Indian logistics firms betting big on Drones, cloud, IoT and Blockchain: Study

Indian logistics companies find end-to-end asset tracking and shipment visibility a lingering challenge an inaugural study done by HERE Technologies, ‘APAC On The Move 2023’ reveals.

The survey which is based on insights from 1,300 transportation and logistics (T&L) business decision-makers from across Asia-Pacific (APAC) including India reveals that Indian logistics companies find technology implementation challenges as their biggest barrier to achieving real-time end-to-end supply chain visibility, despite the motivations to improve customer and financial benefits.

As per the survey, about a fifth of the firms surveyed in India (22%) have cited the challenge of identifying the right partners and/or suppliers as their biggest barrier to technology implementation. While 19% of the surveyed players say, that knowing where to even begin with technology implementation is also a concern.

Logistics companies surveyed want turn-key solutions that are easy to implement without expensive, time-consuming, and labor-intensive system overhauls. As per the survey, the main barriers to the adoption of logistics assets tracking and shipment/cargo monitoring solutions are software integration challenges with existing infrastructure (18%), high connectivity costs (15%), and high Internet of Things (IoT) costs (14%).

The survey reveals, that even after the pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities of manual interventions, many Indian logistics firms still rely on manual tracking. Approximately 41% of Indian logistics firms surveyed are using asset tracking and shipment monitoring software in combination with manual inputs to track assets, shipment, and cargo, the survey said.

Manual processes have a higher chance of creating gaps and vulnerabilities within supply chains, and this shows that a large number of companies still do not have a resilient infrastructure in place. Real-time and automated tracking solutions on the other hand provide opportunities to accelerate innovation and tackle disruptions promptly.

The survey also revealed that Indian logistics companies are prioritizing customer and financial benefits. They are putting their customers first when it comes to their considerations for adopting tracking and monitoring solutions. Almost, 49% of companies want to increase customer satisfaction when they purchase a logistics asset tracking solution, the same number of companies also want customers to have better end-to-end asset visibility and management when purchasing a shipment and cargo monitoring solution.

Adapting the new tracking and monitoring solution, companies are looking for tangible financial benefits so they can align with the NLP in addressing cost and inefficiency issues within the developing logistics ecosystem in India.

“In a highly fragmented industry, the logistics sector in India requires secure, reliable, and quality data to improve business operations, logistics efficiencies, and enhance end-to-end supply chain visibility. With the NLP promoting greater technology adoption, location technology will serve as a critical tool to empower a unified logistics interface, which is one of the steps under the NLP to connect various data sources and provide cross-sector use cases for logistics stakeholders.”

Abhijit Sengupta, Senior Director & Head of Business for Southeast Asia and India at HERE Technologies

Almost 51% of the Indian logistic players want a logistic asset tracking solution that could help them highlight areas of inefficiencies for reducing costs and providing continuous improvement, while 49% want to ensure that they gain a competitive advantage, the study revealed.

To improve competitiveness, the Indian logistics industry is looking at future technologies to make well-informed decisions thanks to the real-time monitoring and provision of data facilitated by IoT. While the study confirms that most logistics companies in India are already using a form of IoT technology, the adoption of IoT can be improved. IoT applications are popularly used among logistics companies for warehouse management (26%), inventory management (21%), and order management (19%), the survey said adding that moving ahead, almost a quarter of logistics companies in India are planning to invest in drones (33%), cloud computing (31%), IoT and blockchain (30%). These technologies have been identified by the logistics sector to seize opportunities and create lasting competitive advantage (43%), improve operational efficiency (43%), and increase revenue (40%).

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