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Transport and logistics transformation driven by data

Growth in data connectivity and the adoption of technologies such as robotic process automation are fuelling a tech revolution in transport and logistics

More than a third of transport and logistics executives believe that robotic process automation (RPA) will bring about the biggest change in their industry in the next decade. Almost a quarter (24%) expect that artificial intelligence (AI) will fundamentally change the transport and logistics sector.

The survey of 100 transport and logistics executives for co-location company Digital Reality found that nine in 10 respondents (91%) are continually looking to increase their investment in their data infrastructure. More than a fifth (22% ) are reserving between £10m and £50m of their budget for innovation and progression of data connectivity.

Automation (70%), freight technology (60%) and real-time understanding of transport systems (58%) are the areas with the greatest potential to transform the industry, according to the survey.

Almost three-quarters (73%) believe that data connectivity has resulted in better customer service and experience, better security (73%) and safer transport (70%).

According to Digital Reality, the data volume generated in transport and logistics from radio frequency identification (RFID) systems and inventory management apps has almost doubled every 40 months since the 1980s. Industry experts have forecast that the volume of data will be 44 times greater in 2020 than in 2009.

Digital Reality said that given this accelerating pace of change, transportation and logistics companies are under increased pressure to remain competitive, deliver quality customer service and find innovative ways to optimise their operations to satisfy their increasingly demanding customer bases.

The survey also reported that almost all respondents (98%) believe there is a lot to gain from better data connectivity, and a fifth (16%) believe that other sectors are “lagging behind” with regards to leveraging and optimising data connectivity.

Industry leaders warn, however, that the industry has obstacles to overcome in realising these potential gains. The survey found that over 60% of respondents were not confident in the data infrastructure they currently have in place, which could be deemed problematic given the role it plays in facilitating emerging technology.

Read more about robotic process automation

  • RPA is a hot IT commodity. Discover more of the benefits (and drawbacks) these tools can usher into organisations and how they can enhance workflows in different industries.
  • Organisations will spend 20-30% more as a result of admin overheads expected after the UK leaves the EU, but companies are unprepared and skills are in short supply, analysts say.

Read more on Artificial intelligence, automation and robotics

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