From the Shell Young Entrepreneur of the year: The growing importance of technology in transport

Guest post from Robert Matthams, founder of] and recently named Shell Young Entrepreneur of the Year and BT Entrepreneur of the Year. 

The importance of technology to delivery companies cannot be understated.  The days of paper proof of delivery and sign on the dotted line have been and gone. 


Despite many misconceptions that the transport industry is a tad backwards and slow to adopt new technologies, the exact opposite is true.  If you look back historically in fact, the transport industry being what it is (incredibly competitive), you see that firms are always on the lookup for the next piece of technology that can improve their operations and give them that competitive advantage.


Examples of this span back a long way to before the first POD (proof of delivery) units where customers can sign on collection to the more up-to-date full tracking systems we are now all accustomed to with the likes to DHL, FedEx and UPS giving customer real-time information as to their package’s whereabouts. 


At the other end of the spectrum, looking at the smaller transport firms, man and van operators & family-run businesses things have still moved on enormously.  Sophisticated satellite navigation has been developed especially for truckers which guides them not only on the basic routes you would get via a regular consumer unit but also helps ensure it doesn’t send them down roads with weight/height restrictions where they would not fit.


Tracking is another area where transport operators have seen their role change and improve significantly.  Every truck can be tracked via GPS and fed back to head offices along with vital information such as route, speed and driver hours.  Some systems now even have ways of feeding back how aggressively a truck is driven along with any sharp turns at speed!


The industry continues to move forward at incredible speed and show consistent signs of early adoptions for technology which adds true value and efficiency to the bottom line.

Robert Matthams is the 26 year-old founder of, which has been likened to eBay - but for moving stuff.  He was named Shell Young Entrepreneur of the Year and was also awarded the title of BT Entrepreneur of the Year by Peter Jones from Dragon’s Den. The business was also recently ranked amongst the top 10 start up companies in the UK.

Shiply, recently named amongst the top 10 start up companies in the UK, acts as an online transport marketplace.  Every day, people list items they need to move on the site and then over 19,000 transport companies bid for the work.  This helps keep their vehicles running to capacity and gives the end-consumer a low price on their delivery.

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