26 November 2019

Slow adoption of technology within Logistics sector

A recent comprehensive review on the future of the transport and logistics industry by PWC explored the key themes that will impact on the sector and the strategic drivers that will affect the industry in the next decade. The paper made clear the considerable advantages and efficiencies these developments will bring. Central to PWC’s findings was the impact that emerging technologies will have on the sector. Software solutions such as Artifical Intelligence, Augmented Reality and Blockchain. With a well-planned implementation, this technology will bring big benefits to the whole of the supply chain, the delivery process and right to the end user's doorstep. Then there’s the potential of hardware such as robotics, autonomous vehicles and wearable tech. The future’s just around the corner, and it’s exciting stuff. That’s why the PWC report made for motivating reading for any ambitious logistics company or supplier.

Yes, But…

Despite all this, it seems the logistics industry is reluctant to embrace new technology. And plans for how it’ll be used in many companies are yet to be developed. Research from Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and Statista pours cold water on the idea of enthusiastic moves to a technology-enabled delivery industry. The study shows a significant number of logistics firms are saying adoption and planning for these technologies are “out of the question”. Indeed, a good number are still yet to embrace more mainstream tech’ such as predictive analytics and mobile data access for customers. Even today, 25% of delivery companies can’t offer a parcel-tracking app, and 48% state predictive analytics is only “possible” in the future. Only 44% provide mobile data access for customers. In our tech-enabled age, those are twentieth-century numbers.

What’s The Problem?

The survey asked what was stopping logistics firms from adopting current and emerging tech. Unsurprisingly 50% of respondents said it was due to limited finances Compounding the issue is the 38% who cited a lack of qualified employees who are confident in using new technology. A further 31% attributed their lack of progress in this area to overstretched resources. Only 8% of firms felt satisfied in their ability to implement new technology. Overall it seems there’s a need for enhanced awareness of the opportunities that tech can bring to the logistics sector for progress to accelerate.

Kevin Richardson, chief executive of CILT, summarised this situation well when he said: “It’s clear that logistics firms want to take advantage of new technologies, but are currently not in a position to do so because of a mix of cultural, skills and budget constraints. Logistics firms will need to see the benefit of mature technologies before they take the risk of investing in the cutting edge.”

Embracing The Future

It’s worth noting that CILT and Statista’s study, called the ‘UK Logistics Monitor 2019 Report’ also offers insights into the topics of HR, recruitment, Brexit as well as attitudes towards technology, so it’s well worth a look. As for the Touchstar team, we’re very future-focused. We’re always looking at emerging technologies and looking for the advances that will enhance our products and add value to the logistics sector.

We understand that Research and Development is vital to all successful companies, and it stands front and centre across our entire product range. Our company is enthusiastically embracing the technological future of the logistics sector. The question is, are you?

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