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The logistics landscape in 2024 — resilience is crucial

A semi truck driving through a busy port area.

To say that the transportation and logistics sector has had a bumpy ride over the last four years would be an understatement. Our new report reveals the reasons why

Only 50 percent of T&L professionals say they use basic data analytics, new polling shows — and against a backdrop of rapid advancements in artificial intelligence, the pressure to curb carbon emissions and rising geopolitical tensions, building agile and resilient supply chains has never been more important.

We recently surveyed, in part with Amazon Web Services (AWS), 900 people working in transportation and logistics across the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, and captured the findings in our latest "On The Move" report. 

The goal? To help today's T&L businesses navigate the current opportunities and challenges when digitizing their operations, fleets and workflow.

Visibility today

Increasing visibility throughout the supply chain is at the top of every T&L to-do list, and with 3 out of 4 people surveyed reporting that their company is continuing to make progress in this area, this year is no different. Perhaps what is most surprising is that only a quarter of respondents say that their business has made significant headway, indicating just how much work is left to be done.

Between air, land and sea, road-based operations provide the highest visibility. That said, the study also found that both middle and last-mile operations are vulnerable to a lot more variables that affect the estimated time of arrival (ETA), such as carrier pickup and drop-off times, traffic conditions, and route planning and optimization.

Therefore, it makes sense that respondents from all three countries rank real-time tracking and route optimization as their most-valued supply chain solutions.

Leveling up artificial intelligence

Although it seems like we are waking up every day to a new advancement in artificial intelligence (AI), the study reveals a stark contrast — only 50% of T&L businesses across Germany, the UK and the US use basic data analytics. Across the three countries, cost was cited as the top barrier to implementation, followed closely by potential disruption to existing services (12%) and lack of internal expertise (11%).

While off-the-shelf technology solutions from external providers remain more appealing in all three countries, T&L organizations in Germany are more likely to build their applications in-house.

A truck driving on an overpass in the APAC region.

Still, those surveyed highlighted a need for solutions that are reliable, easy to use, and integrate seamlessly without requiring costly overhauls or a ton of technical expertise.

The top areas they want to improve with technology are fleet utilization, route planning, and tracking, according to 30% of all respondents.

Bottom line — by investing in reliable, user-friendly solutions, T&L companies can reduce their costs and stay ahead of the competition.

Sustainability first?

Another startling statistic is that a majority of respondents state their organizations currently do not have sustainability goals, with 27 percent claiming they are still “under development."

What's more — a total of 33 percent said their business lacks all sustainability goals, with no plans to develop them further.

The good news is that environmental and operational resilience remain core topics within the global logistics industry in 2024.

According to the American Transport Research Institute, the cost of running a truck has increased to US$2.251 per mile — an all-time high.

Globally, only 16 percent of respondents use automated fleet tour planning in the back office and 40 percent use driver routing.

By integrating automated fleet tour planning to support fleet operations, it's possible to plan optimized routes that minimize excess mileage, stop-start traffic and the doubling back on routes you've already taken, all directly saving the amount of fuel your vehicles consume.

Better still, by analyzing traffic flow based on live and historical data, your drivers can dynamically avoid congestion hotspots, accidents and construction zones. Not only will this save fuel, but it will also give you and your customers more accurate ETAs, improving your customer satisfaction scores.

Louis Boroditsky

Louis Boroditsky

Managing Editor, HERE360

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