Telem­at­ics for Lo­gis­tics

Cargo Talk - - Editorial -

Telem­at­ics, the tech­nol­ogy of send­ing, re­ceiv­ing and stor­ing in­for­ma­tion via telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion de­vices in con­junc­tion with con­trol on re­mote ob­jects, is be­com­ing pop­u­lar. Telem­at­ics, how­ever, is not only lim­ited to Global Po­si­tion­ing Sys­tem (GPS) tech­nol­ogy in­te­grated with com­put­ers and mo­bile com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­ogy in au­to­mo­tive nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems. The term has evolved to re­fer to the use of such sys­tems within road ve­hi­cles, in which case, the term ve­hi­cle telem­at­ics may be used. The so­lu­tion (telem­at­ics) for com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle space in In­dia is grow­ing. Al­beit lo­gis­tics in­dus­try in In­dia is yet to adopt the tech­nol­ogy, the coun­try of­fers tremen­dous op­por­tu­ni­ties to the so­lu­tion providers be­cause of the mul­ti­ple chal­lenges the in­dus­try has to face in the divers ge­o­graph­i­cal ter­rain. Ac­cu­rate route di­rec­tions, traf­fic in­for­ma­tion, easy track­ing and trac­ing, and se­cu­rity of ve­hi­cles are the key con­cerns for the lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies. The in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed telem­at­ics so­lu­tion providers are ex­pected to ad­dress all th­ese is­sues by ca­ter­ing to lo­cal re­quire­ments. It is per­ti­nent to men­tion that the so­lu­tions used in devel­oped coun­tries like the US and Europe, may not fit for this largely un­or­gan­ised lo­gis­tics mar­ket. Ac­cord­ingly, the so­lu­tion providers have to put more value added ser­vices in their soft­ware. For in­stance, traf­fic rules and reg­u­la­tions that vary state to sate and weather re­lated in­for­ma­tion in lo­cal lan­guages needs to be added to the so­lu­tion. On the other hand, they will have to as­sure un­in­ter­rupted telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions to the re­mote ar­eas where truck op­er­a­tors of­ten face se­ri­ous prob­lems. Above all, the so­lu­tion should be cost sen­si­tive. Since the trans­port in­dus­try in In­dia is dom­i­nated by small and medium-sized play­ers, it has to be within their reach. The price point in In­dia is some­thing the ser­vice providers will have to work with, to un­der­stand which sub­scrip­tion cost makes sense. How­ever, it was found out that many third-party providers and OEMs have had to roll back the telem­at­ics po­si­tions they took. Roam­ing costs were very un­pre­dictable, and cus­tomers were not happy with that. Lo­gis­tics ser­vice providers, on the other hand, need to be sen­si­ble about value ad­di­tion to their ser­vices. Since tech­nol­ogy makes the real dif­fer­ence to grab new mar­kets and save cost/time, it paves the way for the long-term win-win ben­e­fits for both lo­gis­tics ser­vice providers and their cus­tomers.

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