Logistics leans on tech future

Logistics businesses are gearing up for advanced technology to streamline their operations as they are facing intense competition and high transport costs.

These technologies range from telematics solutions, advanced GPS tracking systems and data analytics platforms.

Thailand’s transport and logistics market is expected to reach 200 billion baht this year, up 15-20% from last year, driven by the country’s economic growth, government spending and export expansion.

Varinthorn Srisukdee, commercial product director of GIS, a solutions integrator for logistics business, said the logistics business faces three challenges.

The first is the market is dominated by foreign competitors ready to serve e-commerce businesses as they made large investments, she said.

These companies have strong networks with online businesses, said Ms Varinthorn.

Second, logistics providers have to bear high transport costs, including fuel expenses and the cost of trips with empty containers.

Last, they need to adopt new technology and develop business models for better capability and long-term business operations, she said.

“GPS tracking systems are not enough for logistics service providers in a digital economy, where consumer and business needs are dynamic,” said Ms Varinthorn.

She said consumers prefer online platforms when making purchases and they have high expectations for services, including same-day delivery.

Businesses need to reduce supply chain costs and delivery time as well as improve inventory management, said Ms Varinthorn.

She said telematics solutions and advanced GPS tracking systems could be used to help collect data on driving behaviour. Poor drivers will be warned about Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Data analytics can help integrate data across the different GPS tracking systems used by transport service operators onto a single platform, accommodating better real-time analytics to deliver optimum customer satisfaction.

“Digital disruption has been affecting the logistics sector for the past few years, especially in 2017,” said Ms Varinthorn. Logistics service providers have gradually developed their operations through location, web and cloud-based systems, respectively.

She said GIS is an IoT logistics solution integrator through service brand Nostra, the sole integrator of big data logistics platforms in the market.

The company’s analytics platform and telematics solutions are sold under the smart logistics arena.

“The fourth quarter is headed for positive results this year, with transport operators installing telematics equipment connected to GPS tracking systems,” said Ms Varinthorn.

Linked mobile video cameras can help detect driver behaviour, reducing the risk of accidents, she said.

The company’s fourth-quarter revenue is expected to grow 50% from the same period a year earlier.