From fleet management to material management and from customer service to
safety and maintenance, the impact of mobile solutions to support and improve
business and customer critical workflows in the transportation sector is
far-reaching. The transportation sector's mobile workforce is expected to
reach almost XXX million by 2014 and grow by X.X% annually through 2017.
Equipping these workers with mobile devices and access to critical enterprise
content and applications is transforming transportation organizations and
driving new levels of performance, productivity, and customer service. The
industry's 24/7 dynamics lend themselves to the anytime-anywhere nature of
mobile apps and smart devices. Cargo, passengers, and goods in transit can be
tracked by capturing and analyzing information in real time, while the
distributed nature of the industry means transport workers can increase
operational efficiency with the use of mobile devices and apps to replace
static, paper-based workflows.
What questions are addressed?
- What is the market size and opportunity for transportation and warehousing
- Which mobile transportation and warehousing applications represent the
greatest growth opportunities?
- Which factors have the greatest influence over transportation and
warehouse mobility investments?
- Which mobile form factors are most widely deployed in support of
transportation and warehousing solutions?
- What are the greatest transportation and warehousing investment barriers?
- What are next-generation mobile device requirements?
- How are mobile transportation and warehousing applications being sourced,
developed, and supported?
The overall opportunity for mobility solutions - including mobile hardware,
software, and services - in transportation reached $X.X billion in 2013 and is
forecast to grow to $X.X billion by 2017. Investment in mobile solutions
supporting warehouse applications is expected to grow to $X.X billion by 2017
from $X.X billion in 2013. A variety of mobile device form factors will
continue to be successful in this sector. However, the mobile solution of the
future is likely to be accessed from the web and run on a smaller-screen,
less-rugged device than in the past. This evolution will require a tremendous
amount of application redevelopment and integration, resulting in bright
market prospects for firms with strong services offerings. Companies that
depend heavily on hardware sales from one or two categories will be in an
increasingly challenging competitive position as the hardware market fragments
and margins continue to erode.
[Data available in full report]
Key Findings: Transportation
- Smartphones will become the top-selling mobile computing devices to
support transportation operations by 2017, representing more than seven in ten
of all mobile device shipments to transportation organizations. Tablet
adoption will grow at a similar rate, albeit from a smaller base, and just
exceed one million units by 2017.
- Rugged handheld devices - running primarily Windows Mobile or Embedded CE
- remain pervasive in the transportation sector, especially among postal and
courier agencies supporting pick-up and delivery applications. There is no
clear successor to Windows Mobile as the preferred next-generation mobile
operating system within the transportation industry. Many courier
organizations with large installed bases of devices running Windows Embedded
Handheld 6.5 may opt to stay with that version for one more generation as they
better determine Microsoft's roadmap and the viability of Android. One feature
legacy customers are looking for Microsoft to include in their next-generation
Windows Embedded Handheld 8.1 is a compatibility mode that will permit
backward support of WEH 6.x applications.
- Failure rates remain a significant issue for many transportation
applications - especially among line workers - driving demand for even more
rugged devices. One of the greatest points of failure has been resistive
displays, in part driving a shift in demand to capacitive displays that can be
- As demand for larger display mobile devices grows, opportunities for
tablets and also handheld devices and smartphones with display sizes between
4-6" will emerge. However, especially for delivery applications, end users
remain very loyal toward keyboards for the foreseeable future.
- The leading mobile applications transportation organizations are investing
in include customer service/engagement, proof of delivery, fleet management,
and service and dispatch management. From an investment driver perspective,
the strongest metrics influencing budgets include reduction of operational
costs, improvements to mobile worker productivity, more accurate tracking, and
greater competitive differentiation.
- Barriers limiting mobile investments include access to capital and budget
pressures, security concerns, and other IT projects taking priority. In
addition, addressing interoperability issues with existing IT systems
represents a major investment pain point for transportation organizations.
- In the economically challenging postal sector, the most successful
organizations have implemented diversification strategies, launching new lines
of business and reworking existing mail networks into parcel networks that are
better positioned to take advantage of the continued eCommerce wave.
