Tech solutions and challenges facing the African logistics industry
The promise of self-driving, autonomous vehicles remains on a tantalising horizon which global logistics companies keep an alert eye on. But, while this technology is one of the most promising for the industry, it’s far from the only development in the works. Industry leaders need to develop a comprehensive picture of all impending developments and, perhaps most critically, how they will all work together to form the business model establishing the future of transport.
For African logistics companies, such as TSI Central Station, there are challenges which are somewhat more prevalent to the area of operations. Most notably perhaps are highly fluctuating fuel costs and the degradation of infrastructure leading to more frequent maintenance cycles. Challenges and opportunities, however, are not only linked to the road.
The vast majority of logistics management takes place behind the scenes with a team of highly trained professionals reading streams of cargo and cost analysis data in virtual real-time. Any forthcoming technological innovations need to emphasise the entire ecosystem in order to pass savings onto the customer while keeping the business profitable. Here are some of the key considerations for the next few years.
As technological applications increase in their complexity, your labour pool requires the skills to utilise them to their full capacity. In Africa it can be a challenge to source young staff with qualifications which facilitate this need. This often leaves underprepared companies resorting to on-the-job, in-house training; the quality of which is reliant on the patience and schedules of senior staff. Investing in the training of the next generation is becoming paramount.
This is at the forefront in the minds of logistics CEOs. The technology has been a long time in development and it’s set to tackle several challenges in the industry, many of which were specific to African operations. Self-learning programs are being developed which will ascertain not only routes more efficient than current traffic detection apps, but will be more fuel efficient in general. Considering the infrastructure challenge, they’ll also be able to learn from experience with damaged roads and reduce maintenance costs. However, current estimates place the mass availability of this technology at around 15 more years.
Cloud based networks are going to have a powerful effect on the logistics industry and the unprepared may lag behind. With real-time data updates from learning programs and specialised operators, transport specialists will receive continuous information about cargo deliveries, available vehicles, proximities, driver fatigue and more. This will facilitate almost instantaneous updates to routes and delivery schedules, improving efficiency and productivity.
This is why TCS is a firm supporter and early adopter of new technologies, training and preparedness for the future.
Original Content Source: TSI Central Station
Original Authour: Clifford Blackburn
Original Image Source: Unsplash
More About the Author:
Clifford Blackburn, CEO TSI Central Station
Entrepreneur – Logistics and Supply Chain
Transport & Logistic Specialist, with a focus to cut cost and improve service delivery.
Specialties: Transport – Logistics – Supply Chain: (3PL& 4pl) Fourth Party Logistics Services.
As a company, we look across the entire supply chain, which includes;
Import, Exports, Chain management. If you are doing Cold chain collections and deliveries. Not only in South Africa but Sub-Saharan Africa. Typically, we asses and look at who is doing your Shipping, Forwarding, Clearing Who is doing your Forwarding, your Clearing..No matter the mode of transport, road, air or sea.
Locally looking at Depots, Chain services, logistics, Specialised – Sub-saharan – Import – Depots – Chain services – Logistics business – Chain logistics