Study Reveals Gap in AI Adoption and Sustainability Goals Across American and European Logistics Industry
Las Vegas – Manifest Supply Chain Conference – HERE Technologies, the leading location data and technology platform, today unveiled insights from its latest 'On the Move' survey of transportation and logistics (T&L) professionals in the Germany, the United Kingdom (U.K.) and United States (U.S.). The survey, developed in part with Amazon Web Services (AWS), shows a significant gap in the adoption of basic data analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), along with a lack of sustainability goals and progress toward achieving real-time supply chain visibility.
Identifying Opportunities for AI Adoption
According to the multi-country survey conducted by YouGov, only 50 percent of T&L professionals across the three countries state their organizations utilize basic data analytics in their operations. At the same time, 25 percent of all respondents state their organization leverages AI capabilities. This underscores the untapped potential of AI – from data analytics supported by machine learning to optimizing fleet routing, predictive maintenance and streamlining processes for strategic decision-making. The findings contrast with all three countries ranking in the top 20 of last year’s World Bank Logistics Performance Index .
While the study highlights the lack of data analytics and AI utilization, it also identifies the key barriers to technology implementation. Cost is the number one barrier to further technology implementation according to T&L professionals in all three countries. Thirty-one percent of professionals surveyed in Germany cited cost barriers alongside 23 percent of respondents in the U.K. and U.S. Potential disruption to existing services (12%) and lack of internal expertise (11%) were the second and third highest cited barriers to technology implementation.
T&L professionals want reliable solutions that are easy to use and can be seamlessly integrated into their existing processes and systems without requiring extensive technical expertise or costly technology overhauls. Thirty percent of all respondents rank improving fleet utilization, route planning and tracking as top considerations when improving operations.
Sustainability in the Shadows
Despite the global emphasis on sustainable practices, the study reveals a significant gap in the prioritization of sustainability among logistics companies across all three regions.
Across all three countries, a majority of respondents state their organizations do not have sustainability goals, with 27 percent citing they are “under development.” A total of 33 percent stated their organization is without sustainability goals with no plans to develop metrics. An unexpected 66 percent of T&L professionals in Germany indicate their organization currently does not have defined sustainability goals or metrics specific to transportation and logistics operations.
Sustainability consistently ranks the least important consideration, across all three countries, when it comes to their organizations’ end-to-end supply chain and logistics management. Instead, German logistics professionals’ number one priority was the need for better route planning and real-time tracking, while U.S. and U.K. profesionals emphasized increasing customer satisfaction the most.
Environmental and operational resilience remain core topics within the global logistics industry in 2024. Technology implementation for more efficient operations will be crucial as the industry continues to face market and cost pressures. Sustainability metrics can be a by-product of technology implementation that improves customer satisfaction, driver safety and fuel consumption.
Looking for end-to-end supply chain visibility
The study reveals that 3 out of 4 T&L professionals surveyed in Germany (72%), the U.K. (72%) and U.S. (68%) believe their company is making some progress toward achieving real-time supply chain visibility. However, less than 1 in 4 respondents across each country believe their operations have made ‘significant’ progress.
Full, end-to-end supply chain visibility is hard to achieve. Consistent across all countries surveyed, T&L professionals indicate ocean freight is the mode of transportation providing the least amount of real-time visibility. Conversely, respondents in each country cited truck operations as having the highest amount of real-time visibility in their supply chain. Respondents in each country placed real-time tracking and route optimization as their number one and two most valued capabilities to improve their supply chain visibility.
“On one hand, this study shows the progress being made by companies towards increasing their supply chain visibility. On the other hand, it’s clear the industry currently lacks the contextual data, AI capabilities and tools needed to optimize fleet deployments, routing, and appropriate mode switching,” said Remco Timmer, Vice President of Product Management at HERE Technologies. “As a result, we’re seeing increased demand for location data and services that enable logistics companies to overcome disruptions in real-time while reducing emissions and improving employee safety in the process.”
“The fact that nearly 40% of respondents visited ocean freight as the least visible mode of transportation is a very compelling statistic. The maritime industry’s inherent lack of real-time visibility not only hinders operational efficiency but also highlights the critical need for innovative solutions to navigate and better manage the uncertainty of global logistics,” said Adhish Luitel, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. “Nearly 20% of users utilizing location data, IoT, and sensor technology for better visibility is encouraging but clearly, a lot more needs to be done in terms of broad implementation.”
To access and download graphics of the findings, visit: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/ddx52ceske7tx76g9rz82/h?rlkey=1qkq26t81sjbu6ht1env50stx&dl=0
To read the full ‘On the Move’ survey report, with global insights and tailored finding for Germany, the U.K. and U.S., visit: https://www.here.com/solutions/supply-chain/2024-logistics-tech-trends
About the Study
HERE enlisted YouGov to conduct in January 2024 a multi-country survey of 901 T&L professionals (N=301 Germany, N=300 each in the United Kingdom and the United States) representing companies large and small. Fieldwork was undertaken between 2nd - 10th January 2024. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of adults in the T&L industry (aged 18+) in the three countries tested. The T&L industry survey explores various trends and topics including, supply chain visibility, sustainability, data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and overall barriers toward technology adoption.
The survey contains insights from transport and logistics companies across these three key markets, serving as a guide to help professionals navigate current opportunities and challenges in the supply chain, fleet, and logistics management.
HERE is working with AWS to help solve location-related challenges for the supply chain and logistics industry across the globe. HERE brings the power of location services with the leading cloud and IT services to accelerate speed to market and time to value.
Dr. Sebastian Kurme
About HERE Technologies