By Carly Fields
Companies in the project cargo industry might admit to being scared about what digitalization means, but that doesn’t stop customers expecting them to do something useful with data, Tim Paridaens, director, Internet of Things, at Deloitte Consulting in Belgium, said at Breakbulk Europe.
Indeed, data driven intelligence “is expected” today, he said, as customer expectations change.
However, the industry faces problems on the data side, particularly with data gaps, quality and latency. “Most of the data we use today is for diagnostics, so it is focused on the past,” added Dieter Degryse, general manager of transportation operations EAME at Caterpillar.
Caterpillar is exploring sensor-enabled technologies for end-to-end tracking of cargo, however Degryse acknowledged that this was not a solution for all. “Sensor strategy at the current price point ($100-$200 per unit) is currently cost prohibitive to put on every machine. But we need to leverage every machine that talks – it’s about trying to strike the right balance.”
Degryse remained convinced that the breakbulk industry will see “significant and rapid change” in this space in the short term, but added that data sharing and collaboration is key.
“Talking about sharing makes people uneasy, but we need a culture shift as there’s tremendous opportunities for all of us if we try to be open-minded on what is in the realms of possibility,” he said.