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The dynamic growth of the e-commerce market increases the pace of technology development for the transport industry. Only with solutions that allow data collection and analysis, transport can catch up with customer needs. 

The development of e-commerce continues to raise already high expectations in terms of speed, flexibility and transparency. Transport and logistics operators had to evolve rapidly in order to keep pace with the increasing demands on service levels from manufacturers, retailers and consumers alike.

According to the experts (managers, directors, board members of companies from major industrial and transport sectors around the world) consulted in DHL’s study “The Logistics Transport Evolution: The Road Ahead”, the biggest challenges that companies face are linked to the unstoppable growth of e-commerce.

The supply chain technology based on data and its analysis enables operators to evolve to meet customer needs. It enables companies to increase productivity and operate more sustainably. In its report “The Logistics Transport Evolution: The Road Ahead”, the German operator DHL distinguishes two ways of collecting and using data that are and will be the most important for intelligent transport management.

Monitoring of transport operations

During the last few years, we have observed the dynamic development of technology in the field of transport tracking. Transparency in the supply chain is no longer limited to tracking cargo. Customers may receive SMS or e-mail notifications when the vehicle carrying the load has stopped moving for a certain period of time. Such data may indicate, for example, that the delivery is within a mile radius of the destination, enabling facility managers to plan ahead and eliminate surprises.

This type of information enables better control and management of transport. IoT (Internet of Things) sensors in semi-trailers now even allow for real-time monitoring and reporting of temperature, humidity, movement and other important factors. This allows the driver or dispatcher to take action even before the problem occurs.

Fleet management systems

Fleet management systems also play an important role in increasing transport efficiency. The systems communicate with the vehicles on an ongoing basis, collecting data on how long the vehicle has been on the road, where it is heading and which route would be most efficient. These systems optimise the driver’s working time, reduce fuel consumption, increase safety and reduce paperwork. Reduced fuel consumption means not only savings but also meets the expectations of customers who demand environmentally friendly solutions. As many as 76% of the companies surveyed under the report stated that the regulations concerning CO2 limits have a significant impact on their transport decisions. Importantly, continuous communication between vehicles and the warehouse or production facility allows for greater flexibility and real-time response to unplanned events. 

Artificial intelligence and Big Data in transport

The state-of-the-art technologies will play an increasingly important role in road transport year on year. As many as 63% of respondents to the DHL survey believe that Artificial Intelligence and Big Data will have a significant impact on their road transport decisions over the next three to five years. However, so far only 23% said they had fully implemented these technologies.

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