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Digitising the trucking supply chain

Digitising the trucking supply chain
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As e-commerce harnesses an increasing amount of technology, it’s no surprise that these technologies have started to make their way down the supply chain.

The more retailers are able to boost their service levels with automation, the more those further down the supply chain need to make sure they are able to meet expectations.

But is the transport industry ready for digital transformation?

If it’s going to meet these increasing expectations, the trucking industry first needs to address key challenges. A good place to start is the low-tech solutions the industry often relies so heavily upon: the excessive use of proofs of delivery (PoDs) or slow communication via phone or email, for example.

According to a study by PwC, 10% of manufacturing companies can be classed as digital champions, while about two-thirds are either yet to embark on their digital transformation or are doing so ineffectively.

All along the supply chain, we see companies struggling to figure out ways to incorporate technologies into their business models. For non-digital natives, this can prove particularly tricky. Add rising costs and customer expectations to this, and supply chain leaders are facing increasing pressure to digitise.

You only have to look at Amazon Prime membership (currently accounting for about 60% of the company’s customer base) to see the extent of the issue. More customers are coming to expect two-day delivery time – and the transport industry needs the technology in place to step up to the challenge.

Yet, while the situation raises the bar for those in the trucking industry and the wider supply chain, it also opens up opportunities. New players that are able to spot a gap in the market ready to be filled with technology such as AI have a lot to gain.

Digitisation trends across the transport industry have been accelerated by new startups offering innovative, tech-driven solutions. Ontruck is one of those startups.

Applying AI and technology into the supply chain, Ontruck can create value for companies along the entire supply chain. The company is increasing transparency within the industry and allowing hauliers greater autonomy to keep up with demand.

Ontruck gives small hauliers the tech they need to manage their own operations. This easy-to-use platform shows how digital natives are able to bridge the gap in the industry to assist the digital transformation of less digitally mature companies.

Digital transformation may be coming, but technology aside, the most important thing in the trucking industry are the 7Rs: the right product, in the right quantity, to the right customer, in the right condition, to the right place, at the right time and right cost.

If the trucking industry fails to deliver – digitised or not – the whole supply chain will suffer.

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