Key Findings: Warehousing
- Total mobile device shipments supporting warehouse and DC operations
topped X.X million units in 2013 and are expected to exceed X million units by
2017. The total installed base of devices in the warehouse is estimated around
X million units. This represents a penetration of XX% of the approximately XX
million warehouse workers worldwide.
- A mix of ruggedized handheld devices and special-purpose forklift mounted
units are primarily deployed within warehouses. Organizations are evaluating
tablets as an alternative to specialized forklift devices. This includes
testing of non-ruggedized consumer tablets - such as Microsoft's Surface - for
warehouse applications. However, harsh warehouse conditions are impacting the
success of these devices, resulting in high failure rates.
- The majority of handheld mobile devices used in the warehouse run Windows
Embedded CE. While this is not expected to change substantially, the most
recent version of CE from Microsoft is not particularly suitable for scanning
and the industrial handheld market.
- Leading mobile warehouse and DC applications include picking/put-away,
shipping/receiving and cross-docking. With eCommerce volume continuing to
grow, warehouse operations are shifting accordingly. Greater emphasis on
compound metrics such as the perfect order is directly impacting how
organizations design warehouse organizations to optimize item-level
- While barcode scanning represents the primary data collection technology
used in warehouses, use of other technologies is expected to increase.
Especially voice technology, which is currently used by XX% of mid-sized and
large warehouses, is expected to grow substantially as it becomes more
affordable. Our research suggests that the installed base of voice solutions
will double over the next five years.
XX Commercial in Confidence.
Global Market Overview and Forecast
Ideas & Insights: Transportation Solutions
The challenges for the transportation industry range from the aging
infrastructure that plagues many key industry sectors to spiraling fuel costs,
weather-related disruption, regulatory pressures, and increasingly complex
intermodal networks. In addition, security issues, emerging market
infrastructure development, and overall global demographic shifts are driving
demand for public transit, air transportation, and shipping and logistics
services. Success in the transportation sector is defined by a more productive
and efficient workforce, the ability to better predict demand, and a much more
engaging delivery of services.
At the heart of today's transportation and logistics organizations is a vast,
widely dispersed, and inherently mobile workforce. From forklift operators
loading crates onto trucks and delivery drivers navigating multiple pickups
and deliveries to airline baggage handlers and the technicians servicing
assets, the workflows supported are all critical to the operation of these
intricate businesses. Providing access to key business applications and
databases through mobile solutions not only enables a more productive
workforce but also enhances the responsiveness and quality of service these
organizations can deliver for their customers. Consumer expectations of
faster, more flexible deliveries at the lowest possible cost are forcing
transport organizations to compete intensively for long-term survival. Mobile
technologies have and will continue to play a key role as they impact many of
the mission-critical applications on which the industry relies.
Exhibit 1: Mobile applications for the transportation sector
Transport providers have an opportunity to differentiate their services by
investing in the latest technologies. However, many carriers around the world
have a combination of legacy and new applications running on disparate,
proprietary networks, which can hinder interoperability, visibility, and
security efforts. Even though many of these legacy systems and applications
were not conceived with the notion of being mobilized, the emergence of cloud,
smart mobile devices, open and agile software models, and next-generation
platform technologies is simplifying mobile app development and integration
with these proprietary systems.
As illustrated in Exhibit 2, VDC's research into the transportation market,
organizations are targeting numerous operational and financial improvements
through their mobile solution investments.
Exhibit 2: Most important metrics utilized to measure
the benefits of mobile solutions in the transportation industry
(Percent of respondents; multiple response question, n=318)
The power and flexibility offered in today's modern mobile devices - from
integrated dedicated GPS and image sensors to high-resolution multi-touch
displays optimized for daylight visibility - only further enhances the mobile
value proposition for frontline transportation workers. Current mobile
application usage in the transportation industry is detailed below in Exhibit 3.
Some of the more compelling use cases in transportation include the following:
- Fleet optimization. The management of the fleets, its drivers, and
shipments is one of the most critical and well-established mobile and wireless
transportation applications. Optimizing operational efficiencies, achieving
service level agreements, and improving government compliance levels are all
among the catalysts driving these opportunities. Whether fleet assets are en
route, in maintenance, or in the lot, advanced mobile data collection and
location solutions such as RFID, GPS, and integrated telematics solutions are
providing information about the location and status of assets in real time.
