The need to transport people and products – and to constantly make it faster, easier, and cheaper – places huge demands on the logistics sector. And, in order to keep up with the latest developments, new digital control systems are needed so that you can scale quickly and efficiently in line with demand.
The logistics sector is characterized by consolidations in a market where the big players build empires and live well on economies of scale and high volume. Small margins make the difference, which is why efficiency and high uptime on IT systems are decisive. Every second counts.
You must be online all the time in order to keep up. But that's just a hygiene factor. If you want to get to the top, you must be a leader in IT – and have a robust, adaptable setup. Why? Because the most innovative digital frontrunners in the logistics sector will be the winners of the future.
Artificial intelligence calculates the right shipping rates
Agility is not just a buzzword. It is a living condition in the logistics sector – a sector where you have to be able to turn the cadence up and down depending on demand. In many freight-forwarding and shipping companies, for example, customer orders are still made via personal contact with transport salesmen, who manually calculate the shipping prices. But such companies could advantageously set their prices via an algorithm, using artificial intelligence that measures available capacity against the customer's size and commitment, and then calculates the right shipping rates.
In general, we see an upward trend – across shipping, trucking, aviation, and other industries, IT is taking over ever more of the routine tasks in the logistics sector. In the coming decade, new digital opportunities such as drones, IoT, sensors and autonomous technology will provide new ways of doing business and open the arena to new competitive parameters.
But the new opportunities are not just a matter of bottom-line efficiency. You can also strengthen your sustainability profile by, for example, taking advantage of the possibilities of connected and monitored AI solutions to optimize your routes, your fuel consumption and much more.
Read more about our Data and AI solutions here.
Trend: B2B customers are similar to private customers
Another trend that is spreading across the logistics sector is that B2B customers are increasingly behaving like private customers – they now also expect a greater degree of self-service solutions and convenience in a business context. They expect a personalized and tailored transportation of people and products, and to be able to do their business with a few clicks from their preferred devices – just as they've come to know the process from private experience.
Secure access to data
There are many digital work processes behind every transport. Critical information is being sent back and forth, which is why IT security is crucial to building the necessary trust and keeping potential hackers out. But it can be difficult to share data across legacy systems, which are often home-built, not very agile, and expensive to maintain.
Therefore, digital transformation in the logistics sector typically happens gradually, because it can take a long time to break up the old systems.
Many data points and a high degree of AI utilization require a solid and scalable foundation, and that means that Cloud solutions are almost inevitable. A stable internet connection is, however, a prerequisite for Cloud solutions, and this can obviously prove a challenge for companies operating freight and passenger ships, for example. For logistics companies, it is therefore first and foremost about finding the right mix of Cloud and on-premise.
NNIT is ready to help with your Cloud journey – from consulting to architecture and implementation. We can advise on how to build infrastructure foundations, and how you ensure data governance and security for the connected and intelligent transport solution of the future.
Read more about our Hybrid Cloud approach here.