9 Technology Trends Affecting the Transport & Logistics Sector

Dennis Adonis

Technology is shaping up as a driving force in transforming highly interconnected supply chains, and allowing capital intensive businesses to connect and collaborate on transport, storage and management of goods and services across borders.

To help you prioritise where to invest management time and resources, here's a list that PwC have prepared of the technologies likely to have the greatest current or potential impact on operations.

1.Physical Internet (PI or π)

Transformation of the physical handling, movement, storage and supply of objects, with the aim of improved efficiency and sustainability for global logistics.

2. IT standards

Adoption of consistent IT standards allows supply chain consistency and transparency, creating the conditions for more efficient collaboration.

3. Data analytics

Very large data volumes allow much greater capacity for forecasting and understanding customer requirements, leading to improved inventory visibility and management, and greater operational efficiencies.

4. Cloud

Cloud delivered capabilities can be rapidly bolted on to existing workflows, offering wide significant business model and process flexibility.

5. Blockchain

Enhanced supply chain security (reduction of fraud);- Reduction in bottlenecks (certification by 3rd parties);- Reduction of errors (no more paper-based documentation); and- Increased efficiency.

6. Robotics & automation

Lower costs through a reduction in human workforce, with greatly improved efficiencies in delivery and warehousing.

7. Autonomous vehicles

Reducing the need for human input into driving, delivery and warehousing offers the potential for significant cost reduction and asset optimisation.

8. UAVs / Drones

Allow workforce reduction and improved efficiencies in areas such as inventory management, surveillance and delivery.

9. 3-D printing

On site creation via 3D printing reduces the need for shipping finished goods, and shifts transportation loads to lower volume raw materials.

Which of these technologies will have the greatest impact on your business?

Check back next week as we take a closer at the forces converging to help transport & logistics sector finally realise the promised value impact of Industry 4.0!