End-to-end supply chain visibility remains elusive for Asia-Pacific logistics companies: HERE Technologies Study

Gadget Time / Press Releases / HERE | May 12, 2023

HERE Technologies publishes inaugural study of 1,300 business decision-makers from the transportation and logistics sector across Asia-Pacific.
Customer benefits and financial efficiencies top of mind for companies in 2023.
APAC logistic firms eye drones, robotics, artificial learning and machine learning next.

HERE Technologies, the leading location data and technology platform, today published an inaugural study, APAC On The Move, to provide insights from transportation and logistics (T&L) professionals across Asia-Pacific (APAC) 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 logistics companies three years since the onset of the pandemic. Nearly 90% of APAC 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 satisfaction and operational efficiency.

Home to some of the world’s largest manufacturing and exporting economies, the logistics industry in APAC plays a vital role in the global supply chain network. In recent years, T&L firms are under pressure from relentless consumer demands, changing customer expectations, and the arrival of new competition from start-ups and customer-turned-rival logistics operators.

Highlights from the HERE Technologies APAC On The Move 2023 study include:

Technology partnerships and implementations are big challenges
More than half of the firms surveyed (52%) have cited the challenge of identifying the right partners and/or suppliers as their biggest barrier to technology implementation. In mature economies like Australia and Singapore, the concern of potential disruption to existing processes and services ranked high. In India and Malaysia where the logistics industries are fragmented, knowing where to even begin with technology implementation is a concern.

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 (52%), the lack of time to implement the solutions (39%), and high implementation costs (39%) are the main barriers to adopting logistics assets tracking and shipment/cargo monitoring solutions.

APAC logistics firms still rely on manual tracking
The pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities of manual interventions in the global supply chain. Yet, approximately 45% of APAC 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.

Across APAC, the Japanese logistics industry is leading the way with 70% of companies surveyed having moved to tracking assets in real-time with no manual inputs. Japan’s logistics sector is facing the looming ‘2024 Problem’ as stricter regulations – limiting truck drivers to a total of 960 hours of annual overtime work – kicks in from April 1, 2024. As the industry prepares for this impending crisis, the move to track assets in real-time is a critical step to addressing and alleviating labour shortage in Japan.

Tech investments motivated by customers first and financial benefits a close second
With intensifying competition and rising customer expectations in the region, the logistics sector wants to improve fundamental business performance indicators. The strongest motivator for adopting logistics asset tracking solutions is to increase customer satisfaction (48%).

On the other hand, APAC logistics companies are also prioritising financial benefits, such as to increase revenue (47%) and to gain competitive edge in the market (41%), when purchasing logistics asset tracking solutions.

APAC logistics industry eyeing future technologies and opportunities
The study confirms that most logistics companies in APAC are already using a form of Internet of Things (IoT) technology. IoT applications for inventory management (63%), warehouse management (61%), and order management (50%) are the most popular among logistics companies in the region.

Looking ahead, more than a quarter of logistics companies in APAC are planning to invest in drones (33%), robotics (30%), and artificial learning and machine learning (29%). These technologies have been identified by the logistics sector to seize opportunities and create lasting competitive advantage (41%), improve operational efficiency (40%), and increase customer satisfaction (39%).


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.”

Yoshikazu Kuwamura, Head of Department, Industry Digital Transformation Dept., Mitsubishi Corporation Singapore Branch:
“Digitalisation is key to addressing challenges and unlocking new efficiencies in today’s supply chain. However, digitalisation itself is not enough to achieve full end-to-end supply chain visibility. Collaboration across the supply chain is essential to creating more agile and resilient operations. Together with HERE, we believe in helping logistics players in APAC to leverage location intelligence and to develop best practices and more effective strategies for managing risk and uncertainty.”

Vivek Vaidya, Global Client Leader for Mobility, Frost & Sullivan:
“The supply chain and logistics companies in APAC are at a different stage in evolution as far as asset tracking and shipment monitoring are concerned. On one hand companies are looking to invest in IoT, AI, and drones to improve real-time visibility and on the other hand a large number of companies are still relying on manual processes to achieve the same objective. The companies who are currently relying on manual process are likely to leapfrog to modern solutions. On the whole, the awareness about having real-time visibility on assets and cargo has gone up tremendously in the post-pandemic era and that trend is likely to continue. This underlines a strong growth potential for solution providers like HERE Technologies in this space for the next decade.”

William Strugger, Senior Director for Global Market Intelligence, HERE Technologies:
“The study indicates that logistics providers – who handle road, sea, or air transportation, or oversee transportation management – are consistently challenged at implementing asset tracking solutions. Their reasons include implementation costs, integrating with existing software/infrastructure, time needed for implementation, and lack of skilled manpower. This speaks to the need for logistics providers to engage professional services to speed the implementation of in-house software development or off-the-shelf turnkey software, or offload the entire effort to system integrators or location consulting boutiques to develop a bespoke solution.”

Jason Jameson, Senior Vice President & General Manager for Asia-Pacific, HERE Technologies:
“Visibility is essential in the supply chain business, and location technology is the key ingredient for building true visibility for businesses and their end customers. While it is promising to see many APAC logistics firms moved on to tracking their assets in real-time, there is still significant room for improvement, with close to half of the organisations surveyed still relying on some form of manual method for tracking. As a leading location data and technology platform, HERE Technologies plays a critical role in the logistics industry globally to not only turn real-world spatial data into a digital model for companies to utilise, but also to educate the industry on the power of location technology in optimising efficiencies and improving business operations.”

Read the APAC On The Move report for the full findings and data by each Asia Pacific sub-region.

HERE, the leading location data and technology platform, moves people, businesses and cities forward by harnessing the power of location.
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