Transport operators prepare for further digitalisation before end of 2018

Posted: 12 April 2018 | | No comments yet

New research from IRU has revealed the challenges European transport operators face, and highlights the potential for digital solutions and services to unlock industry opportunities…

UK transport workers feel they're ahead of the curve in workplace technology use

Sixty-five per cent of European transport operators are looking to invest in technology over the next six months to optimise their day to day operations.

The findings from an IRU survey show that while 50 per cent of operators are concerned about the cost of fuel, and 60 per cent by environmental and regulatory constraints, operators are also increasingly conscious of the rise of new market entrants and the impact of automation.

Forty per cent cite autonomous vehicles and 26 per cent digital service platforms and new transport providers as the most important changes impacting their businesses within the next 10 years. Only 20 per cent see delivery drones as having a significant effect.

Technology is seen as a fundamental solution, with paper management a challenge expected by 50 per cent of respondents to be overcome by digital, followed by transport security and finding loads.

For more than a quarter of respondents, digital is seen as a solution for helping overcome the ongoing driver shortage in the industry. Out of the operators surveyed, 26 per cent believe that autonomous vehicles will play a part in solving the shortage. 

Interestingly, the data reveals a lack of a consensus on automation. One in three respondents do not believe driverless trucks will future proof the industry by alleviating the driver shortage and 42 per cent remain unsure of their impact.

Zeljko Jeftic, Global Innovation Lead at IRU, commented: “What we are witnessing today is an industry predominantly looking to use technology to solve basic operational challenges, such as moving to digital documentation and improving traceability, security and efficiency.”

While IRU’s findings are overall positive, 35 per cent of respondents say they have no plans to invest in digital solutions in the next six months. This suggests that there are pockets of the industry yet to embrace new technologies, who risk being left behind.

Umberto de Pretto, Secretary General at IRU, commented: “Our role to support road transport in becoming more sustainable has never been more important. This event brings together some of the leading innovators in road transport, including Daimler, DKV Euro Service, TomTom and Wtransnet, to share insights and experiences with the businesses running road transport services on the ground.”