Tech is rapidly changing the e-logistics landscape, raising the need for Vietnam to increase the application of advanced technologies to develop an efficient logistics industry to grab opportunities arising from e-commerce.
According to Tran Thanh Hai, deputy director of the Import-Export Department, Vietnam has a young population with fast access to technology together with a digital economy market forecast at more than US$50 billion, providing great potential for e-commerce and e-commerce logistics.
While logistics costs in Vietnam remain high, Hai said it was necessary to use technology to improve efficiency.
A report by global supply chain service provider Aligity last year showed the logistics cost in Vietnam was more than 20% of GDP, compared to the world average of 11%.
Hai pointed out several problems in the logistics industry, including weak linkage of the transport infrastructure system and heavy dependence on roads.
He said technology had been applied in logistics activities such as apps or platforms to share transport vehicles and optimise warehouse usage. AI was also used to automate warehouse management processes.
Applying technology in logistics would help lower costs and increase efficiency, he said.
Especially in e-commerce with many delivery orders but in different locations, automation would help increase efficiency, reduce time and increase accuracy, Hai stressed.
In e-commerce, the difference between urban and rural areas created a cost problem for many logistics service providers.
Rural areas in Vietnam were characterised by a wide geographical range and low population density. Shopping rates were also not as high as in the city, so deliveries covered a long distance.
The cost factor might not lie in the success rate of the first delivery, but in the distance travelled, Hai said, adding that enterprises could cooperate to build warehouses in nearby districts.
Automated delivery solutions such as drones should also be considered to help shorten travel distance. Such technologies could operate regardless of terrain.
Phan Xuan Dung from logistics provider Ninja Van Vietnam said the number of e-commerce delivery orders tripled in the past five years. When orders increased rapidly, if enterprises did not have solutions, the system would overload and costs increase.
Dung said technology would be the decisive factor in reducing logistics costs and improving efficiency.