Digital is the green light for Australia’s logistics sector

Spread across 7.5 million km2, Australia presents a unique set of logistical challenges for businesses relying on complex supply chains. Research suggests that the items in an average shopping basket have travelled over 70,000kms before they reach Australian consumers1. Given this statistic, it is no surprise that the transport industry, so heavily relied on by the logistics sector, is one of the biggest polluters in Australia2. With the recent Australian government commitment to achieve net-zero by 2050, the logistics industry must prepare now to reduce its environmental impact. In this blog, I discuss how digital can help a transport-reliant sector gain efficiency in processes to lower costs and emissions for businesses.

Tyranny of distance

While being a vast island was an advantage in preventing the influx of Covid-19 cases from overseas, when the geographical isolation began to impact essential logistics, issues within supply chains were elevated in the public consciousness. The pandemic has exposed the lack of collaboration between different supply chain stakeholders which resulted in a delay in warehouses deliveries and delays in deliveries to clients. The logistic industry relies heavily on optimised processes and knowledge sharing between their fleets, warehouses, and operations. Innovation in data storage and processing through cloud technology is essential to ensure that processes between stakeholders and suppliers are made as efficient, secure, and sustainable as possible.

Transport vehicle life cycle management

Statistics from the US suggest that initially passenger vehicle distance travelled decreased by 50% during the pandemic, while distance travelled by trucks decreased by only 13%, meaning that the transport and logistic industry continued producing emissions3. While the industry was in a state of flux, fuel inefficient fleets of vehicles which could have been replaced were kept in service. Austroads, the peak body for road transport in Australia, suggests that phasing out internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to make way for Electric Vehicle (EV) market penetration is one of the best ways to reduce emissions in the transport and logistics sector4.

 

For key logistical assets, digital platform management that integrates Inventory Management and fleet maintenance program planning will reduce fuel consumption and total cost of ownership. In India, a windfarm has seen its operational expenses on fuel reduced by 12% thanks to the remote controlling of assets enabled by a tailored solution based on Digital Twin leveraged with Asset Management and Planning System Platform (AMPS7) built by Atos Australia5.

The long-term benefits of converting to EVs with better capacity for data-driven, condition-based maintenance approaches will prolong the service life of this new equipment, as well as reduce the need for expensive repairs and overhauls in the future.

Consumer-Driven green recovery

As a citizenry, we are travelling less, but our buying habits mean goods are travelling more to get to us. Small to medium sized businesses who have not been as reliant on delivery pre-pandemic have now entered the conversation, bringing fresh ideas and demands on the industry. These businesses represent a customer base who are more eco-conscious and concerned about the green credentials of the supply chain. As these consumers and businesses make their voices heard, providing cost-effective, data-driven services with green credentials will shape the industry over the coming decades.

“cost-effective, data-driven services with green credentials will shape the industry over the coming decades.”

Digital’s increasing significance

What is crucial about the green recovery for the logistic sector is that digital is ready to play a more important role than ever. Responding to these demands for eco-consciousness with artificial intelligence and digital twin solutions will make a significant difference. With the power of new technologies, we can simplify and optimise supply chain processes to deliver the right data to the right person in real time, wherever they are. Smart management of data and resources will increase productivity and ultimately decrease operational and lifecycle costs. Leveraging Digital Twin and smart asset management planning platform (AMPS7) we can make predictive maintenance and remote controlling of assets a reality. The benefits? Data-driven decisions made in real-time to reduce emissions across the logistics industry.

[1] Food miles can mislead

[2] Australia’s Vehicle Fleet Dirty and falling further behind

[3] Mastering the pandemic: Challenges and opportunities for freight after Covid-19

[4] Decarbonisation of Road Transport Network Operations in Australia and New Zealand

[5] Renom Energy Services: Creating renewable energy and sustaining our future

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About Ana-Maria Grosu
Sales Executive Australia & New Zealand
Ana-Maria is an Account Executive for Atos ANZ, based out of Adelaide, South Australia. She has previously worked across the ITC industry in Europe, is passionate about the environment and identifying trends which will create a safe and sustainable future.

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