Transport360 – Q4/2018 issue. Is data the transport sector’s most precious cargo?

Transport

The most successful carriers and hauliers have long since learned to optimise their services by tracking their assets online. As my Antipodean friends would say, that’s a statement of the Bleedin’ Obvious. But it is clearer to the industry now that there is much more that they could do to enhance their quality of service and with it their bottom line.

As Annie Turner, editor of IoTNowTransport.com, reports on pages 72-73, “often companies opt for asset tracking primarily to fix the first issue – knowing where their assets are — with little if any thought about how they could get the much greater benefits of the subsequent phases, and potentially at incremental cost. This is partly because for many organisations, this is new territory and they do not grasp the scope of asset tracking in the first place nor how it could support wider asset management, and much else.” Worryingly, she adds, “Data is a by-product of their business activities, rather than something of huge intrinsic value in its own right.”

I found a similar story when interviewing KORE’s William Sandoval (see pages 68-69). Asset monitoring doesn’t just mean using vehicle diagnostics to record tyre tread, fuel consumption, mileage, engine function, and maintenance schedule – valuable as these data are. It means a single cloud-based application can enable the fleet manager to predict more accurately when services may be required, thereby planning maintenance in
quieter times and avoiding failures that are costly in profits and reputation.

Furthermore, it strengthens Just-in-Time Delivery through route optimisation, and cuts costs by better management of human and hardware resources and by accurately analysing shipping capacity. As we can see in Berg Insight’s report on page 60, demand for these skills will only expand as the number of IoT-connected endpoints grows exponentially. Big Data is no use at all if it doesn’t give you insights into your business.

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