Wednesday, July 28, 2021

How is Digitalisation Working Out for the Road Haulage Sector?

Survey Offers Insights Into Technology Change Effects
Shipping News Feature

UK – The rush toward what is commonly termed 'digitalisation', in other words switching from what previously only had written or pictorial form to data input, stored and utilised via machines of varying types, continues unabated. How is this transformation affecting parts of the logistics industry sometimes considered a little resistant to change however?

The road haulage sector is one such (remember the initial objections to tachographs – the ‘spy in the cab’?) and although we should be cautious of information supplied by any vested interest, the latest survey from haulage and logistics software solutions group Mandata is worth consideration. In effect only a company which supplies such technology has the ability to determine its effect upon users.

The survey was built on the views of ‘a number’ of haulage operators and other logistics bodies with fleet sizes ranging from 30 up to 200 vehicles and, despite respondents’ main priority being to help reduce the number of manual processes with the help of digital adoption, it showed that a lack of technical knowledge has become a major barrier in adopting this new way of working.

As with other such surveys Covid 19 casts a long shadow over the results, and 30% of respondents said their biggest concern since the onset of the pandemic was their inability to work remotely, something which surely cannot be avoided given the nature of the task.

What digitalisation can do however is make savings in certain aspects of managing a busy fleet and 55% of Mandata customers say they have been able to save 10 hours a week on manual job entries by implementing a transport management system, thus highlighting the key benefits of making the switch to digital. Steve Spark, Chief Revenue Officer at Mandata said:

“As industry leaders, we have a responsibility to help our customers succeed and deliver on promises made. By implementing dedicated digital solutions, this will remove duplication of operational processes and give businesses better visibility over business performance, driving greater workforce efficiency.

“Digital innovation is fuelling change in the road transport sector, but businesses that don’t adapt and prioritise these changes are at risk of falling behind. Repetitive processes are impacting hauliers’ operations, and consequently, their cash flow is also affected. The research we have conducted and presented in the whitepaper will help answer many questions businesses have and help improve operational priorities.”

The Mandata white paper is available to download via this link.