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How innovation and transport logistics efficiency go hand in hand

By: Grant King - IndustrySearch Writer
27 May, 2015

Trucks, trains, planes and ships. They're the fundamental loops in the supply chain and they're not just critical to the transport industry; almost every business in Australia and across the world would fall to pieces without them.

Without transport there is no supply, just unsatisfied demand. Without transport there is no commerce, no exchange of goods. No economy. In Australia alone Transport and Logistics is a $150 billion industry and without its 8 per cent of GDP the other 92 per cent would look a bit sick.

Transport is the vital link between local and overseas trading partners and, like the trucks and trains that drive it, it can't go anywhere sitting still.

Proactive thinking and innovation must continue to fuel the industry. Here's why.

Supply chains are getting tangled

As eCommerce sweeps the world and consumers want everything yesterday, the supply chain becomes more complicated, intertwined and challenging by the day. Like a train only knows where it's going if there are tracks, the transport industry can only stay on its myriad tracks if it has up-to-the-second directions.

Information technology and data systems management are critical to this end and must continue to evolve and adapt. Not only is this important for the industry as a whole, individual logistics companies can get the jump on competitors through superior information alone.

Developing economies are...developing

Incomes in developing nations are rising faster than ever before. As a result about one billion new consumers will become active on the global market over the next ten years. That's a whopping increase and someone's got to supply all that extra demand.

It will also make supply chains even more complex with smaller average order sizes and more frequent deliveries. Fast and flexible will be the name of the game with high speed data, multiple locations and varied modes of transport.

Order processing is getting wheels

With billions of orders flying every which way humans can't possibly keep up, let alone keep track. The manual input and paperwork per order has to be minimised. At the same time the traceability of all incoming goods and outgoing orders has to be maximised.

That's not going to happen with a bit of carbon paper and a pen behind the ear. The more transport logistics companies revolutionise and computerise their delivery systems the less traumatised their complaints departments will be.

Fast minds are leading the way

Logistics innovations by industry trailblazers are shaping the future. Liquid natural gas (LNG) usage is being utilised across a range of transport modes for economic and environmental reasons.

High speed cargo trains are being developed for a variety of reasons, all of which contain the word 'fast.' And transport containerisation is welcoming all kinds of liquids, powders, gases and grains to the land of easy bulk shipping via 'tanktainers.'

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