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At MES Expo in Berlin, Martin Anke, Vice President Sales & Marketing at RIO, sat down with Auto Futures to discuss his vision of transport and mobility over the next two decades.

“Looking into the future is always difficult,” he says, “especially when it is still two decades away. But at RIO, we firmly believe that transport – of both passengers and cargo – will become completely digital. This will lead to an unprecedented level of efficiency due to flexible logistics processes and structures that will not only save resources but also make life less stressful for people.”

The logistics industry has been desperate to incorporate new technology and innovation in order to increase local, regional and global efficiency, overcoming significant issues such as congestion, delays and pollution. In short, it’s about harnessing the right technology to allow a transport company to operate smarter, safer and cleaner. 

“Rather than causing endless congestion on the roads, delayed goods deliveries and a high volume of trips made by empty vehicles, increasingly smaller shipments will become almost exclusively a thing of the past thanks to platform-based big data solutions and faster, better utilisation of resources,” continues Anke. “As the TRATON GROUP’s digital brand, of course, it goes without saying that we want to play a part in this with our smart solutions.

Moving forward, there will be many technological challenges that logistics companies will have to overcome in this area, which will only be possible through a new level of transparency that Anke says must be expected now.

“The immense amounts of information that trucks, semitrailers, containers, warehouses and other assets provide within the supply chain are flooding in so fast that it’s difficult to keep up,” he adds. “Digitalisation is here to stay and the only way to keep track of things is by using IT interfaces that are easy to integrate and communicate autonomously.”

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Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), supply and transport chains will become much more transparent in future. According to Anke, the decisive factor will be whether there is a willingness on the part of all those involved to change, and to find the trust and money required in order to invest in the development of productive automatic processes.

In addition, he says, artificial intelligence will also become increasingly important. Algorithms will make predictive scenarios possible, enabling future solutions to be developed under certain circumstances that humans beings would not have identified.

“At RIO, our initial approach at present is to firstly bundle our existing digital offers on an open platform, so they are available to all the participants in the supply chain.”

“Currently, what we are still seeing in the logistics sector and on the transport market is a digital society divided into two distinct classes. Small companies in particular are often still left out.”

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RIO wants to democratise digitalisation. Large transport service providers have already invested extensively in digital systems in recent years, such as transport management systems and telematics. However, Anke, believes that the industry needs to make the path to digitalisation easier for small and medium-sized transport companies.

“At RIO, we see it as our mission to design IT processes that will help smooth supply chain management by enabling companies to integrate their partners or develop their own products,” he says. “We offer our customers tailor-made solutions for different facets of their business, which they can book easily via the RIO platform and then cancel without any problem if they change their minds. This applies in particular to companies that don’t have their own IT department.”

Using the feedback it gets on its services, RIO can listen and react to industry needs, so that it can work alongside its partners in order to find the right solutions to their respective needs.

“Our customer base is growing by 25% a month, particularly among SMEs, which demonstrates that we are on the right track,” Anke reveals. “We don’t want to rest on our laurels, though; we want our products to continue being in tune with the digital times.

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