Digitisation is already transforming all Transport and Logistics segments and is expected to be the most impactful trend over the coming years, reshaping entire businesses.
In the face of globalisation, digitisation, and the entirely new business models that have followed the emergence of new and innovative services, the need for rapid change is being defined and set by customers and their expectations.
With the emergence of smart products, assets, and always-on “things” (IOT), we now have access to unparalleled amounts of information. This – along with the evolution and speed of connectivity, big data, analytics, and cloud technology – enables us to converge operational and information technologies, which in turn makes machines smarter and drives end-to-end digital transformation. Unsurprisingly, there is now substantial transformation – fuelled by substantial investment - happening in the Transport industry, which is recognising that it needs to change or become obsolete.
This change is being led by innovations such as the integration of trucks into logistics data across the entire supply chain. Interdisciplinary fields such as advanced telematics will enable transportation companies, through cloud-based analytics, to track and check such factors as truck locations, the health and fatigue of the driver, the temperature and barometric pressure of the freight, and much more.
Telematics will also ease automated freight matching. The truck trailer, relying on sensors, will be able to determine available space and weight, route, and ETA, and send this information to software that can generate the most efficient and cost-effective scenarios for moving loads.
An example of a digital transformation within the Transport industry is provided by the global freight, supply chain and added value logistics company, Allport Cargo Services, which updated its existing WAN infrastructure to increase resilience and responsiveness across its Network. Founded in 1963, Allport operate in 30 countries, with representation in another 100. Their Network extends to 450 offices, with more than 21,000 colleagues and a worldwide turnover exceeding £600 million. This scale of operation demands the need to be at the forefront of innovation, helping to drive the competitive landscape and ensure it keeps abreast of the industries trends and transformations.
Operating out of 20 hi-tech logistics hubs, freight centres and packaging factories, Allport Cargo Services needed to become an enabler in increasing efficiency levels and driving productivity in-line with customer demand. Core to the business transformational development was the need for a fast, resilient and scalable WAN infrastructure, connecting multiple sites across the UK. As with any Transport and Logistics enterprise, Allport’s business proposition was heavily reliant upon availability and speed of data transfer across its Network. The Network underpins every process within the business and therefore the provision of a resilient and scalable Network is essential in day-to-day operations.
With such prolific advancements in the way technology is used to ensure customer satisfaction whilst maintaining sustainable profit margins and remaining competitive in the market place, digitisation is clearly desirable. But how does a business take the first steps to successful Digitisation?
The path to success must surely start with the network on which all this valuable data is being transmitted. Priorities must be: the speed of data transit, which ensures real time reporting of statistics; network security, to prevent potential threats to sensitive information; and scalability, which will allow for continuous innovation and data growth.
Is a business’s network the foundation of a successful digital transformation in this complex and rapidly evolving sector?