Financial Data
Updated 23 Apr 2018

4 Reasons why you should have already shifted your transport business to 4.0

Your customers need full integration and transparency from you to remain competitive. If you aren’t offering this, they could look elsewhere. 

Nicole Crampton, 04 April 2017  Share  0 comments  Print

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The world is becoming more connected and integrated. Customers have rapidly digitised their supply chains and integrated digital communication channels to better engage with their clients, according to PWC’s Shifting Patterns: The future of the logistics industry report.

If you haven’t started implementing digital supply chain integration using the Internet-of-Things (IoT), also known as 4.0, “You may find that you’re already losing clients who, ultimately need to meet their clients demands, which is to be wholly transparent from manufacturer to transporter to retailer,” adds PWC’s report.

Interconnecting your vehicles with your customers’ digital supply chain technologies using GPS, IoT and telematics integrations, and allowing for transparent visibility of your freight operations can prevent your clients from seeking a new digitally-connected transport service provider.

Related: Must read insights on why trucks don’t make sense as delivery vehicles


According to PWC, competition in the transport sector is growing because online retailers and technology-based businesses are filling the gap created by transporters that refuse to digitise operations. “Your business is becoming the largest unknown variable in the purchasing process and your clients’ customers are demanding complete transparency, which means you also need to deliver on it,” the report highlights.

Here are four ways you could be disrupted if you don’t digitise and move your transport business toward interconnectedness, according to PWC’s report:

1. You won’t deliver on customer expectations

Both individual and business expectations have increased in the digital age, with “low-cost personalised service and real-time visibility, choice of delivery channels and participation in the sharing economy,” according PWC.

Also, as more manufacturing businesses move toward ‘customisation models’ (building things to exact specification for a particular customer), this change will place increased demand on the transport and logistics industries to perform faster to meet end-consumer expectation.

The combination of your clients’ demands and end-consumer expectations of your business is leading to a growing pressure on your business to move toward digital integration. Think about it, how is your business meant to stay competitive if you can’t instantly communicate within your clients’ interconnected supply chains?

2. You’ll miss out on technological benefits

Big -data -technology

Because you aren’t’ using the Internet-of-Things and big data technology, you are missing out on the benefits. According to The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, in the future smart navigation systems will share information about road congestion volumes, particulate levels and traffic disruptions, enabling you to manage your vehicles and traffic autonomously.

The institute explains: “It will be possible to connect manufacturing systems and business processes in factories and business in real time, and across different companies, up to outbound logistics.” This is what the future looks like, if you don’t upgrade your business, you could miss it.

Integrating technology would lower costs, improve efficiency and offer your business the opportunity to make genuine, lucrative breakthroughs in your industry. The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research estimates that the global economic benefit of digitisation and increased real-world networking in various fields including transport is at a level of 58 billion euros a year.

Related: How self-driving vehicles can (and will) revolutionise logistics

3. You could be disrupted by new-age transporters

According to PWC, your customers are setting up their own transport and logistics operations to enable them to meet their own customers’ expectations and reduce dependence on logistics service providers.

They want to gain a competitive edge over retailers that still use traditional transport and logistics partners. This essentially means that your business, without 4.0, is making your clients uncompetitive and they might be looking to a transporter that can come in with digital tools already in their arsenal.

4. You’re missing out on next level collaboration

The transport sector is redefining collaboration with Uber-style approaches and last-mile delivery. PWC’s Africa transport and logistics head, Dr Andrew Shaw, says that there is still inconsistency between the various stages of the transportation supply chain, such as shipment sizes, process and IT systems.

He believes that the Internet-of-Things or 4.0 is promising great benefits for businesses, including increased standardisation in transport and logistics allowing for a more streamlined operation. In order for your business to stay competitive and meet your customers’ expectations then, you’ll need to implement integrative software as well as telematics and processes.

This will not only allow you to remain competitive, but it will reduce costs by streamlining your operation while enabling the finding of gaps in the market before anyone else does.


  • Implement integrative big data software to link your vehicles with your head office, to keep your customers informed at all times.
  • Incorporate the Internet-of-Things within and between your vehicles and your management, will help to optimise your entire operation. 
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About the author

Nicole Crampton

Introducing the owner-driver responsibilities & risks

Bryan Verpoort, Head of Corporate & Business Insurance at Standard Bank advises smaller businesses on the risks and considerations when contracting to transport goods for a large company.

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