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.
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
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
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?