- Location technology is key to helping Australian Transport and Logistics providers become more efficient, safe and sustainable say experts
- Integration of data sources, improved data security and ease of use are critical to driving further location technology uptake among Australian Transport and Logistics providers
The COVID-19 pandemic created historic challenges for Australian businesses, with ongoing disruptions across international and national supply chains. This is continuing to result in widespread product shortages, delivery delays and the need for greater asset visibility.
However, during a recent panel discussion, hosted by leading location data and technology platform HERE Technologies, experts advised that Australia’s transport and logistics market is on the cusp of a ‘data revolution’ that will help move goods more efficiently, safely and sustainably.
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.
Panel participants included experts from Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Isuzu Australia Limited, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Australian Logistics Council and HERE Technologies. It was moderated by Rachel Smith, Head of Government and Policy, Australian Logistics Council (ALC) and took place at the newly opened workspace of HERE Technologies, located at 1 Gordon Street, Cremone, Melbourne.
Jason Jameson, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Asia Pacific, HERE Technologies commented on the challenges the industry faces stating, “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. 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.
This level of visibility is crucial to manage and even prevent the unexpected, according to Simon Humphries, Chief Engineer, Product Strategy, Isuzu Australia Limited, who said that “repeated incidents of trucks hitting Melbourne’s Montague Street Bridge is one real-life example highlighting the need for location technology solutions. In-vehicle satellite navigation technology driven by truck-specific data can help to prevent these incidents, keeping drivers safe while minimising disruption.”
Location technology – a valuable investment
Panelists also touched on where they are investing and why, with Phillip Parsons, General Manager of Logistics, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, stating, “we’ve invested hundreds of millions of dollars into location technology because we see its value. With sequential supply chains diminishing, you need software and data to optimise at speed.”
Looking at some of those broader business challenges and objectives, Parsons also revealed investment into “technologies such as Spatial Mapping to help tackle key challenges like driver shortages and emissions reduction.”
Insights and decisioning also form part of the returns according to Andrew Littleford, Principal Supply Chain Advisory Consultant, AWS Professional Services, who stressed the importance of data. “Data, data, data – it’s all about how you use data. If businesses can leverage the tools available to gather good quality data, they can start to make really good decisions about how to run their supply chain” Littleford explained.
Driving further location technology uptake
Looking at the rate of uptake nationally, Jameson said that Australian supply chain and logistics businesses are at the tipping point of a data revolution that will bring the full benefits of location technology to bear.
“Telematics technology has been available in vehicles for many years, but we’re beginning to see smarter use of data and better integration, particularly with autonomous and electric vehicles,” said Jameson.
So, what barriers do we need 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 Williams.
For Humphries, simplicity is a key driver too, “any new technology that’s introduced has to be easy to use. If it’s not presented to drivers in a simple, easily digestible way, you can create distraction that increases accident rates and slows the movement of goods – which is counterproductive to what the technology is trying to achieve,” he concluded.
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About HERE Technologies
HERE, the leading location data and technology platform, moves people, businesses and cities forward by harnessing the power of location. By leveraging our open platform, we empower our customers to achieve better outcomes – from helping a city manage its infrastructure or a business optimize its assets to guiding drivers to their destination safely. To learn more about HERE, please visit www.here.com and https://360.here.com/.
Image Caption: From left to right – Brad Williams, CEO, Australian Logistics Council; Jason Jameson, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Asia Pacific, HERE Technologies; Rachel Smith, Head of Government and Policy, Australian Logistics Council; Phillip Parsons, General Manager of Logistics, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners; Simon Humphries, Chief Engineer, Product Strategy, Isuzu Australia Limited; and Andrew Littleford, Principal Supply Chain Advisory Consultant, AWS Professional Services.