More than half (56%) of Australian transportation and logistics (T&L) businesses have reported that having a mobile-first strategy in place has helped them to significantly upscale operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research from mobile and IoT management solutions provider, SOTI.

The vast majority (70%) of Australian T&L companies also said that having an effective mobile-first strategy in place for last-mile delivery had greatly reduced operational costs. Out of those who did not have this in place already, 91% said that they thought a mobile-first strategy would deliver their business cost savings.

SOTI vice president of sales for Asia Pacific, Michael Dyson said the T&L industry has had to quickly step up, following the surge in e-commerce demand and rising expectations for quick delivery.

“Under this heavy pressure, the importance of having mobile technology deployed has risen, not only as a way to ease the COVID-19 burden, but also to help T&L businesses to improve their operational efficiency and remain resilient in the future,” he said.

Although many Australian T&L businesses had mobility in place, the survey also found there are still areas for further improvement. Just under half (46%) of Australian T&L businesses said that they would benefit from having improved real-time support for mobile devices in the field during COVID-19. An additional 36% stated that their legacy systems and outdated technology prevented their organisation from upscaling operations during the pandemic.

“Having an advanced mobile-first strategy in place within T&L operations is clearly the differentiator between coming out on top or sinking under the pressure of high demand and losing out to competitors. Our research demonstrates that it’s not enough to just have any mobile technology in place – it’s vital to have the most up-to-date technology and a mobility strategy in place to maintain strength within the market, particularly during a pandemic,” Dyson added.

The research also found that amid COVID-19, almost one-third (32%) of T&L businesses in Australia have evaluated that their number one business priority going forward is to improve efficiency by integrating or growing their mobile-first strategy.

“By implementing a solid mobile-first strategy, T&L businesses are strengthening their overall standing – minimising overhead costs, gaining valuable insights into operations, and greatly improving speed and productivity rates to match unprecedented demand.”