بررسی اثرات فناوری اطلاعات و ارتباطات بر شرکت های حمل و نقل عمومی انگلستان
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|18040||2007||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Production Economics, Volume 106, Issue 1, March 2007, Pages 12–27
This paper focuses on the road freight transport industry, using the UK as a case study. It examines the extent to which Internet freight exchanges and the use of information and communication technology (ICT) processes are affecting general haulage. Recent surveys suggest that there is scope within the road transport industry to improve efficiency in terms of fill rates and empty running. Any improvements may also help to alleviate the pressures faced in many developed countries by the haulage industry, which include driver shortages, new legislation, such as the Working Time Directive in Europe, increasing road congestion, as well as to support improvements desired for sustainability. A background summary of the UK road haulage industry and the potential impact of e-commerce are provided before the results of a survey from 49 general haulage operators in their attitude to and adoption of ICT developments are analysed and assessed. The study concludes that a split picture is emerging. While many of the smaller haulage operators remain dependent upon traditional communication and process systems, the larger logistics companies, who control the majority of vehicles and freight movements, are progressively developing new ways of working supported by ICT adoption.
An efficient and effective road freight transport industry is fundamental to the successful function of any economy. Due mainly to the flexibility, directness and speed that the movement of freight by road offers, when compared to rail, inland waterway or sea transport, road movement has become the principal freight transport mode, carrying the majority of inland freight. Some authors have considered that the adoption of information communication technology (ICT) developments by haulage companies could support more efficient and effective performance and help the sector progress towards the goal of improved sustainability (Keskinen et al., 2001). The Internet, for example, is providing new ways of doing business for all industries and in freight transport there has been significant growth in electronic market places known as freight exchanges. These purport to offer haulage companies the ability to load their vehicles more often and to secure more backloads, thereby providing a solution to improving their efficiency (e-Logistics Magazine, 2002). Unfortunately, recent surveys of the industry suggest that the use of ICT, including the use of the Internet, is not widespread in the road freight transport industry (Higginbottom, 2002). This study examines, through a case study research design focussing on the United Kingdom, the extent to which Internet freight exchanges and the use of ICT processes are affecting general haulage. The paper summarises the results of a questionnaire (see Appendix A) sent to 242 UK general haulage operators and assesses information and opinions gathered from the haulage operators’ perspectives on the presence of ICT in their business, the levels of backloading, and an evaluation of the use of freight exchanges. Initially, a background analysis of the structure and key characteristics of the UK road freight transport industry is presented and this is followed by an introduction to key aspects in e-commerce which are relevant to road haulage. After the discussion on the methodology used, the main findings of the research are presented before conclusions and limitations are put forward.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study examined, through a case study research design focussing on the United Kingdom, the extent to which Internet freight exchanges and the use of ICT processes are affecting general haulage. Although the UK road transport sector has some unique characteristics it is regarded as operating in one of the leading economies of the world which relies heavily on an innovative freight transport sector for the movement of freight. The study therefore provides indications of how ICT is being adopted in the haulage industry in many developed countries. The research was at two levels. Firstly, the overall importance of ICT to haulage operators from their perspective was probed. This was followed up by a deeper analysis of how ICT was being deployed by haulage operators with regards to management operations, the use of exchanges and the levels of backloading. The hypothesis as stated was that, “the hauliers that control the majority of the UK general haulage fleet consider ICT to be important to their business”. With 85% agreeing that ICT was important, the hypothesis was accepted in terms of our sample, which was broadly representative of the fleet owning structure in the UK. There was also a strong correlation between company size and the views on the importance of ICT which was assessed. However, what does appear very clearly is that while some organisations within general haulage are using some forms of ICT in their business there appears to be a split emerging, between those who are actively using e-commerce to support their operations and those that are not. The industry structure is characterised by the very large number of smaller operators which run fewer than 11 vehicles. It is in this category where ICT adoption is least well developed and reliance on all more traditional means of operating are more prevalent. While this category controls less than half of the UK vehicle fleet (46%), they still represent a sizable category. This could mean that smaller operators are missing out on some of the benefits from ICT adoption. However, it may be that for some hauliers ICT is of less importance than it would be for larger operators. As fewer vehicles are deployed, fleet coordination may be easier to manage. Smaller players may dedicate their entire fleet to larger operators. Thus the question remains whether the smaller operators have the same need to exploit the opportunities from e-commerce and ICT. This would provide a useful piece of follow-up additional research. It would appear though that from this survey that despite the many opportunities that e-commerce potentially could provide supply chain operators, the haulage sector as a whole appears to be not confident enough to fully embrace the new era yet and in its basic structure, in particular the large number of smaller operators, contains obstacles to rapid adoption of new ICT developments across the industry. For those companies that are exploring the deployment of ICT there are clearly many advantages, but ICT adoption should not be seen as the single panacea for all issues. For example, the survey revealed that there are many factors influencing the efficiency of the general haulage sector and in particular, levels of empty running and backloading performance. Time constraints, short distances, or unviable commercial rates impact negatively on drives to push up backloading levels. Reaction to freight exchanges is also very mixed. While there is evidence of improved backhaul levels there are concerns over increased risks of non-payment, limited load availability and the time it takes to confirm a load. Clearly, much can be done to improve how exchanges are managed and how they are perceived before they enjoy wider acceptance. It is hoped that the study through a case study design focussing on the UK General Haulage sector an insight has been provided into the degree of ICT adoption and views on how it can lead to improved processes and operations explored. While ICT has clearly had a pervasive impact on many aspects of hauliers’ operations it is only one of many factors that influence performance and there is still some way to go before it can be defined as fully infiltrating the culture of the industry.