Key Challenges for Digital Public Transport and Logistics in Myanmar

Written by Susan Thein Zaw, AMSIPMM

by Susan Thein Zaw, AMSIPMM

The digital revolution is the change from mechanical technology to digital electronics which began in the 1950s, and began to evolve in 2000s. During the last decade, digital revolution has proliferated in many fields such as education, engineering, marketing and entertainment, etc. Nowadays transportation and logistics have become a crucial factor in business organisation ever since globalization has taken centre stage in businesses. The digital revolution marked the impetus of the Information Age and hence Digital Public Transport and Logistics is the main focus of this article.

Delivery truck loading at a warehouse

The picture shows a delivery truck loading at a warehouse.

Public Transport and Logistics

Public Transport is the movement of people by any mode such as land, water or air. It is a crucial part of solution to the country’s economics, energy, communication and environmental affairs. There are many ways in which public transportation can be used. For example, in developed countries, one can choose to travel by metro, buses, trains, airplanes, etc. In Thailand, the mode of transport is mainly buses, tricycles, or trains; whereas in Myanmar, the mode of transport is mainly YBS, trains, or taxis.

Logistics is the design and administration of systems to control the movement and geographical positioning of raw materials, work in process, and finished inventories at the lowest total cost.

Top Challenges for Public Transport and Logistics

For public transport, it is important to get the passengers where they are desired safely within the calculated time and comfortableness. The most popular difficulty that is found in the public transport is traffic. As the population has increased to enormous amount and technology has been driven the human to the comfort zone, many people use individual vehicles instead of trains and bicycles as before.

Therefore, roads that has been constructed for certain number of cars has now been blocked by double or triple numbers of cars. Furthermore, as most people from rural places migrate to urban zones, the transportation of those people has to be considered carefully. Without those predictions, many streets and roads would be blocked and this could lead to the waste of time, money and even valuable lives.

Yangon Water Bus as a mode of transport in Myanmar

The picture shows the Yangon Water Bus as a mode of transport in Myanmar.

In Logistics, it is important to get the cargo or subject to the place where is destined within the subjected time in order to obtain the customer satisfactions. But due to traffic problem as mentioned above it is quite an interesting challenge in order to achieved the ‘’on-time delivery’’. Nowadays logistics customers demand flexibility and visibility. Furthermore, it is crucial to have a precise counting method and technology, digitalization comes in handy in order to fulfilled the customer needs.

Passengers waiting at the station to board the train

The picture shows passengers waiting at the station to board the train.

How do Digital Public Transport and Logistics comes in hand?

Mobile phones, laptops, computers, ipads and LED screens have become useful and many people are not able to be separated from their electronic devices. The role of these devices comes in handing for digital public transport and Logistics. Since access to internet has become available in almost all places, the transformation to digital public logistics is inevitable.

As customers require flexibility and transparency, the use of digital interface with electronic devices is way more convenient than using the traditional same old method. For instance, advertising the freight cost rates by using various customizations with blogs, websites and pages on facebook are way more efficient and up to date than using flyers and newspapers.

Using mobile app like uber or grab when hiring the taxi make it more easier and happier relationship with the driver. The consumers need not argue about the price for the trip, and there is no need to worry about the safety since the Uber application will show the location of the car from the GPS, a short profile of the driver and the cost of the trip.

Using Drones or Digital Trucks can enhance the delivery capabilities in order to get the parcel or packing in time with less traffic and low transportation cost when it comes to the massive quantity.

In Korea, some bus stops have digital boards which enable the passengers to know the exact time the bus will arrive and also since all the buses have GPS, they also know the exact location of the bus. By doing this, it can be time saving and it would be easier for the passengers in order to manage the waiting time.

Supply Chain Ads

In Myanmar, when the government changes the bus system to YBS, people are in chaos on the first day since they do not know how to ride the bus and the route of the bus as the bus numbers changes. There are a lot of volunteers who help the public with information papers. But this is only just a month, and in the longer term the people have to use the applications such as YBS or Yangon routers and so on. There we can read the bus numbers and route of the buses, bus stops and it also tells how to ride the YBS by only entering the start destination and the ending one.

How to change to digital?

There are 5 steps in changing to digital.

1. Start using electrical devices. It is important to start a change with accepting the change. Use electrical devices instead of papers. Stop wasting time.

2. Make it easier. This means that to be user friendly. Of course, for some people it is difficult for them to use electronic devices. So, educate them by showing them how to use and keep in touch with the digital devices. Start sending messages with your phones instead of post cards!

3. Caution not to be digitize! In developed countries, they know the difference between digital and digitize. But in developing countries people just want to change to digital but in a wrong me. It means they are out of standard. For like there should be a format in making them digital. Example: the big civil war between Zawgyi and Unicode (both are Myanmar font) in MYANMAR still being the problem for digital workers.

4. Start developing new ideas. After you get used to with digital devices, start develop your ideas in boosting your logistics and supply chain. It is more easier and faster to use app than using calculators. So, make it your advantage and discover news ways to solve public transport and logistics problems.

5. Make it happen! Some have ideas, some got capabilities. So, just make it happen by coordinating with those who have capabilities to introduce your ideas in real life!

5 steps in changing to digital


A lot of changes and updates have developed through logistics and public transport. One of the changes is digitalization. It is the current trends which is occupying quickly to the current logistics and public transport. And, also there are limitations and draw backs in getting to digitals. However, as the saying “When there is a will, there is a way”, the future of digital logistics and public transport will soon become a reality with the strong demand of global market.


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UK Essays (2013) “The Importance of Electronic Devices Media Essay” [online]. Retrieved from:, accessed 29/10/2017.

World Economics Forums (2017) “The Digital Transformation of Logistics”.
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Schoenherr, E.S. (2008). “The Digital Revolution”. Retrieved from, accessed 29/10/2017.

SIAF (2017) “Business Logistics Management” Module Information Guide.

Lectures of Professor Dr. Philip Poh, Sayar U Aung Khin Myint and Teacher Dr. Daw Mu Mu Han (2017)

About the Author: Susan Thein Zaw is a candidate for her final year study in Naval Architecture at Myanmar Maritime University. She has completed the Diploma in Logistics and Supply Management (DLSM) course on December 2017 at Shenton Institute of Applied Finance (SIAF) in Myanmar. The DLSM is awarded by SIAF, and validated by SIPMM Singapore. She is an associate member of the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (AMSIPMM).