The logistics industry has seen a splurge in terms of sustainability and innovation. With people getting more and more involved in the process of transportation of their goods and services, companies need to up their game and maintain a competitive edge. Over the course of time, with the advent of a plethora of technologies, the logistics industry has changed immensely. As we all know, technology is all set to shape society, the question arises what kind of changes can be expected towards transportation and logistics?
Moreover, the integration and complementation of technological advances, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomous control technologies, and smart multimodal communication systems, are revealing vulnerabilities across different industries. In the process of learning lessons, logistics companies have started applying better project management disciplines to ensure that automation investments can help them to remain competitive. Across all industries, technology is beginning to change the way things are done; road freight is no exception. Electric and hybrid vehicles can be seen everywhere on roads these days; the change has been dramatic over the last few years. There are very few electric cars on the road today, compared to what will be on the road by 2025 and even more by 2030.
Along with the up-gradation of technology, customer expectations have also changed. Customers nowadays are keen on tracking and knowing where their consignment is at every moment. Currently, the logistics industry is experiencing a seismic paradigm shift: autonomous freight by road. The technology involved has the potential to drastically reduce the cost of transporting goods overland, a change that could be the key to self-driving technologies having the greatest impact on the lives of many people.
Modern societies rely heavily on road freight transport. At the same time, road freight transport is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. Road freight transportation can be made more efficient, more cost-effective, and more convenient through digitalization, such as automation and digitized information. Furthermore, digitalization may transform the sector's business ecosystem. However, the road freight transport industry is fragmented, and its competition structure is heavily oriented toward minimizing costs, a phenomenon that might impede the pace of adopting new technology.
Digitalization has caused many changes relevant to the freight transport sector, including, among others, the circular economy, e-commerce, changing consumer behavior, new business models, and automation. Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems can improve traffic flow, reduce fuel costs, and increase the efficiency of transportation systems. The digitization of value chains does not only enable optimization of the current value chains but also reorganization of the entire value chain. Multimodal transport can be optimized and hauler efficiency can be increased through digitalization and connectivity.
What technologies are making road freights more uber-like?
Internet of things: This new technology is known as radio frequency identification and it allows the freight industry to track the shipments and the conditions of these shipments more efficiently. The technology allows shipments to be automatically received without the need to scan confirmation receipts and barcodes. Thanks to the advancements in IoT, companies are now able to check the status of shipments and goods more easily and efficiently than they used to. 24/7 monitoring is now possible.
- Cloud-based services: As private fleet capacity becomes more readily available, the freight industry will see major advancements with cloud-based services. With the new technology, freight companies can quickly reposition any empty containers without investing in expensive IT infrastructure. Cloud computing will enable the implementation of pay-per-use services. The combination of mobile applications and cloud-based services will allow freight companies to cater to both large and small businesses.
Keeping up with trends and advancements is essential to freight shipping companies. Customers and business partners should be the focus of a business's efforts. Businesses should focus on the quality of their products. With the advancement of technology, businesses must adapt and change with the times or become stagnant. While it may be bumpy along the way, the rapid advances in technology will soon bring about some significant changes in the road freight industry; it is already advancing rapidly, and it is only going to accelerate.