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A data revolution is coming for transport and logistics, expert panel finds

Australia’s supply chain is on the verge of a data revolution which will drive transport and logistics providers to become more efficient, safe and sustainable – also spelling major a shift for procurement too.

An expert panel predicts integration of data sources, improved data security and ease of use are driving enhanced location technology. 

There’s even instances of such technologies being used as a springboard to assist Australian businesses to lessen effects of ongoing disruptions across international and national supply chains. 

Widespread product shortages and delivery delays are increasing the need for greater asset visibility coupled with more emphasis on the need to report more on environmental targets. 

Data revolution to transform movement of goods 

A high-profile panel of transport and logistics experts, hosted recently by leading location data and technology platform HERE Technologies, say the data revolution will transform the sector and enhance how activities are tracked and reported. 

Experts were represented from Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Isuzu Australia Limited, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Australian Logistics Council and HERE Technologies.  

The panel found demand is growing for location intelligence to improve asset tracking, logistics and ETAs – making visibility a necessity, no longer ‘a nice to have’

The expert panel examined the significant role location data, services and technology play in the global movement of goods as well as broader business imperatives including sustainability, driver safety and operations resilience.

End-to-end visibility becoming the norm

Jason Jameson, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Asia Pacific, HERE Technologies says the technologies are already solving industry challenges. 

“Multi-modal supply chains and the complexities that come along with them are now standard practice, so end-to-end visibility is more important than ever,” Jason said. 

“Goods are often shipped, flown, warehoused, and then couriered to their destination through a series of third-party subcontractors.

“Location technology helps with planning, execution and post-trip analysis to reduce idle time at every point in the supply chain, ultimately reducing fuel costs, driver fatigue and carbon emissions,” he added.

HERE has 35 years of experience in mapmaking and approximately 7,000 employees across 56 countries. More than 160 million vehicles run on HERE map data. 

Location technology investment to bring wider benefits

 Coca-Cola Europacific Partners General Manager of Logistics Phillip Parsons revealed the global drinks brand is investing heavily in such technology to create wider benefits, including reducing the company’s carbon footprint. 

“We’ve invested hundreds of millions of dollars into location technology because we see its value,” he said. “With sequential supply chains diminishing, you need software and data to optimise at speed.”

Procurement function to shift

On procurement impacts, Phillip said the tech revolution in transport and logistics is going to transform the role of procurement on the back of more transparent data becoming available across networks. 

“I think the role of procurement is going to change,” he said. 

“Factories are at capacity. And now we’re pivoting towards guaranteed suppliers and part of this must be supported by data and technology. So be careful not to be out for the cheapest price anymore. It’s about sustainability and service.” 

Simon Humphries, Chief Engineer, Product Strategy, Isuzu Australia Limited says location technology is contributing to driver safety.

“In-vehicle satellite navigation technology driven by truck-specific data can help to prevent these incidents, keeping drivers safe while minimising disruption,” Simon said. 

Barriers to overcome

Brad Williams, CEO at ALC, said access to real-time data was important, but making it available had been a real challenge because by making real-time data widely available, businesses who own the data might lose the commercial advantage to competitors. 

“I think the big issue around how we interact with government is what do we do about privacy and security of that data. We must ensure the data is aggregated to be beneficial and used to inform decision making. That is the challenge for us from an industry point of view and government needs to drive that,” said Brad.

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