- Mobile check-in and ticketing. The use of sophisticated handheld devices
to better manage passengers and the ticketing process can significantly reduce
if not eliminate terminal congestion and waiting in ticket lines. These mobile
devices can assist in better engaging with customers by providing real-time
information about travel status, connections, and other valuable passenger
- Field service and asset management. For transportation organizations
today, the need to manage and maintain their assets and infrastructure is more
acute than ever. Field workers tasked with inspecting and maintaining assets
spanning rail lines to airlines are using mobile devices and embedded wireless
solutions to provide advanced diagnostics, streamline the maintenance process
(including improvements to first-time fix rates), and more dynamically
- Pickup and delivery services. Mail and courier organizations manage some
of the most sophisticated supply chain operations where real-time visibility -
down to the individual item from receipt to delivery - is considered a cost of
doing business. The use of mobile solutions is integral to these workflows
supporting a variety of applications, including electronic proof of delivery
and signature capture, turn-by-turn directions, field sales, and others.
VDC Research's i2: ideas & insights reports provide clients with deep insights
into product, market, channel, and competitive strategies and tactics. Using
deep and rich datasets based on extensive primary research, the i2 reports
provide clients with the insights they need to make strategic decisions for
their business about the markets they are in and the markets they want to be
in. Coverage includes a combination of market sizing, segmentation,
forecasting, end-user requirements analysis, competitive analysis, and more.
Table of Contents
- Key Findings: Transportation
- Key Findings: Warehousing
Global Market Overview and Forecast
- Ideas & Insights: Transportation Solutions
- Exhibit 1: Mobile applications for the transportation sector
- Exhibit 2: Most important metrics utilized to measure the benefits of
mobile solutions in the transportation industry
- Exhibit 3: Current and planned usage of mobile applications in the
- Five-Year Transportation Forecast: Mobile Hardware
- Exhibit 4: Worldwide growth forecast for mobile hardware, software, and
services revenue, 2012-2017 (US $M)
- Exhibit 5: Unit shipment forecast for mobile computer device types,
- Exhibit 5A: Unit shipment forecast for mobile computer device types,
- Five-Year Transportation Forecast: Mobile Software
- Exhibit 6: Transportation software revenues by regional market (US $M)
- Exhibit 7: OS most likely to replace Windows Mobile 6.x
- Exhibit 8: Development environment for most recent mobile application
- Exhibit 9: Current mobile transportation application sourcing strategy
- Five-Year Transportation Forecast: Professional Services
- Exhibit 10: Transportation professional services revenues by regional
market (US $M)
- Exhibit 11: Most important capabilities in the selection of a support
services vendor to maintain an organization's mobile deployment
- Ideas & Insights: Warehouse Solutions
- Exhibit 12: Most important metrics for mobile solutions for warehouses
- Exhibit 13: Planned and current mobile application deployments in
- Exhibit 14: Top selection criteria for warehouse mobile devices
- Five-Year Warehouse Forecast: Mobile Hardware
- Exhibit 15: Global mobile hardware warehousing shipments by device type
- Exhibit 16: Is your organization currently using or planning to deploy
voice-directed technologies for warehouse operations?
- Five-Year Warehouse Forecast: Mobile Software
- Exhibit 17: Warehousing software shipments by regional market
- Five-Year Warehouse Forecast: Mobile Professional Services
- Exhibit 18: Warehousing professional service shipments by regional
market (US $M)
End-User Trends and Insights
- Investment Drivers and Barriers
- Exhibit 19: Mobile device selection criteria
- Exhibit 20: Most challenging mobility investment barriers
- Changing Attitudes Toward Ruggedness
- Exhibit 21: To what extent do you agree with the following statements
about rugged devices?
- BYOD Acceptance Growing
- Exhibit 22: What - if any - type of formal BYOD (bring your own device)
policy do you have in place?
- Exhibit 23: Has your organization invested in a MDM tool to manage your
- Exhibit 24: As part of your BYOD program, does your organization provide
(and support) mobile applications for frontline mobile workers for use on
their personal devices?