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Growing move to online platform

Big data has become a critical toolkit for transporters and transport customers alike, says Nick Hoffman, COO of Linebooker, an independent online transport services business.

“Large amounts of data – from vehicle tracking and fleet management to inventory control – are continually being analysed to improve operational capabilities. This helps to identify supply and demand patterns, reduce wasteful expenditure and optimise processes that positively contribute to the bottom line.”

He believes the future freight economy is a shared one.

Given the sharing economy’s ability to access new markets and market segments within common marketplaces, sharing platforms are now infiltrating a host of industries and businesses, as they are not contained by geography and borders.

At present, there are estimated to be more than 25 billion connected devices. By 2015, this figure is expected to escalate to a staggering 75 billion devices.

Online platforms aimed at managing logistics will become increasingly prevalent, given the multiple benefits that can be realised from digitally connected applications.

Companies such as Linebooker are using a customised platform to intelligently match pre-approved transport providers with customers looking for an efficient, transparent and reliable transport solution.

“As a spatially challenged country – and with rail infrastructure not being able to meet the growing demands of the economy – South Africa will still be reliant on road transport for many years to come,” Hoffman says.

“In the future B2B abd B2C world, digital interfaces will play a far more prominent role in managing logistics processes. Customers will be in a position to find the right carrier for their logistics requirements by choosing from a wider range of large and small service providers.

“Whilst this will not signal the demise of long-term transport contracts, the shared economy will give transporters viable options to reduce empty runs and increase volumes by engaging with multiple customers.”

Published By: Freight & Trading Weekly