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Digital transformation vital to survival of haulage companies

Digital transformation

Digital transformation and use of smart technology is vital to the ongoing prosperity of haulage companies, according to a new industry survey.

Digital transformation solutions are driving changes to core business models and 20 per cent of UK haulage companies are increasing their reliance on smart technology with digital adoption key to survival.

Two in five hauliers are proactively adapting business models to prosper through ongoing challenges, according to the UK Haulage Resilience Report.

Despite predictions of inflation reaching 18 per cent by 2023 and rising fears of recession, almost 9 in 10 (87 per cent) of haulage companies are confident in their ongoing commercial viability during the challenging times the industry is facing – 13 per cent even believe business will thrive in the coming years. And digital transformation will be key to future operations.

Almost half (40 per cent) are having to adapt their operations in order to survive.

The UK Haulage Resilience Report, conducted by return loads platform Haulage Exchange, received feedback from 15 of the UK’s top haulage companies that operate in the UK and Europe. The companies provide insight into the impact on the industry of Brexit and other challenges – and the digital transformation solutions companies are putting into action – now and over the coming year.

Haulage companies are preparing themselves for tougher economic times – with 80 per cent of haulage companies agreeing that increasing costs of operations is the biggest risk they’re facing, the focus of mitigating this threat is falling on reducing costs. Almost half (47 per cent) will continue to operate with streamlined profit margins to survive through tougher economic times, whilst a third (33 per cent) are charging clients more to help cope with the rising operation costs.

Many see digital transformation as the key to beating supply chain roadblocks – 20 per cent of haulage companies are increasing their reliance on the next generation of smart tech, such as route optimisation and intelligent load allocation. Driven by such innovations, productivity in the freight sector is expected to grow by 29 per cent by 2039, according to government data.

“The haulage industry has been through a lot in the last year or so, but that only means companies already know how to adapt and pivot their strategies and plans,” said Azad Awan, sales manager at Haulage Exchange. “And that’s what we’re seeing as more and more of them focus on digital solutions to ensure they can survive the increasing economic challenge.

“In haulage, time really is money, which is where tech can prove invaluable. Whether it’s smart invoicing or finding available drivers using real-time maps, shortcuts are multiplied countless times and add up to days and days saved.

“Technology is the long-term answer to industry challenges and will support commercial viability in the coming years. Having a positive longer-term vision is how the industry will thrive.”

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