The actual enablers of digitalized transport visibility
When reading all the reports from the world of logistics experts, the focus seems to only be on the economic benefits the industrial companies achieve from the improved supply chain visibility. It seems that a very important component has been forgotten – the carriers and their concerns about sharing data via open platforms that are enabling the improved visibility for the industry.
For large industrial customers to get improved visibility of their material flow, massive investments in tracking equipment by the carriers on their fleets has been necessary, enabling themselves to deliver the services required by their customers. With the arrival of companies building services on top of the data streams generated by the millions of trucks and trailers, the industry has been given access to a tool with large economic benefits in terms of improved logistical processes. Services like ETA, automatic alarms from deviations to plans, flexible timeslot management systems, automated arrival procedures and probably lots of other benefits.
The fact that most fleets today are connected to the IoT world have enabled these new businesses – digital forwarders, who are able to operate large fleets without ever having to worry about maintenance, sick drivers or equipment standing still, but can offer transport services to very competitive rates, or for that matter companies like ours, NIC-place, who have made it a business to connect the large number of different telematics systems as well as data sources and offer secure data handling.
In an extremely fragmented transport industry with +500,000 carriers operating in Europe, it is of course also in the interest of the transport companies to become digitalized, but it is not necessarily in the carriers’ interest to connect, not only their own fleet, but also their trusted network partners, to the growing number of open tracking platforms who are presently fighting to become the one with the largest number of connected carriers.
Of course, carriers must participate in this ecosystem. After all, it is in the carriers own interest that industrial companies are run efficiently, but is it fair that carriers, by connecting their networks to open platforms, over time may lose the control of their own resources and actual value propositions? That they cannot control for what purposes their data is being used?
At NIC-place we believe that carriers should be able to connect their network of subcontractors, without losing the control over their data. Carriers that do not need to worry about disclosing their partners on an open platform, are much more willing to share data, thus enabling exactly what the industrial companies are looking for: Improved visibility of their supply chain.
The need for data sharing concepts is becoming more and more evident, and in reality, despite the many existing software components in a logistics companies’ infrastructure, there has been no system available so far that actually can extract data from telematics and planning tools, include subcontractor equipment on need to have only basis and share components of the data stream with numerous projects and interested recipients in a controlled and secure method. Now, NIC-place with its new Data Control Center fills exactly this gap.