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Transport and Logistics Trends

What are the top trends impacting the transport and logistics sector?

As transport and logistics practitioners, we regularly discuss the changing nature of the mobility ecosystem and what that means for our clients. We continually monitor the emerging players and how the traditional operators are adapting to changing customer and regulatory expectations. 

As 2019 winds down, we’ve paused for a moment to reflect on the top trends impacting our clients across Australia. The continued evolution of data and technology and what it enables represents the most significant factor impacting the sector.

Future Trends in Transport and Logistics

This may seem obvious but we have seen an increasing effort by transport and logistics players to really focus on the customer and the role that it plays across the beginning, middle and end of the customer experience. Driven by shifting customer expectations, we are seeing three core themes emerge:

  1. Trust: What role do you play in the eyes of the customer and how can a customer trust that you will serve them in the best, most ethical manner as possible? Reputational risk management is higher on the executive agenda than we have ever seen before.
  2. Transparency: A critical ingredient to developing a trusted relationship is the transparency that you offer both through sharing data but also the ways in which you use that data. Are you doing the right thing when no one is watching?
  3. Connected: An individual’s connectivity can exceed that of an organisation, that individual power poses challenges to how enterprises operate and the role that you play in the customer journey. For example, customers are seeking the same experience they have with companies that are owning the customer experience in other sectors e.g. Amazon, Apple etc. and this is also why we see these same companies looking to play a greater role in the mobility ecosystem.

Growing transport and logistics networks are becoming more complex with the range of modes and the connection of new with old infrastructure in crowded urban spaces. Integrated planning is at the heart of navigating this and helping an organisation deliver on its growth promises, through connecting the short, mid and long-term planning horizons. The sophistication of planning and forecasting has grown significantly, powered by complex, advanced analytics that enables ecosystem players to maximise the utilisation of infrastructure, assets and people, whilst also accounting for network and patronage growth. This type of planning requires data quality from within your organisation but also from customers, stakeholders and other parties. 

Growth in AI and robotic technologies is absolutely encroaching on the way we work and the roles we are required to perform. We believe that this is by far the most significant trend across all parts of the value chain. Through the ongoing evolution of data sets and supporting technologies, we are seeing enhanced decision making in real-time, the ability to model scenarios rapidly and the ability for technology to significantly enhance performance. Our perspective is that it is about humans with machines, not humans and machines. As robotics, AI, the gig economy and crowds grow, jobs are being reinvented, creating the “augmented workforce”. Employers must reconsider how jobs are designed and work to adapt and learn for future growth.

The emergence of cloud and platform engineering is changing the way an organisation looks at its core technologies and how best to transform them as its legacy applications require updating to meet the evolution of the business, and the changing expectations and needs of the customer. Breaking down core technologies into micro-elements (or ‘micro-services’) enables enterprises to reduce the risk associated with changing these technologies and opens the door for the introduction of digital solutions and enhanced user experience. This, along with a DevOps mindset, enables smaller trials and tests before progressing with larger technology transformations. This combination of micro-services and DevOps is facilitating a step-change in the ability and speed that new functionality can be rolled out. It will play a key role in the transformation of core business applications over the next decade. 

The future of mobility is a well-worn topic of discussion for transport and logistics providers but it remains very relevant. Given our geographical challenges in Australia, the question of how people and goods will move over the next few decades is a large, complex and fascinating question. It is also a question that many existing and emerging ecosystem players are exploring, in particular, what role do you want to play within the evolving and growing transport and logistics networks, and how will you help the beginning, middle and end of a customer or goods journey (see our can rail keep up blog for a rail-specific angle)

The role of data in the world of the future of mobility cannot be underestimated. Who will own that data, how will it be shared and how will it be translated to real value for customers are ever-present questions that should remain front of mind.

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