Shoestring | Digital Logistics
Despite the rise of digitalisation in recent years, many UK logistics companies, especially small- and medium-sized businesses, find it challenging to adopt digital solutions in their processes. Many companies cite the main barriers to getting started as expense, complexity and uncertainty about the benefits expected from digitalisation.
Set up to address this situation, the Shoestring | Digital Logistics project is raising awareness of digitalisation in the sector whilst also running workshops to adapt the low-cost solutions developed from the Digital Manufacturing project to meet the main business needs of logistics companies. Two logistics companies are currently running Shoestring pilots, using a low-cost digital solution to address one of their top business challenges.
In one of the pilots Meachers Global Logistics deployed a solution on site to monitor and report on container unloading time. Gary Whittle, Commercial Director of Meachers, said:
At Meachers we are continually looking at ways to improve our efficiency and charging transparency for our customers. This initiative will allow for better planning of operational resource levels and ensure that any pricing mechanism accurately reflects the business. In addition, this will help us monitor our productivity remotely without an onerous or invasive process being implemented.”
To date seven industrial workshops have been held with companies in the UK logistics sector, two recent ones supported by the UK Warehouse Association (UKWA), at the IMHX 2022 Logistics Solutions Show in Birmingham and at the UKWA’s own conference in March 2023. In these workshops logistics companies consider their business needs and priorities, which the Shoestring project team then match to low-cost digital solution areas.
The workshops have helped the Shoestring team create a list of the logistics sector’s digitalisation priorities (as shown in figure 1 above), and two pilots have commenced in two logistics companies to establish the impact Shoestring can have on enabling logistics companies to start digitalising.
Digital Logistics Shoestring workshops and pilots
The Digital Logistics Shoestring team, led by Jaime Macias, continues to hold workshops with 3PL companies, logistics consultants and professionals in this sector. In addition the team is developing several pilot industrial solutions so that more logistics companies can experience the benefits of digitalisation.