supply chain haulio

We are in the best of times, and yet also, the worst of times. In the age of rapid digital innovation, we are reliving the narrative in Charles Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities. Some businesses thrive at unimaginable speed while some get eliminated completely. Many are caught in the in-between, struggling to stay afloat to keep up with the change of digital disruption.

Across industries, the wave of digital disruption has brought new technologies, new entrants, new customer experiences and new business models. In order to beat the disruption, one has to be the disruptor.

We see this narrative unfolding in the logistics sector. Technological revolution has accelerated change in an industry that is traditionally backward and least digitally exposed. It has enlarged the divide between the new and the old.

The reality is that the supply chain is not naturally a digital business, as concluded in the report by Janeiro Digital, The Modernisation Gap: Digital Innovation and Transformation in Supply Chain and Logistics.

Many, prior to the pandemic, have regarded digital tools as unnecessary expenses. In the container trucking industry, it is a typical sight to see drivers writing down the jobs that they had completed each day on a piece of paper. It is just how things have always been.

This has contributed to the common inefficiencies observed in the sector today that are leading to the wider problems of inefficient container routings, bottlenecks at ports, affecting cargo quality and resulting in security risk.

In these troubled times, the magnitude of a supply chain disruption is keenly felt. This was especially highlighted during the Suez Canal blockage causing congestion at ports and container shortages.

Also Read: Locad founder on building SEA’s first cloud logistics network in the midst of COVID-19

The ramifications were global, where everyone including retailers and producers was affected. Sadly, consumers have already begun to feel the pinch, as costs get passed down to them.

The benchmark food price index published by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) registered a sharp increase in May, averaging 127.1 points – the highest level in 10 years.

This is the result of a confluence of factors, including higher marine shipping costs and supply chain disruptions. Freight rates are expected to reach new highs this year given port congestion and equipment unavailability.

With the changing preferences of consumers driving a surge in demand, there is great potential for the shipping industry. According to Research and Markets, the global logistics market is estimated to grow to US$12.68 Billion by 2023 with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.49 per cent between 2017 and 2023, with Asia as the top player in the global maritime trade arena. One key highlight is the boom in the logistics market in SEA region, with trade volumes expected to increase by 130 per cent in 2023 to US$5,653 billion.

With the increasing international trade and investment, the rapid growth of e-commerce and the improvement in infrastructure, the Southeast Asia region is an untapped gold mine within the logistics ecosystem.

Southeast Asia’s internet economy hits US$100 billion for the first time in 2019, and it is expected to grow to US$300 billion by 2025.

The 2020 Southeast Asia e-Conomy report by Google, Temasek and Bain & Co revealed that COVID-19 had led to an acceleration of digital consumption, with SEA economy exceeding USD$100 billion in gross merchandise volume (GMV) and e-commerce accounting more than 50 per cent.

Haulio has long seen the beauty of the interconnectedness in the supply-chain business. As Singapore’s fastest-growing cloud-based digital container haulage network, Haulio built on a multi-tenancy system to allow multiple customers or ‘tenants’ to share the same resources while being able to configure the application to fit their needs.

This new model of ‘sharing’ using digital capabilities allows their business to optimise the vast logistics network.

Using technology to optimise the usage of haulage trucks and drivers, Haulio problem-solves inefficiencies through their platform while also partnering with major logistics players and fintechs.

Strategic partnerships allow them to connect the most offline node to the rest of the supply chain, uplifting the lives of millions of haulers and drivers.

Also read: Challenging existing fundamentals in logistics and supply chain

Haulio’s collaboration with ESCO in Thailand, which operates one of the six inland container depots (ICD) at Lat Krabang (LKB) port, is a prime example of the transformation that digitalisation of the trucking ecosystem has brought.

In Thailand, freight transport via road is an integral part of the logistics network. To improve operational efficiency at ESCO’s terminal, Haulio’s landmark digital tool has helped assist the terminals to execute movement of more than 10,000 TEUs since Q2 2020.

Through Haulio, ESCO’s trucking partners can be tracked based on factors such as the speed of response to jobs, number of partner’s drivers online, new revenue stream jobs, hence allowing ESCO to measure terminal operational efficiency gains. To date, ESCO has seen an efficiency improvement of around 20 per cent with the administrative savings from improved operational efficiency.

Haulio’s success in Singapore, as well as this successful pilot with ESCO, further proves the value of Haulio’s solutions in bridging the gap between customers and their trucking partners, by bringing operational visibility to all parties.

While container haulage has always been the vertical that is left behind within the supply chain, Haulio’s solutions will be able to fulfil the potential for transformation within the first-mile container logistics space.

Haulio has plans to expand its footprint regionally, to complete the digitalisation of haulage in Southeast Asia by 2025, solving existing problems within the US$147 billion ‘First Mile Logistics Market’ in Southeast Asia.

Tech-driven operating models are able to tap on the underserved and uncontested opportunities in the various value levers. Tech-enabled logistics start-ups are using technologies such as data analytics and artificial intelligence to improve the efficiency of business operations and to serve niche markets.

Haulio believes in delivering value through technology. It is about building a culture of empowerment, starting from the digital connecting node of the Container Haulage vertical.

As the phrase goes, “Every Supply Chain is only as strong its weakest link”. The journey towards digital transformation would only be possible through the joint efforts of industry players.

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Image credit: frank mckenna on Unsplash

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