digitally mature, improved efficiency and the lowering of risk are just some of the benefits of automation.
In addition to the increased recognition of solutions for transport and logistics, there is a demand by consumers for faster and more flexible deliveries, track & trace capabilities, and greater customization. The supply chain is impacted everywhere by these heightened expectations. Pair that with how logistics management systems are making for faster and smarter global supply chains, and it is easy to see that the future is in digital solutions.
Moving from old-fashioned manual systems that are paper-based and carry an increased risk of human error, the benefits of digital logistics are many:
- Increased sources of revenue
- Greater innovation
- Increased control and collaboration
- Analytics to help assess decision-making
- Enhanced responsiveness
- Faster and more dynamic planning
- Improved access to real-time data
- Greatly improved customer service and satisfaction
This Transportation & Logistics vertical shows how the rise of AI, machine learning, and improved self-driving technology is starting to revolutionize the transportation and logistics industry. The World Economic Forum foresees huge shifts in value and profits, with the potential of $1.5 trillion in additional economic value in logistics through 2025.
Don’t run the risk of being left behind. By getting on board with this technological transformation, you can ensure that your company is reaping these same benefits and staying ahead of the curve.
90% of logistics companies already understand that data and analytics will be the key to the success of their business in the next five years. They know that data-driven decision making is the best way to optimize operations.
Implement technological solutions today to reduce logistics costs, shorten delivery times, and optimize operations efficiency. Apply these tools in order to enable your team to access data in real-time on a tailored, digital platform.
To work with peak efficiency and to best manage your costs, optimal staff scheduling is crucial. This will mean gains in the quality, safety, and productivity of your processes, as well as making customer service and satisfaction a primary goal.
Time Tracker will work with your business to save time and money, optimize route times with geolocation, and automatically generate in-depth reports so that you can plan for the future. Try a free 14-day trial today and see for yourself. No credit card required. Cancel any time.