HERE Technologies, the leading location data and technology platform, published an inaugural study, APAC On The Move 2023, to provide insights from 1,300 transportation and logistics (T&L) business decision makers across Asia-Pacific (APAC) including India, on the current technology trends and practices that are shaping supply chain, fleet, and logistics management.
A key finding from APAC On The Move 2023 is the extent to which end-to-end asset tracking and shipment visibility remain a challenge for Indian logistics companies three years since the onset of the pandemic. Indian logistics companies surveyed have cited technology implementation challenges as their biggest barrier to achieving real-time end-to-end supply chain visibility, despite the motivations to improve customer and financial benefits.
The highly fragmented Indian logistics industry is undergoing rapid growth and transformation. With India’s logistics costs estimated to be about 14% of the country’s GDP (gross domestic product), the introduction of the National Logistics Policy (NLP) is set to lower this cost to about 8% by 2030 and boost the competitiveness of the industry[[i]].
Highlights from the HERE Technologies APAC On The Move 2023 study include:
Technology partnerships and implementations are big challenges
About a fifth of the firms surveyed in India (22%) have cited the challenge of identifying the right partners and/or suppliers as their biggest barrier to technology implementation. Knowing where to even begin with technology implementation is also a concern among some Indian logistics players (19%).
Logistics companies surveyed want turn-key solutions that are easy to implement without expensive, time consuming, and labour-intensive system overhauls. According to the study by HERE, software integration challenges with existing infrastructure (18%), the high connectivity costs (15%), and high Internet of Things (IoT) costs (14%) are the main barriers to adopting logistics assets tracking and shipment/cargo monitoring solutions.
Indian logistics firms still rely on manual tracking
The pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities of manual interventions in the global supply chain. Yet, approximately 41% of Indian logistics firms surveyed are using asset tracking and shipment monitoring software in combination with manual inputs to track assets, shipment, and cargo.
Manual processes have a higher chance of creating gaps and vulnerabilities within supply chains, and this shows that a large number of companies still do not have a resilient infrastructure in place. Real-time and automated tracking solutions on the other hand provide opportunities to accelerate innovation and tackle disruptions promptly.
Prioritising customer and financial benefits
Indian logistics companies are putting their customers first when it comes to their considerations for adopting tracking and monitoring solutions. Close to half of the companies (49%) want to increase customer satisfaction when they purchase a logistics asset tracking solution. The same number of companies also want customers to have better end-to-end asset visibility and management (49%) when purchasing a shipment and cargo monitoring solution.
To align with the NLP in addressing cost and inefficiency issues within the developing logistics ecosystem in India, companies are also looking for tangible financial benefits when they adopt new tracking and monitoring solutions. Half of Indian logistic players (51%) want a logistic asset tracking solution that could help them highlight areas of inefficiencies for reducing costs and provide continuous improvement, while 49% wants to ensure that they gain competitive advantage.
Indian logistics industry eyes future technologies to boost competitiveness
Logistics companies can make well-informed decisions thanks to the real-time monitoring and provision of data facilitated by IoT. The study confirms that most logistics companies in India are already using a form of IoT technology. However, the adoption rates for IoT can be improved. IoT applications for warehouse management (26%), inventory management (21%), and order management (19%) are the most popular among logistics companies in the country.
Looking ahead, almost a quarter of logistics companies in India are planning to invest in drones (33%), cloud computing (31%), IoT and blockchain (30%). These technologies have been identified by the logistics sector to seize opportunities and create lasting competitive advantage (43%), improve operational efficiency (43%), and increase revenue (40%).
Venkatesan Natarajan, Solutions Leader for Smart Field Services, IoT & Engineering Services Business Unit, Cognizant:
“Logistics in India is deeply unorganised and it’s a herculean – but certainly possible – task for the industry as a whole to come together while it’s growing so rapidly. Our entire logistics ecosystem needs to first integrate data silos, then aggregate and transform data, before distributing it throughout the industry for all to consume. Location technology can help get us to this first step as it has the power to unify disparate data sets. Only then can we derive value out of shared data and improve the logistics industry as a whole.”
- Regu Ayyaswamy, Senior Vice President and Global Head, Tata Consultancy Services:
“India’s logistics sector is a critical enabler of economic growth, playing a crucial role in the seamless movement of goods and services across the country. However, the sector is rapidly evolving, and as a leading global IT services provider, TCS is committed to enabling businesses within the logistics sector to digitally transform their operations and drive growth. Our strategic partnership with HERE Technologies is a testament to this commitment. By combining HERE’s world-class location intelligence platform with DigifleetTM, TCS’ logistics solution, we are empowering businesses with real-time visibility and actionable insights.”
- Neil Shah, Vice President of Research, Counterpoint Research:
“Every vertical is undergoing ‘digital transformation’. However, the transport and logistics sector in India has been lagging to unlock significant financial and operational benefits to the ecosystem. A coordinated public-private-partnership in the form of the government’s latest NLP framework with leading technology companies such as HERE brings advanced capabilities to blend the location, software, connectivity and cloud technologies. This will accelerate the digital transformation of this core sector in one of the largest T&L markets in the world, offering real-time supply chain visibility and optimisations.”
- Abhijit Sengupta, Senior Director & Head of Business for Southeast Asia and India at HERE Technologies:
“In a highly fragmented industry, the logistics sector in India requires secure, reliable, and quality data to improve business operations, logistics efficiencies, and enhance end-to-end supply chain visibility. With the NLP promoting greater technology adoption, location technology will serve as a critical tool to empower a unified logistics interface, which is one of the steps under the NLP to connect various data sources and provide cross-sector use cases for logistics stakeholders.”