Next generation digital platforms

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Next generation digital platforms

4 Dec 2018 Muscat

Roundtable session wrap-up

Part of the “Embracing Innovation” hub at the World Congress, this roundtable addressed how new digital platforms are driving a market transformation.

Competing in a globalised and connected world requires us to do business at an unprecedented size and scale. To achieve that scale, winning companies are establishing digital platforms that extend their organisational boundaries. New digital platforms have been developed to address the fragmentation of trucking and logistics. However, the industry still needs to step up and integrate these solutions to further improve cost efficiency. How are these platforms changing the rules of the game? How can road transport reap the benefits offered by these new agile platforms? Which companies are benefitting from these solutions? 

The session was moderated by Mark Millar, expert in supply chain and logistics. Panel participants included next generation transport leaders: Benji Coetzee from Empty Trips; Tianye Miao from Yunmanman; Wanja Getambu Kiragu from East Africa Online Transport Agency; René Bruijne from Transfollow; and Stéphane Noll from Champ Cargosystems. 

“Significant consolidation will happen. New leaders will not be the traditional ones but rather the new players.”

Panel moderator, Mark Millar, started the discussion with these opening thoughts “Between today and 2020, it will be the most exciting era for supply chains. There will be many challenges as well as opportunities; disruptors and new players.” He asked the panelists to share their thoughts on what they think will be the next generation digital developments. 

“The consolidation of technologies, a mind-shift towards applying instead of building technology and big data,” was the response from Benji Coetzee. She added that, “Significant consolidation will happen. New leaders will not be the traditional ones but rather the new players.”

IRU World Congress 2018 Next generation digital platforms roundtable

“There will be more and more single windows. New platforms are still too fragmented. The industry will need to create a common point.”

Angming Yang provided this insight “With more data we can make more precise predictions of demand and supply. We can guide and dispatch tucks to where they are needed, optimising transport flows. We also have to integrate suppliers in the platform for better efficiency.”

Stephane Noll offered this assessment: “There will be more and more single windows. New platforms are still too fragmented. The industry will need to create a common point.”

Mark Millar then challenged panelists by asking: is collecting data risky? How do we know the people behind the platforms are capable and trustworthy?

Wanja Getambu Kiragu gave her input. “Our digital network functions on a system of trust and human relations”, she said.   

“Everyone needs a digital identity”

“Everyone needs a digital identity”, said Rene Bruijne.  He explained his company’s strategy: “Tackle hackers and fake accounts, there needs to be more security. What we do sometimes is to hire ethical hackers who try to hack our system.”

Tianye Miao explained in his context data collection is a core advantage. “Take for example the ranking system of Uber, we do the same in YMM,” he explained. “All our work is tied to the performance feedback provided by the users and the data we collect on effectiveness of our service.”

Panelists offered some concluding thoughts on the discussion. Rene Bruijne provided this wise advice “Don’t put digital development in the hands of the IT guys”. Wanja Getambu Kiragu expressed confidence that operators will tell the industry which technologies work. And Tianye Miao offered these final thoughts: “Technology drives everything. Be ready and join the new developments”.

IRU World Congress