Measuring digital transformation at EFT’s 3PL & Supply Chain Summit

UK truck driver shortage

At the end of last month, Ti attended EFT’s 3PL & Supply Chain Summit in Dusseldorf, where myself and Tim Phillips, founder of Freightex and former President of Coyote Europe, ran a workshop entitled: How ready are you for digitalization?

The aim of the workshop was to explain the potential gains of digitalization and to ascertain the current state of the market. In order to do so we mapped out the digitalization journey to define it’s stages, and to provide a framework to measure progress along the route. During the session we outlined three key stages: firstly digitization, where data is logged digitally so it can be easily shared within and between organizations; secondly digitalization, where data is automatically generated as part of business processes and can be used within operations; and finally digital transformation, the formation of new business or revenue streams enabled by the digitalization of operations.

The potential of digitalization and importance of innovation is widely accepted across the logistics industry. As shippers demand ever more efficient and better quality services from logistics companies, the appetite for technological solutions is growing ever stronger. Consequently, LSPs are working hard to meet this need and to develop their capabilities. But surveys and interviews conducted by Ti support the general perception that many companies are still reliant on older IT systems, or even simply using spreadsheets and phone calls to manage their operations.

During the workshop, Tim and I ran a poll to measure the progress of delegates along the road to digital transformation. We found that, whilst many had digitalized their operations to some degree, most were still in the digitization or the digitalization phases.

Measuring the progress of digitalization, the expectations and requirements of shippers, and the capabilities of LSPs in this regard, is a major feature of Ti’s upcoming European Road Freight report, of which Tim Phillips is a guest author. To find out more about this publication please click here.

Elsewhere, the EFT conference provided many panels discussing the applications of emerging technologies and how best to implement them within different organisations. Such discussions were accompanied by many presentations by LSPs and shippers, offering examples of how technologies are used within their businesses, detailing the challenges and benefits these have brought. Conversations with my fellow delegates in the networking sessions showed considerable enthusiasm for these discussions, but, particularly among shippers, that their appetite for explanation and examples of exactly how these technologies can be implemented and how they will help, had not yet been satisfied. It seems that any LSP which can clearly explain and substantiate their offering to these shippers will be very successful indeed.

Source: Transport Intelligence, November 22, 2018

Author: Michael Clover


Ti’s latest report, European Road Freight Transport 2018, will be available from Tuesday 27th November 2018. The report examines key trends in road freight operations and investigates how the market is changing by assessing cost structures, EU policy, shippers’ requirements and Brexit. To find out more about the report, or to pre-order, click here