By Rianté Naidoo

When technology is used to aid innovation, it can deliver significant value to a business’s bottom line, says Adam Orlin, head of Investec Import Solutions.

In an interview with, Orlin discussed some of the ways technology is benefitting the transport, logistics and import sectors with its business and management decisions.

He says not only can implementing technological solutions reduce business costs, but also provide a better way to monitor and control “the state of the business strategy”.

Taking the import industry as an example, Orlin says that having access to innovative technologies can provide companies in this space with greater visibility for the strategic management of their import supply chain and improve control of their supplier relationships, costs and availability of product.

“Thanks to having detailed information right down to container level, importers are able to manage their inventory even whilst goods are in transit,” he says. “This goes a long way to not only ensuring processes are streamlined, but that focus can be placed on the business rather than worrying about logistics.”

He says having access to customised dashboards and import orders gives a business access to a snapshot of information that importers sometimes request. This gives importers an option to select from a variety of interactive graphics, which allows them to see critical information upfront. This information can be used to analyse trends graphically and make strategic decisions.

He explains that tracking shipments without hassle is also possible as technology allows for the real time tracking and pinning of shipments. It can also provide information about container inventories while the shipment is currently on route, as well as plan for future shipments.

“In fact, all importers and suppliers of products should have an online view as to what is the fastest or cheapest route to market,” Orlin says. “These systems are available to provide transparency.”

Managing risks

Orlin also highlights the benefits of how digitalisation can help manage risks in the transport and logistics industry.

He says the use of IoT (Internet of Things) connected devices can help manage risks these industries are faced with on a regular basis.

He says a two way messaging functionality on a single platform can be useful when clients want to communicate with their importer directly. Should a client have a query or problem, this platform can lead to a much quicker solution.

He says other useful information that can be relayed in real-time via the messaging system are if there is a port delay, congestion, a custom stop, a boarder stop, an insurance claim etc.

“Because these devices communicate, and with the use of systems such as BlueLink which Investec Import Solutions uses, customers are able to track their shipment and see the expected delivery time and can be alerted if there are any delays,” Orlin says. This provides customers with the necessary information they need which can often help mitigate risks and prevent any undesired outcomes.